Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kesar Pista Malai Kulfi (Saffron pistachio cream kulfi)

Kesar Pista Malai Kulfi (Saffron pistachio cream kulfi) 

When it comes to traditional desserts I do not believe that a healthy version can do justice to the dish. Now I have always used whole milk to make my kulfis yet I was simply not satisfied till I tried this version. This is one of the reasons that I have not shared the recipe on my blog till now.

I have a book called the 'Classic Cooking of Punjab' by the legendary Jiggs Kalra and needless to say it contains quite a few recipes for kulfi but he adds eggs to his kulfi and since my grandmother is allergic to eggs I am not much in favour of using eggs for my kulfi.

So what I ultimately did was use his recipe as a base and after a short chat with my friend Somnath who is a food enthusiast I finally decided to give the kulfis one last shot at making it perfect for my taste buds. I had an idea of how I wanted it to taste which is smooth creamy silky .

The trick is in using the 'malai' aka extra cream

Its actually one of the simplest desserst that one might try

Makes 7 Kulfi when using the moulds :-

1 litre full cream milk
400ml cream (I used Amul cream which has 25% fat)
80gm sugar which you can change as per taste
1 green cardamom pounded well in a mortar an pestle
Half cup whole pistachios (Cup used holds 220ml liquid)
A fat pinch of saffron
1/2 tsp ghee
Ghee to prepare the kulfi moulds

Start by first blanching the pistachios and then chopping them.

Now one needs to make the rabri for the base of the kulfi.

Keep aside 1/4th cup milk and mix 200ml cream , ghee and the rest of the milk in a heavy bottomed pan (preferably aluminium or iron)

Now reduce this on low heat till it reaches half its content and then add the sugar and 100ml cream and add half the amount of chopped pistachios in the milk while you further reduce it. Keep checking every 7 minutes to 10 minutes and stir it well.

Reduce the milk till it reaches 1/3rd of its original content. In this case you are reducing 1.3 litres milk + cream which means you need to reduce it till it reaches 433ml.

This process of reducing the milk took me 1 hour 45 minutes.

Let the rabri base rest for 15 minutes and then add the saffron an mix well and add the remaining 100ml cream and gentle mix everything.

Use a tiny bit of ghee to grease the moulds and then pour in the kulfi to be frozen. Freeze it till its just about frozen (takes me 2 hours to 3 hours but the time require largely depends on your freezer and the amount of things it is storing when you are freezing the kulfi)  and then de-mould and serve garnished with the remaining chopped pistachios.

Important Note

  1. The ghee used when reducing the milk prevents the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan keeping it smooth and silky. This is a valuable tip I have learnt from my aunt.
  2. The ghee used to grease the moulds helps you easily demould the kulfi .
  3. From my experience with ice-creams freezing it till its just about frozen gives you the most creamy and silky tasting kulfi. Excessive freezing makes it very hard in consistency and prevents you from enjoying the creaminess.  


  1. One of the best ingredient of Indian Restaurant recipes is "Kesar". The use of "Kesar" in "Pista Malai Kulfi" is a great idea! Thanks for sharing, it looks so delicious.