Malai Kulfi

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Creamy Malai Kufi is a delicious summer treat! Made with simple ingredients, this eggless Indian ice cream is flavored with cardamom, dried milk solids and nuts!

Malai Kulfi Recipe

Oh I am so excited to share today’s recipe because I really believe that I have finally found the perfect recipe for everyone’s favorite malai kulfi! For those still unaware, kulfi is a very popular dessert in India and Pakistan. It’s our version of ice cream, basically milk is cooked till it gets really thick & reduced to almost 1/3rd of it’s original volume. It’s then flavored with sugar, nuts, cardamom and saffron (usually) and then frozen. The texture is not like ice cream but oh my god it’s so delicious! Seriously for me, kulfi over ice cream any day. Not saying I don’t love ice creams but when I crave kulfi, I want kulfi and ice cream is not a substitute! Actually thickened milk on it’s own is a very popular sweet in India, it called rabri. Kulfi is basically frozen rabri and malai kulfi is the most basic kulfi. These days you gets all sorts of kulfi in the market- mango, chocolate, paan and even I shared a strawberry kulfi last year but if you want to taste the most authentic kulfi, then you need to try this malai kulfi. It’s simple milk, sugar, nuts and cardamom but the taste will leave you craving for more! My husband declared it as the best kulfi ever, so guys you really need to try this recipe!

Homemade Malai Kulfi

You would always find kulfi  on the dessert menu of Indian restaurants and that’s not all now I also get packs of kulfi at my local Costco! The first time I saw that, I was so surprised, like what’s kulfi doing at Coscto!!? We even bought the pack – it had mango kulfi, malai kulfi and cardamom saffron kulfi. They were not bad but nothing compared to the homemade stuff. These days there are several quick ways to make kulfi using condensed milk, evaporated milk and yes it’s great that there are these short cuts because honestly you don’t always have the time to go through the entire process of reducing the milk but if you have some time and patience, I highly recommend taking the long route!

What makes my malai kulfi so delicious? The addition of heavy cream, khoya (dried milk solids) and milk powder. You may skip the milk powder if you want but heavy cream and khoya is must. I actually almost always add heavy cream to my kulfis, it makes them very creamy and delicious. And since it’s malai kulfi, khoya is a great addition too. It makes the kulfi more grainy and gives it a nice texture.

Malai Kulfi

To make sure your kulfi doesn’t have any ice crystals, you don’t really have to do anything special. Just 2 things 1) reduce the milk till gets really thick. If the milk is thick enough, the kulfi will freeze beautifully. 2) pour the thickened milk into the kulfi molds only when it has completely cooled down. I know people add bread and all other stuff to make sure there are no ice crystals in their kulfi but you simply don’t need it. My kulfi was as perfect as it can get and I only followed these 2 things!

 

Method

To a heavy bottom pan, add whole milk on medium-high heat.

After around 5 minutes when it warms a little, add heavy cream to it.

Let the mixture come to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Let the milk simmer on medium heat for around 30 minutes, keep stirring it in between, you don’t want the milk to get stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Malai Kulfi Recipe-Step-1

After about 30 minutes, the milk will look quite thick, at this point add crumbled khoya and mix. Keep mixing this the khoya dissolves, this will take 5-7 minutes.

Once the khoya dissolves, add the sugar and mix till the sugar dissolves.

Then add the crushed nuts. I crushed these using my mortar and pestle and I suggest you do the same. The coarsely chopped nuts give the kulfi a lot of texture.Malai Kulfi Recipe-Step-2

Add milk powder and mix. Simmer for 5 more minutes. In all I cooked the milk for around 50 minutes, it should get really thick by the end of it and it will continue to thicken as it cools down.

Remove pan from hear and cardamom powder and mix. Let the mixture cool down completely. Please note that at this point the kulfi might taste too sweet to you but it’s going to be perfect. The sweetness reduces when the kulfi freezes, so do add the amount of sugar I mentioned.

Once the milk has cooled down completely, pour into kulfi molds or any other container of your choice. Cover and freeze till completely set, around 6-8 hours.
Malai Kulfi Recipe-Step-3

Once frozen, place the kulfi mold under warm running water for 30-45 seconds and then tap the mold on the plate. The kulfi would come out easily. Enjoy the delicious malai kulfi! You may insert a popsicle stick in the kulfi while freezing it, in India we always get kulfi on the sticks from the local vendor. I didn’t use one because I ran out of the sticks! You can garnish the kulfi with some more nuts or saffron strands, but it’s totally optional.

Indian Malai Kulfi

* Always use whole milk to make kulfi for best results.

* Always prefer crushing your own cardamom seeds in stead of using ready made cardamom powder, makes a lot of difference.

* This made 6 kulfis in regular kulfi mold, you may get less if you freeze in bigger container.

Malai Kulfi

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6 kulfis

Creamy and delicious Malai Kulfi is the perfect homemade treat! This eggless Indian ice cream is flavored with cardamom, dried milk solids and nuts!
Ingredients
  • 1 liter whole milk
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled khoya, also known as dried milk solids
  • 1 tablespoon dried milk powder, optional
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped nuts, I used mix of cashews, almonds and pistachios
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, or adjust to taste
  • 6-7 green cardamom pods, skin removed & crushed
Instructions
  1. To a heavy bottom pan, add whole milk on medium-high heat.
  2. After around 5 minutes when it warms a little, add heavy cream to it.
  3. Let the mixture come to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Let the milk simmer on medium heat for around 30 minutes, keep stirring it in between, you don't want the milk to get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  5. After about 30 minutes, the milk will look quite thick, at this point add crumbled khoya and mix. Keep mixing this the khoya dissolves, this will take 5-7 minutes.
  6. Once the khoya dissolves, add the sugar and mix till the sugar dissolves.
  7. Then add the crushed nuts. I crushed these using my mortar and pestle and I suggest you do the same. The coarsely chopped nuts give the kulfi a lot of texture.
  8. Add milk powder (if using) and mix. Simmer for 5 more minutes. In all I cooked the milk for around 50 minutes, it should get really thick by the end of it and it will continue to thicken as it cools down.
  9. Remove pan from hear and cardamom powder and mix.
  10. Let the mixture cool down completely.
  11. Once the milk has cooled down completely, pour into kulfi molds or any other container of your choice. Cover and freeze till completely set, around 6-8 hours.
  12. Once frozen, place the kulfi mold under warm running water for 30-45 seconds and then tap the mold on the plate. The kulfi would come out easily. Enjoy the delicious malai kulfi!

Malai Kulfi

Malai Kulfi Collage

17 thoughts on “Malai Kulfi

  1. So I’ve never had kulfi before, but I am totally intrigued. It looks like ice cream, but I hear you say that it’s way better? Well sign me up then! Plus, I’m digging the beautiful saffron threads in there. Well done!

  2. I’ve never heard of this before, but it looks amazing. Seriously, I want about four or five of these right now because I’m so warm. I love the cardamom in here. Yum!

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