• Cardamom ice block (Kulfi) (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

The subcontinent’s favourite ice cream, kulfi is cleansing, cooling and invigorating. 
It is flavoured with beautiful spices from its Persian origins, and can also contain fruit such as mango or banana. 






Skill level

Average: 4.6 (19 votes)

When it is very hot and you need to cool down, 
the energy hit from this frozen dessert will get you moving again.


  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) milk
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) thick (double) cream 
  • 300 g (10½ oz/1 scant cup) condensed milk
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) blanched almonds, ground
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) pistachios, ground
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom 
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/ cup) roasted crushed pistachios, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: overnight

Remove the cardamom seeds from their pods. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the seeds until they resemble freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside. Place a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. 
Add the milk, cream and crushed cardamom seeds. Bring to the boil, then add the condensed milk, stirring constantly. Add the almonds, pistachios and ground cardamom. Once the mixture returns to the boil, reduce the heat to low. Cook gently, stirring every 5 minutes or so, for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by half. A skin will form on top; just keep stirring it in. Remove from the heat and stir in the rosewater. Allow to cool, for 15–20 minutes.

Slowly pour the mixture into ice-block (popsicle/ice lolly) moulds or shot glasses, then place in the freezer.

After about 30 minutes, when the kulfi is starting to set, place popsicle or ice cream sticks in each mould or glass.

Return to the freezer and freeze overnight, or for at least 8 hours; the kulfi will also keep for a few days if making ahead.

To un-mould the kulfi, quickly dip each mould or glass in warm water to loosen them, then turn out onto a small plate. Sprinkle with the roasted crushed pistachios and serve.

Photography by Alan Benson. This recipe and image is from Lands of the Curry Leaf by Peter Kuruvita (Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99)