Cool Down with Kulfi

by Karen on Monday, July 25, 2011

Post image for Cool Down with Kulfi

Amazing how scorching hot weather will determine what you eat for every meal, the goal being purely to cool your body down.  I've travelled to India a couple of times and luckily in the winter, however with the comfortable weather comes missing out on some great foods such as kulfi.  Kulfi is a type of Indian ice cream made from sweetened milk that is cooked and stirred constantly until caramelized and thick.  This mixture is then transfered to earthenware pots or matkas, which are insulated with salt and ice.

Kulfi come in all kinds of flavors but common ones include fragrant rose water, saffron and cardamom.  While researching some recipes for kulfi, I stumbled across a couple that took a too-good-to-be-true short cut by using condensed milk and Cool Whip.  I know, I too was skeptical.  And while I always find myself striving for authenticity, the thought of stirring milk over a hot stove seemed to defeat the purpose of making kulfi.

Two great South Asian blogs Show Me the Curry and Indian Simmer used this “Cool Whip method” and I have to say the results were incredible– thick, creamy and decadent.  The addition of cardamom and just the slightest hint of saffron made these popsicles out of this world.  You won't be able to stop eating them!

– 1 14-oz can of condensed milk
– 1 12-oz can of evaporated milk
– 1 16-oz (or 1 pint) of heavy whipping cream
– 1 16-oz tub of Cool Whip
– 1 tbsp of granulated sugar
– seeds from 5-6 cardamom pods
– a pinch of saffron strands
–  1/2 cup of ground nuts, like pistachios, plus more for garnish

In a mortar and pestle grind the cardamom seeds, saffron strands and tablespoon of sugar together until finely ground.  In a separate bowl (preferably one with a spout so it makes it easier to pour into molds), pour in the condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream and whisk together until combined.  Add the Cool Whip and gently whisk just until incorporated.  Add the sugar spice mixture and ground nuts and stir to combine.

On a baking sheet, line up some small plastic cups or use popsicle molds (or you could just freeze a bowl of this stuff and scoop it out).  Fill each cup with the kulfi mix and freeze for about 45 minutes.  At this point you can put popsicle sticks inside and they'll stand upright.

Place the tray back into a freezer and freeze overnight.  Dip the cups into some warm water to loosen the popsicle out or just rub the cups between your hands until it loosens.

Garnish with more ground pistachios…

And eat immediately.



Nelly Rodriguez July 25, 2011 at 6:28 am

Love this combination, they look so creamy and delicious!

foodwanderings July 25, 2011 at 6:30 am

They look so yummy. Super authentic too! Fantastic!

Deana July 25, 2011 at 8:56 am

These look divine! A perfect treat for a hot summer day.

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen July 25, 2011 at 9:26 am

Love Kulfi Karen! Oh my the first picture just wants me pack my bag and hit India 🙂

Karen July 29, 2011 at 9:00 am

Can I join you? 🙂

Valerie July 25, 2011 at 10:29 am

Never had this before but seen it made and they’ve always looked SO delicious to me. This is a recipe I will definitely try! They look beautiful and soooooo so yummy!

Jennifer (Delicieux) July 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Wow, these look fantastic! I’ve never had kulfi before, but can imagine how refreshing it would be on a hot summers day.

Your photos are absolutely stunning too! I love the crushed pistachios sprinkled over the top.

Kankana July 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm

That;s the beat treat to beat the summer heat. Looks so pretty!!

Maureen July 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I was reading this post with Mr Orgasmic over my shoulder and I said, “see?? if I had a popsicle mold I could make these!!”

then I scrolled down

Now I have no excuse!!

These look delicious.

Karen July 29, 2011 at 9:02 am

But molds would be so much easier and more importantly cuter! 😉

deana July 26, 2011 at 5:25 am

Good golly but those look incredible… nothing better than a frozen treat on a stick. Pictures are just perfect!

Amy @ Hungry Hungry Hippos July 27, 2011 at 1:44 am

Yummy! I live in Hyderabad and I love the kulfi available here… such a delicious food!

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen July 28, 2011 at 1:00 am

Cool Whip! Who knew? That’s a great tip. I love the thick consistency of kulfi.

Nadia July 28, 2011 at 5:41 am

Your kulfi looks amazing. Wonderful photos, as always.

My mother-in-law uses cool whip in Pakistani desserts, I asked her why she doesn’t use fresh whipped cream and she said that cool whip tastes better. hehe.

Karen July 29, 2011 at 9:03 am

I was surprised about how frequently Cool Whip was used too but glad to find it works!!

shayma July 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm

really pretty photos- love the cups you’ve used. x shayma

Anita Menon July 29, 2011 at 8:25 am

The photography is extraordinary. Stumbled upon your blog while I was looking for cherry based baked treats. I have bookmarked the cherry clafoutis recipe.

Love the look of the blog and how you have incorporated food from almost all parts of the world.
Kulfi is a very special Indian treat during summers. I have fond memories of eating kulfi during my summer holidays . Thanks for sharing.

Karen July 29, 2011 at 9:03 am

Thanks Anita- and glad you’re enjoying it! Do let us know how the clafoutis turns out when you make it

Kazia Jankowski August 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm

How interesting! I’m glad you were able to find a simplified recipe to one of your favorite treats! This is definitely something I will be trying in the near future.

Joyti August 2, 2011 at 10:21 am

It still looks delicious. Thick and creamy….

aarthi August 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Hai Dear

This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog… You have so many wonderful recipes..I have bookmarked you blog and some recipe from that to try..Please check out my blog.I am having a Giveaway in my blog..Please check it out and partcipate in that..


Susan August 10, 2011 at 4:19 am

I’m emailing this post to friends to make sure that I don’t forget to try to make this for myself. Looks amazing!

Andrea L. Arnold August 18, 2011 at 10:22 am

This is great! I’m going to try this! I love your site!!!

Hatice May 29, 2012 at 7:13 am

This recipe makes me think of my childhood… There was a woman who lived on a corner of a playground where we used to play a lot during my elementary school times…and in the summer when we went playing outside, in front of her door we often bought her home made Kulfi ice creams that she was selling for like 2 euros (in the Netherlands back then, there was the Gulden, so we payed her 1,50 Gulden ) and she gave it in a plastic cup too. With spoon in it. Only she had little pieces of fruit in the milk. When I look at your pictures of this recipe the taste of that ice cream still remains on my tong. I am going to make this one as soon as I get the time for it! Thank you very much for bringing back memories and giving us this cool recipe!

ps: maybe you should try it with little chunks of fruit too! I ensure you, ıt would taste great too! : D

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