Kulfi: Another Saffron Discovery

Kulfi is saffron-pistachio ice cream.  Isn’t that just simply the best concoction for ice cream.  Well, in my book it is!  I can only imagine the creaminess and crunchiness of this beautiful combination of ingredients.

I don’t watch a lot of TV.  I am, as you can very well imagine, obsessed with the Food Network, Cooking Channel and any other food related shows.  I sometimes yell at Anthony Bourdain but that’s just because he can take it….he’s a tough cookie.  The other night, I was watching the food network with one eye while reading my Whole Living Magazine.  Something on the T.V. caught my attention; an Indian Ice Cream Store.  I had never heard of such a place but I realized right away that one of their best sellers was a saffron-pistachio ice cream.  I jumped out of bed and said: “look Matt, it’s like that recipe I have been debating to make from this cookbook!  Isn’t that weird?”  Matt’s answer: “yes dear, great, sounds good, can’t wait to try it”… You know he tunes me out after a while…whatever, I am making that ice cream.

The question is: can a french-canadian girl living in the mid-west successfully make a classic Indian ice cream?

Recipe found in Better Homes and Gardens: America’s Ethnic Cuisines. Great cookbook, lots of interesting recipes.


4 cups whole milk (I always buy 2%…I didn’t want to go back to the store so that’s what I used)

1/3 cup sugar

Dash of saffron (they suggested powdered saffron, all I could find was the treads)

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon

1/4 cup chopped unsalted pistachios

How to:

In a large sauce pan bring milk just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, stirring often.

***note: my milk boiled over 3 times! YES 3 times…I was about to give up, it nearly brought me to tears. (sad but true) So just a word to the wise: stand by your milk.  Keep singing the song: “Stand by your man/milk”…it’ll keep your mind busy while you stir and stir!

Stir in sugar; cook for 2-3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Stir in saffron.  Pour the milk mixture into a bowl.  Let cool; cover and chill for 1 hour.

Ready to chill for 1 hour! You can see the beautiful Saffron treads!

Stir in cream, vanilla and cardamon.  Freeze ice cream mixture in a 1-quart ice cream freezer/maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Stir in pistachios.  Store in freezer.

This is my attempt at an action shot!

As you can tell it is not easy to take a picture of ice cream churning in a maker…but you get the idea!

Ready for the freezer!

***note: the cookbook also gives an easy variation: Omit step 1 (boiling the milk) and substitute 1 3/4 cup half-and-half or light cream for the whole milk.  Stir together ingredients except nuts, and freeze as above.  Stir in nuts.  Maybe I should have done it that way first but evidently I like to torture myself!

I have to tell you; I love this ice cream.  It is creamy but not too rich.  The color is beautiful and the texture is just right.

MY bowl of ice cream

Printer Friendly: Kulfi; saffron-pistachio ice cream

Peace and Kulfi,


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8 thoughts on “Kulfi: Another Saffron Discovery

  1. Wow….just wow…. what a great idea! I love the idea that you used 2% milk – I would have done the same. I love pistachios and that looks amazing! GREAT post!

    • Ann, I am glad to hear you say you would use 2% as well. I am certain the whole milk gives it even more creaminess but I like to use what I have! And it is still delicious. (and less fat!)

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