Malai Kulfi| Creamy Kulfi Without Cornflour

Malai Kulfi is an evergreen classic in the world of frozen delicacies. I’m sure the simple dessert has many fans – I’m definitely one of them!

Today, let me share with you all how to make absolutely divine, creamy and delectable Malai Kulfi at home from scratch. The best part – it is made using natural ingredients, with no cornflour, store-bought cream, condensed milk or other processed ingredients. This is how my mom used to make it back when I was a school-going kid, and things like cornflour and condensed milk weren’t big. It’s such a simple thing to make, to be honest, with just the bare minimum of ingredients.

Delectable Malai Kulfi

It’s raining frozen delights at the Shhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

I am sharing this recipe in association with the Shhhh Cooking Challenge.

The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge is a group of food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every month. The theme for this month, suggested by Pavani of Pavani’s Kitchen, is ‘Frozen Delights’. I’m drooling, looking at the gorgeous Easy Oreo Ice Cream that Pavani has created for the theme. I’m soooo trying it out!

For those of you who are interested, I’ll tell you about how the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge works. Every month, the group members are divided into pairs. Each pair then goes on to exchange two ingredients, unknown to the rest of the group. The pair has to use these ‘secret’ ingredients in creating a recipe that fits the theme of the month. Isn’t that super interesting?

I was paired with Narmadha, the warm and bubbly author of Nams Corner, for the month. She suggested I make a frozen food using ‘cardamom’ and ‘rose essence,’ and here I am with this Malai Kulfi recipe! I gave Narmadha ‘sugar’ and ‘raw mango’ as her secret ingredients, and she made these absolutely brilliant Raw Mango Popsicles using them.

How to make Malai Kulfi

Here is how I make it.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 1 litre full-fat milk
  2. 1/3 cup sugar or to taste
  3. 20 cashewnuts
  4. 3/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  5. 4-5 drops of rose essence (optional)
  6. 5-6 almonds for garnishing (optional)
  7. A generous pinch of saffron threads for garnishing (optional)


1. Take the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place on high flame. Allow the milk to come to a boil, which should take about 5-6 minutes.

2. Add the sugar to the pan. Mix well. Reduce flame to low-medium. Allow the sugar to get completely dissolved in the milk. Taste and adjust sugar if needed.

3. Take the cashewnuts in a small mixer jar. Powder them coarsely.

4. Keeping the flame at low-medium, add the coarsely powdered cashewnuts to the milk, stirring constantly.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Steps 3 and 4

5. Continue to cook the milk at low-medium flame for a good 15-20 minutes or till it is well reduced and thick. Stir intermittently. Cream will form on the sides of the pan – scrape it back into the pan with a spatula. When the milk has reduced more than half of its original volume, switch off the gas.

6. Mix in the cardamom powder.

7. Mix in the rose essence, if using.

8. Allow the milk mixture to cool down completely. Now, transfer to a clean, dry, air-tight freezer box. Place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours, after which the Malai Kulfi will be ready. Cut into slices using a knife and serve immediately, garnished with saffron threads and chopped almonds (if using).

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom right and left: Steps 7 and 8

Tips & Tricks

1. Use full-fat milk for best results. I have used Nandini full-cream milk here.

2. The rose essence is optional, but I would highly recommend using it. I think it elevates the appeal of the Malai Kulfi quite a bit. If you are sceptical about using essence, use a 100% natural brand that does not contain any chemicals.

3. I have used cashewnut powder here to thicken the milk. You may use almond powder or cornflour instead.

4. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use as per personal taste preferences.

5. Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed pan to cook the milk.

6. I have used home-made cardamom powder here. I grind a good handful of cardamom to a fine powder, along with the skins, and store it in an air-tight bottle. I use it as required. You may use store-bought cardamom powder instead, too.

7. You may add some finely chopped almonds to the milk, while it is reducing. I have not done so.

8. Make sure the milk mixture has thickened well and it has reduced more than half of its original volume. Only then will the Malai Kulfi be creamy and delicious and set beautifully.

9. Make sure the milk mixture has completely cooled down before you go about freezing it.

10. I have used a simple, air-tight stainless steel box to freeze the Malai Kulfi. You may use a plastic or Tupperware freezer box instead, or use kulfi moulds.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


34 thoughts on “Malai Kulfi| Creamy Kulfi Without Cornflour

  1. on a hot summery day like this, homemade malai kulfi is too tempting, I love how u have set it in a dish too !


    1. @Johanna G

      Honestly, I have never tried this out with non-dairy milk. I’m not sure if it would offer the creaminess that comes from reducing full-fat dairy milk – that’s the essence of this dessert. You could try out a small batch with non-dairy milk and see, maybe?


  2. Ahhh so the other unnoticeable ingredient was cashew nuts. What a brilliant idea to use cashew nuts to give it that required thickness. Freezing the Mali kulfi in a dabba, reminds me of my mum. She use to do that. Any leftover doodh pak or basundi was frozen and cut into squares as a treat for us.


    1. @Mayurisjikoni

      Thank you so much, Mayuri ji. πŸ™‚ The cashewnuts act as a thickener, at the same time adding loads of flavour to the kulfi.

      Brilliant idea to freeze leftover doodhpak and basundi! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do add almond powder to get creamy rich ice creams or kulfi, but never tried cashew nut powder.. this gives so much creaminess and at the same time must have added so much flavour to kulfi along with with cardamom powder.. wonderful share!!


  4. Love the recipe. It is such a brilliant idea to thicken the milk with cashews. it is so beautiful to see the slices as well.


  5. Malai kulfi looks so creamy and must to have during summer. Love the idea of grinding cashews which adds thickens the kulfi and rose essence which makes it more flavorful.


  6. Malai kulfi looks super tempting Priya, one of my favourite kulfi from childhood. Loved your version by adding cashew nut powder to get thickness, it also gave creamy texture to kulfi.


  7. Malai kulfi looks so creamy rich ! Love hoe you have used cashews to impart thickness and bfkavor to the kulfi.


  8. Malai kulfi is always a delight to have on a hot summer night. Adding rose essence is a new thing that I have learnt today from your recipe. Will add it next time for sure πŸ™‚


  9. Home made Malai kulfi without cornflour look so rich and creamy. I liked the idea of using cashew to get the rich creamy texture. Delicious and tempting dessert for all kulfi lovers.


  10. I am coming with a spoon to dig in directly into that tray of kulfi and I wouldn’t share with anyone… hehe… Super delicious and lovely recipe…


  11. I love this kind of traditional kulfi, it has the unique and natural taste . It looks so creamy and delicious. Liked the idea of setting in a box, I usually set it in moulds.


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