Mamta's Kitchen

Kulfi Indian Ice-cream - 3, With Paneer Cheese

Kulfi 3, Paneer Ki

Mamta Gupta

Kulfi is the famous Indian ice-cream which has no parallel. It gets its special texture from the small bits of milk-skin, from boiling the milk until it is condensed. Traditional Kulfi-wallas still make it in little earthenware, terracotta cones, with earthenware lids. The lids are sealed with a salty dough. The kulfi is then frozen in old fashioned ice-cream makers that use a mix of salt and ice, to lower the temperature enough to freeze the condensed milk that is kulfi. It is served with Falooda or on its own. This falooda is different from the falooda drink popular in Mumbai. Also see Kulfi 1, Kulfi 2, and Mango Kulfi.


  • 1 1/2 litre full cream milk

  • 1 1/2 litre milk for making paneer (Indian cheese)

  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot flour

  • 1/2 kg sugar or according to taste. Use sweetener for diabetics.

  • 1 tsp. green cardamom powder or illaichi ground

  • 1/2 cup pistachios and almonds

  • A few strands of saffron (optional)

  • A small pinch of salt


  1. Preparing nuts

  2. Soak pistachios and almonds in boiling hot water, leave for 1/2 hour and then remove skins. Hot water loosens the skin and it slips off the nuts easily.

  3. Slice nuts thinly or chop in a nut chopper. Do not put in food processor, it will make the nuts too fine & paste like.

  4. Making Paneer

  5. In another pan, boil 1 1/2 litre of milk.

  6. When boiling, add lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, until the milk curdles and the whey separates.

  7. Drain the water by hanging it in piece of muslin cloth or old handkerchief for 30 minutes or so. This is paneer.

  8. Making Kulfi

  9. Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan. You must keep stirring it. If it 'catches', you have to throw away the whole amount because the smell of burnt milk is rather unpleasant. A heavy bottomed pan or wok works better.

  10. Keep taking off the milk-skin from the bottom and the sides of the wok and letting it mix with the boiling milk.

  11. Mash or grate paneer finely and add to the boiling milk. Continue to boil until the milk is reduced to half, takes 30-60 minutes, depending on how briskly you boil it.

  12. Dissolve arrowroot flour in 2-3 tbsp. cold milk or water and add cook until it becomes thickened, like a thin custard.

  13. Add sugar, cardamom powder and saffron.

  14. Cook for another 20-30 minutes, stirring all the time, until the mix thickens like a custard.

  15. Cool.

  16. Add salt and mix well.

  17. Add almonds and pistachios and mix well.

  18. Freeze in Kulfi moulds or in any airtight container. If you have an ice-cream maker, use that. It will give you a much softer Kulfi. It is traditionally quick frozen in a mix of salt and ice (at low temperature of -20° C). This temperature is difficult to reach in normal home freezer. Kulfi is eaten when it is slightly melting on the outside/edges. So, take out of the freezer 10-20 minutes before serving, less in hot countries. If you don’t have time, either stand the moulds in a bowl of hot water for 10-15 seconds or microwave on full, for no more than 10-15 seconds.

  19. Using a knife, ease each kulfi out onto the plate.

  20. Serve with Falooda or on its own.


  • 1 small carton of double cream can be whisked and folded in the kulfi, before freezing it.

  • For a sugar free version, use sweetener instead of sugar. Add it after the milk has cooled down.

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