Kesar Pista Kulfi

Image of Pistachio Saffron Kulfi - Indian Ice Cream

March has been wonderful this year. My husband and I went on a holiday to the UK. We have family in Aberdeen who joined us in London for a few days before they became perfect hosts in Scotland. The Granite City is breathtaking with its abundance of nature, chilly-wind weather and lung cleansing fresh air. It was a refreshing vacation for the mind and the soul. On arrival in Abu Dhabi, the temperature was slowly rising. Last weeks’ sand-stormish spell was broken with much longed for rain. Unfortunately, this is the sign that summer is right around the corner and it is not long before we will be forced indoors because of the scorching heat.

Right before I left for the holiday, I read about the Indian Food Palooza on Prerna’s blog, Indian Simmer. I had mentally made a note to participate and was toying around with options. If you know me already, I was thinking of dessert. My cousin in Scotland had great success making Kulfi for dessert for a dinner party she had. We planned on making it together during our stay. We were having so much fun that I didn’t remember about it till I came back to Abu Dhabi.

Image of Saffro Pistachio Kulfi  - Indian ice cream

This Indian Food Palooza has been such a great idea. In Prerna’s words, she and her friends Kathy and Barbara came up with “an event where we could motivate people to cook some Indian food and learn a few things about it and maybe along the way can teach us a thing or two as well.” I had bought an ice lolly maker in anticipation of the summer in Abu Dhabi. It made perfect sense to make Kulfi for the Palooza.

Image of Saffro Pistachio Kulfi - Indian ice cream

Kulfi is an Indian, no-whipped version of ice-cream. If you do a search for Kulfi on the web, most food bloggers native to India have a story how they were not allowed to have Kulfi sold by the ice-cream vendors on the street. Cream, rose, cardamom and mango are just a few flavors this dessert comes in. I knew I wanted to make my Kulfi with Pistachios and Saffron.

Image of Saffro Pistachio Kulfi - Indian ice cream

Emerald green pistachios have been a lifelong favorite. I’ve always preferred them raw, shelled and unsalted. Saffron competes with Cinnamon for top spice on my list. The deep red spice deceives as it imparts and infuses a sunshine yellow when sprinkled in lukewarm milk. For a hue lover like me, it is a heady experience every time. I associate the flavor of saffron with luxury. True to all the flavors of these ingredients, this Kesar Pista Kulfi was divine.

Image of Saffron Pistachio Kulfi - Indian ice cream

The original recipe of the Kulfi I made is from the blog, Food for 7 stages of Life. Without further ado, let’s make some Kesar Pista Kulfi.

Kesar Pista Kulfi

Barely Adapted from this recipe.


  • 350 ml or 1 and 2/3 cup Heavy Cream
  • 159 ml or 1 tin Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup Low-Fat Milk
  • 2 tsp Corn starch/Corn flour
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 20 Pistachios, unsalted and raw
  • 20 Almonds, blanched and skinned
  • 3 Cardamon pods
  • 2 tsp Saffron
  • 2 tbsp Lukewarm Low-Fat Milk
  • Coarsely chopped Pistachios to garnish


  • In 2 tablespoons of lukewarm milk, dissolve saffron and let it rest.
  • In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, on a medium flame, add heavy cream, evaporated milk and milk. Keep stirring in between. This will prevent the burning of milk.
  • Pulse the Pistachio and Almonds in a grinder briefly to a sandy texture.
  • Dissolve corn starch in 2 tbsp water.
  • When the milk starts boiling, add this mixture and stir well for 2 minutes.
  • Reduce to a low medium flame .
  • Add sugar and stir well.
  • After 4 minutes, add the nut mixture and stir it well.
  • Let it simmer.
  • When the milk reduces to 3/4 quantity remove from flame and let it cool.
  • Crush cardamon pods with a tsp of sugar in a pestle and mortar.
  • Add cardamon powder, saffron milk and stir well.
  • Allow the milk cream mixture to coom completely.
  • Pour it into ice pop moulds/kulfi moulds and put it in the freezer for 8 hrs or until set.
The original recipe calls for the pistachios to be finely grated. I prefer grinding pistachios and almonds for a nutty bite.
This recipe filled 8 medium sized ice-lollies. I poured the remaining mixture into a glass jar.
Remove frozen kulfi moulds from the freezer 20 minutes before removing.
These Kulfis’ were a feast for my camera too. Take a look.



Enjoy the summer.

Have a good food day.

5 thoughts on “Kesar Pista Kulfi”

  1. I was so close to licking the kulfi off the screen that I nearly rammed my head into the monitor! That kulfi looks so creamy and perfect, it’s the perfect antidote to our desert summer!

    1. Probably the only reason why we tolerate summer, right? 😉 I have yet to make it to the Kulfi man in Meena Bazaar 🙁 Nevertheless, I have this to keep me going till I meet him and his Lassi bar.

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