Creamy Saffron-infused Kulfi: an Indian frozen treat

By Vaishnavi Kandhadai
May 28, 2013
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Author Notes:

Kulfi is synonymous with summer in India. This frozen treat is made from rich Malai, which is nothing but ricotta cheese, and flavored with green cardamom and pistachio nuts. The traditional method of storing Kulfi is in individual earthenware cups or Popsicle moulds.
My quest for a perfect Kulfi recipe began years ago in India but I ended up with my own version of this creamy dessert only last week while crazily testing ice cream recipes in my new ice cream maker. My secret weapon is actually evaporated milk and an infusion of saffron stands (or what we call Kesar in Hindi).

Vaishnavi Kandhadai

Serves: six huge cups

  • One cup Fat-free ricotta cheese
  • One and a half cups Non-sweet evaporated milk (I used Carnation)
  • Half cup Granulated sugar
  • Half cup Roasted-salted pistachio nuts
  • Half teaspoon Green cardamom powder
  • One pinch Saffron strands
  1. Heat the evaporated milk in a pan along with the sugar.
  2. Take it off heat when it begins to boil. Add the cardamom powder and saffron stands to it and whisk well. The saffron would not only give it a distinct taste but also add a beautiful creamy-yellow color to the Kulfi.
  3. Mix in the ricotta cheese, ensuring that there are no lumps.
  4. At this stage, the nuts are added to the Kulfi mixture, which is then poured into popsicle moulds and frozen.
  5. But for a creamier ice cream, cool the mixture in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (I chilled it in the freezer for 45 minutes), pour it in the canister of your ice cream maker and freeze. Add the pistachio nuts during the last five minutes of the process.
  6. You could eat it as a soft-serve at this stage but I recommend freezing it overnight for a creamy ice cream.

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Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts|Cheese|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Summer|Vegetarian