The first frozen dessert I chose to make this summer is kulfi. Often described as the Indian ice cream, it is a rich, creamy dairy-based dessert that can be easily made at home. Traditionally, cardamom, saffron, pistachio nuts and almonds were used in the making of kulfi but nowadays it comes in a variety of flavours such as mango and strawberry.

You might do without an ice cream maker but you need lots of patience to reduce a pan of liquid milk. Keep stirring it on the stovetop for no less than an hour after which you will be rewarded with a thick mixture of caramelised milk.  Leave your kulfi overnight in the freezer compartment, then carefully release it from its cold, solitary confinement and let the magic unfold…



1 litre full cream milk

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 tsp cardamom powder

3 tbs roasted pistachios

3 tbs roasted almonds

3 tbs raisins, soaked

1/2 tsp rose essence


  • In a heavy based saucepan, heat milk gently over low flame stirring regularly to prevent it from burning.
  • Cook for 1 hour until it reduces to a third of the original volume and becomes thick and creamy.

  • Remove from heat and stir in sugar until completely dissolved. Coarsely chop pistachios and almonds.
  • Add to milk mixture and stir in raisins, cardamom powder and rose essence. Cool to room temperature.

  • Pour the cooled mixture into ice cream moulds or plastic cups to make individual servings.
  • Cover each mould with a square of aluminium foil and secure with an elastic band.

  • Place moulds in the freezer compartment for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • Invert on dessert plates and garnish with extra pistachios. Makes 4 servings.

Homemade Indian Ice Cream