Desserts/ Ice Cream & Popsicles/ Recipes

Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

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Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

Kulfi is a popular frozen dessert from India and I got to try it for the very first time exactly two years ago when two of my best friends FINALLY got married, after 10 years together. I was so fortunate to be a part of one of their ceremonies and also get to sit back and watch their incredible Indian wedding ceremony and get to try all this amazing Indian food, like butter chicken and kulfi. I had no idea what it was before and as soon as I took one spoonful I was amazed at the flavor and texture.  This post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market.
Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi
Kulfi is traditionally made by slow cooking milk to a thickened caramelized texture – basically a cross between homemade evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. Its denser and creamier than traditional ice cream.

Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

I decided to cheat a little. While I wanted to make a slow cooked milk condensed down to the creamy caramelly texture and flavor of traditional kulfi – the process states continuous stirring so it doesn’t burn. The idea is amazing – but I have a very needy dog, and two needy daughters who like to interrupt constantly ( and their needs and wants almost always come first unless its the 900th snack request of the day from my 4 year old) so I knew standing at the stove stirring non stop for hours wasn’t really doable.

Enter the semi-homemade method. Using canned evaporated milk and canned sweetened condensed.
Traditional Kulfi flavors are cardamom, rosewater, pistachio, mango and saffron. The kulfi I had at my friends wedding was rosewater and pistachio so I wanted to recreate it. I also added in a little cardamom to enhance the flavor just a little more and because I love cardamom in desserts.
Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi
I decided to slowly heat the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk together with 8 cardamom pods and a pinch of salt to slightly offset the super sweetness of the condensed milk. I then let it cool completely to let the pods steep some flavor into the milk mixture. Once cooled I combined that with heavy cream and the rosewater.

Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

Kulfi is traditionally poured into specialty cone shaped molds or a shallow tray to be cut into squares. I didn’t have the molds so anything from an espresso cup, to a dixie cup to a small bowl will work. The Kulfi I had at the wedding was on a big tray and served in small squares. I didn’t know that it was an ice cream like dessert at first since it wasn’t really melty. Since Kulfi is denser than ice cream it takes longer to melt.

Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

Once the kulfi has set up it gets unmolded from the cups, molds or bowls and set on a plate. Garnish with more chopped pistachios – I use roasted and salted since I love salt – and a little pinch of cardamom.  Also, did you know that you can open those barely cracked open pistachio shells by using another shell half? Just insert into the slit and twist and it pops right open. No more bags of barely opened pistachios left in the back of the pantry. At least not in my pantry anymore.

Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi
Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi
Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi


Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi

Yield: 6-12

Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi #LoveBlooms

Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi #LoveBlooms

Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi makes 6-12 servings depending on size of serving.


  • 1 14 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 12 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 whole cardamom pods (From World Market)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp rosewater (From World Market)
  • 1/2 c roasted salted pistachios, chopped, divided (From World Market)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (From World Market)


  • Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cardamom pods and salt in a small saucepan and set over medium heat on the stove. Stirring until well combined and heated but not bubbling. Remove from heat and let cool completely, once cool remove the cardamom pods
  • Whisk in the heavy cream, rosewater and all but 3 tablespoons of the pistachios.
  • Pour into molds, bowls or a shallow pan. Cover in plastic wrap and freeze until very firm - at least 12 hours up to 24.
  • Gently warm the outside of the molds (bowls or pan) with warm water and using thin spatula or knife run it around the edges to loosen ( or to cut squares if in a pan) and invert servings on to a plate or bowl. Sprinkle some of the pistachios and a small bit of the ground cardamom over each serving. Serve immediately.
  • Cardamom, Rosewater and Pistachio Kulfi


    This recipe was inspired by the movie and my good friend’s wedding. To see another recipe inspired by their wedding along with the elephant that was there ( Yes, you read that right, an elephant) check out my post HERE 

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