Indian Food Made Easy
Vanessa Courtier

Kulfiis a traditional Indian ice-cream but made without cream and without eggs. At its simplest, it is a blend of reduced milk and sugar, flavoured with green cardamom powder. Restaurants normally add cream to the mixture. I have enriched my basic recipe by adding in some ground almonds and rice flour, but you can make a simpler version by doubling the quantity of milk and leaving out the almonds and flour. It does take a long time to make and does require some loving attention, but if you tend to hover around the kitchen, it’s really easy to make. Just remember that you need to stir the mixture frequently to prevent the milk from catching on the base of the saucepan and burning.


Quantity Ingredient
1 litre full-fat milk
2 tablespoons ground almonds
1 tablespoon rice flour
5-6 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1/3-1/2 teaspoon green cardamom powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons flaked almonds


  1. Heat the milk in a wide, heavy-based pan over a low heat and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and cook gently, stirring often. Place the ground almonds and flour in a small cup and once the milk is warm, stir in a little milk, make a thin paste and stir back into the pan with the sugar. Continue to cook gently as the milk needs to reduce by half – this takes about an hour. If a skin forms on the surface, just stir it back in.
  2. Stir in the cardamom powder to taste. Cool completely, then decant into four kulfimoulds (I also know of it being set in polystyrene cups or normal freezerproof containers). If you have the time, 2 hours after it has been put into the freezer, take it out and give it a good whisk to break up any ice crystals.
  3. I recommend keeping the ice cream in the freezer for about 5-6 hours. Take the moulds out of the freezer 20 minutes before serving. Dip them briefly in hot water to loosen, then turn out onto serving plates. Sprinkle generously with the nuts.
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