Kesar Pista Kulfi Recipe – Fun FOOD Frolic

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Kulfi is a creamy, dense, and rich traditional Indian ice cream. For my kesar pista kulfi recipe, you need only 6 ingredients. This is the easiest and creamiest kulfi recipe to try at home. Be sure to watch the video!

About Kulfi

Kulfi is a popular dessert across Northern India. It is believed to originate during the Mughal era in the 16th century. There are specific entries about Kulfi in the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s Ain-i-Akbari.

Since then, Kulfi has never failed to charm the taste buds of the food lovers in India.

The word ‘Kesar’ in Hindi means saffron, and ‘pista’ is the short name for pistachio. Hence, the saffron and pistachio flavored kulfi got its name – kesar pista kulfi.

It is traditionally made by slow cooking the milk until it reduces to at least half, resulting in a rich and sweet condensed/caramelized goodness. Kulfi, prepared via slow cooking the milk, also renders a unique smooth mouthfeel devoid of ice crystals.

The distinctive feature of the Kulfi is its conical shape. There are special molds available for freezing and shaping kulfi.

Sugar, green cardamom, saffron, rose petals, or nuts are the typical ingredients added to Kulfi.

My early memories of Kulfi are that of an exclusive dessert that will make a well-ordered appearance post-dinner during the summer vacations, rarely homemade.

Ingredients Required

Milk – Full Cream or full-fat milk is best for this kulfi recipe. Avoid using toned or skimmed milk.

Sugar – The granulated white sugar is what I add to my kulfi mixture. Adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste preference.

Saffron (Kesar) – For this kesar pista kulfi recipe, saffron is an essential ingredient. It gives the kulfi a beautiful yellow color and a rich taste.

Pistachio – The ground unsalted pistachio is the secret ingredient that makes my kulfi recipe so successful.

Mawa (Khoya) – To thicken the milk and give it a creamy texture, we add mawa/khoya/evaporated milk in this kulfi recipe. Use unsweetened khova to make kulfi.

Green Cardamom – It gives kulfi a sweet aroma and a slightly spicy taste.

Additional Flavors:

You can experiment with the taste of the kulfi by adding a few of these additional ingredients:

  • dried rose petals
  • sweet mango puree for making mango kulfi
  • melted semi-sweet dark chocolate
  • any kind of sweet berry or fruit puree
  • betel or paan leaves for making paan kulfi

Watch Kulfi Recipe Video

My Tried & True Tips

Always use full-fat or whole cream milk for making kulfi or any other Indian dessert.

Allow the milk to simmer over low heat stir at regular intervals. This slow cooking process turns milk into thick, creamy, caramelized goodness. Like we did for this baked shahi tukra.

Add cardamom powder and saffron while slow-cooking the milk and not towards the end.

Add crumbled mawa (khoya), sugar, and pistachio powder only when milk is reduced to half. This is because adding these ingredients, in the beginning, will never allow milk to thicken.

Before freezing, allow the kulfi mixture to cool down completely at room temperature.

Please note that once frozen, the dessert’s sweetness reduces a notch. Hence, after cooling the kulfi mixture, taste it and, if required, add more sugar.

While unmoulding the kulfi, dip the molds in room temperature water for 10 – 20 seconds to easily remove the kulfi.

More Indian Dessert Recipes

Basundi Recipe

Mango Ice Cream

Mango Shrikhand

Instant Coconut Ladoo

Mint Pineapple Popsicles

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