Kesar Badam Kulfi (Kulfi without condensed milk or milk powder)

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Kesar Badam Kulfi is a rich, creamy and easy kulfi recipe made using the traditional method of simmering milk and adding nuts, sugar and saffron.

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What is Kulfi?

Kulfi or Qulfi is a frozen dairy dessert originating in the Indian Subcontinent. It is a popular dessert in India and neighbouring countries and is our version of the Ice-Cream.

It is similar to Ice-cream but is richer and creamier. The traditional kulfi recipes are Malai Kulfi, Pista Kulfi, Kesar Pista, Kesar (Saffron), Mango, Rose, Elaichi (Cardamom) etc. However, now you have many new varieties available. Different fruits and nuts can be added to come up with some unique flavour.

To add to the richer and creamier texture many do add Khoya/Mawa/Milk solids or even milk powder. Kulfi is also made using sweetened condensed milk along with the milk. Any recipe you follow the key here is that the resulting mix should be reduced and creamier.

How is Kulfi Made

Kulfi is made by reducing milk to half. Nuts and flavours are added to it. The resulting mix is rich in fat and proteins. The mixture is then allowed to cool a bit and then frozen in special kulfi moulds. One can freeze this in normal containers too.

The roadside vendors or the professionals generally freeze this in a mixture of salt and ice which is added to a big matka. The matka helps to insulate from external heat and slows down the melting process.

I remember eating this Kulfis from our roadside vendor, who used to come every evening and serve some nice Ice-Cold malai kulfi. We even had a good kulfi shop nearby where there were dozens of different flavours and it was really difficult to choose. To date whenever I go to my mom’s place I always buy some.

Recipe process of Kesar Badam Kulfi (or Kulfi)

I make this Kulfi with only milk and have not added any Khoya/Mawa/Milk solids or milk powder or condensed milk. I use full-fat milk and let it simmer on slow stirring frequently. The milk has to reduce in half.

Yes, it takes time and patience, but you can always pair it alongside your other work. The beauty of this method is that it does not need any other ingredients to thicken. The reduced milk has a good nice consistency and can easily set.

Once the milk has reduced to half, I add sugar and flavourings and simmer it for a few more minutes. Then nuts are added and everything is mixed together and allowed to cool. Fill it in moulds and then just wait to let it set.

I like to add Saffron or cardamom as flavouring to this kulfi. I have not added any colour and all the colour is natural and from Saffron.

Varieties or Variations of Kulfi

One can make it plain without any flavours or just cardamom. Generally referred to as Malai Kulfi. Malai Kulfi however would have a slight addition of mava for the rich texture.

Instead of almonds, I like to add pistachio and make it Kesar Pista Kulfi. At times I make a mix of almonds and pistachio to make Kesar Badam Pista Kulfi. One can add cashew or any nuts if you like. Fruit purees are a great addition to this. Commonly used ones are mango, chikoo, strawberry etc.

If one boils sweetened milk along with milk or like milk and sugar together, it will have a caramelized effect and will add to a distinct taste.

I would say this Kesar Badam Kulfi recipe is one of the easiest kulfi or Ice Cream or Frozen Dessert recipes one can make. With no setting agents as cornflour or milk powder, it can be done with easy ingredients available at home.

If you do not have any dessert at home and have guests coming up and have some 7-8 hours, you can make this easy peasy Kulfi with the ingredients available at home.

Few more Ice Cream Recipes on my blog

  • No Churn Coffee Almond Ice Cream
  • 3 Ingredients Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Sugar-Free No-Churn Strawberry Banana Ice Cream
  • 4 Ingredients Gulkand Ice Cream

I made this Kulfi last year, but could not post it on time. So this time when Pavani from Pavani’s Kitchen, announced the theme Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts and when Aruna gave me the secret ingredients as saffron and sugar, I immediately decided to add this quick and easy Kesar Badam Kulfi which is made without condensed milk or milk powder.

As you might be aware for the group Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge we give secret ingredients to our partners. So I gave Aruna Sugar and milk and she made this season’s favourite, Mango Matka Kulfi.

Pavani has a wonderful collection of different Ice Cream flavours on her blog. I would love to try her No-Churn Rose Ice Cream and No-Churn Avocado Ice Cream. Yum yum…

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