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I am utterly excited as I have taken these photos with my brand new lens.

Ami made sure there was always a kulfi popsicle in our freezer for me, for an after-school snackette.

The equatorial temperatures soared above 40C in Lagos, Nigeria and on a day like that, a kulfi popsicle was just the ticket.

No tea and biscuits, just something cool, milky and creamy.

From the driveway, I would walk past the papaya trees in our garden, the fruit swollen and ready to be picked right off.

Then into the kitchen, next to the banana trees, the little yellow crescents peeking out from between the emerald green glossy leaves.

We used these bananas to  make milkshakes on Sunday mornings.

I was 8 now, but I still wanted to drink it in my Peter Rabbit glass.

Entering the kitchen, I’d open the freezer and pluck out the tupperware popsicle container, milky-white with cherry-red sticks.

Jazaya, our cook would run it under warm water and slowly the kulfi popsicle would emerge.

The cream melting and oozing down the side, each bite was full of toffee-like flavours and the crunch of almonds and pistachios…

And the fragrance of musky cardamom…

Serve these with a dusting of shattered jade-green pistachios…

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Kulfi: Milky Cardamom Popsicles in the Pakistani Manner

Yield: 10
Author: Shayma Saadat


  • heavy-bottom pan1


  • 1/2 cup almonds, skins removed; unsalted
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled; unsalted
  • 1 liter half-and-half (half whole milk; half whole cream)
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 8-10 green cardamom pods
  • 300 ml condensed milk (not evaporated milk)


  • Grind almonds and pistachios in a blender (not a food processor) by pulsing a few times. At the base- where the blade is- some of the nuts will turn to a flour (powder). This will help thicken the kulfi.
  • Remove cardamom seeds from their pods. Discard pods and crush seeds till they resemble freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside.
  • Place pan on medium heat on the stove. Pour in half-and-half.
  • Separately mix cardamom powder with a tablespoon of the half and half and pour into pot.
  • Add almonds, pistachios and crushed cardamom seeds.
  • As the temperature of the half-and-half rises, start to slowly add condensed milk. You will have to do this by a taste test. I find the optimal amount is 200 ml.
  • Once the mixture starts to steam and bubble, turn the heat to low.
  • A skin will form on top, just keep stirring it in. You will continue to stir for one hour every five minutes till the mixture thickens and reduces by half.
  • Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • Pour slowly into popsicle moulds or shotglasses.
  • Place moulds/glasses in freezer.
  • At the 30 minute mark when the kulfi has started to form, place popsicle sticks in each mould/glass.
  • Freeze overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  • To unmould, dip quickly in warm water.
  • Serve with a scattering of pistachios and almonds.


1. You will need a heavy-bottom pan to prepare this, otherwise the cream and sugar will stick to the base of the pan and burn. I use a 6-qt stockpot like this one.

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  1. Fab post Shayma. Reminds me of my gola & ice creamwalla in India when I was young. Even the shape of the kulfi in ur photos was exactly like the one I used to eat! The photos are looking good:)

  2. Never been a kulfi fan (found the ones being sold in the market unhygenic hence totally avoided them) but reading your post and the colourful sticks I will definitely have a shot at this one 🙂

  3. Just had kulfi this weekend, so refreshing during summer months. I love the look in the shot glasses. Lovely photos as always!

  4. Question, how good a substitute for khoya is condensed milk?
    I make kulfi and kulfa at home during summers but the thought of using condensed milk has never crossed either mine or ammi’s head. It would turn out to be sweeter than the khoya based one me thinks.

    1. @Umair The recipe does not postulate that condensed milk is a substitute for khoya; condensed milk is used as a sweetening agent, in lieu of granulated sugar.

  5. Ahh just what you need on a hot summer day, Shayms-yum-O kulfi! Looks delish as always, love the colorful sticks.

  6. @Asad Lovely- please let me know. And thank you 🙂

    @Maunika Thanks, M. Must have been so delicious- we aren’t allowed to eat kulfi in Lahore off the ‘street’ anymore- perhaps our tummies were more resilient back when we were kids?

    @Kavey Always so kind, thank you.

    @Khurram Well thank you- and thanks for the advice.

    @Gary Thanks, as always. I am so excited about the new camera- it’s the best toy an adult can have.

    @Femke Why did we never talk about this? I can’t believe it.

    @Rabya So true, we don’t eat kulfi from vendors anymore, either. This is just the thing one needs to make at home.

    @Nadia Thanks- I looked all over Toronto for popsicle moulds, but in vain. The shot glasses had to do, and I have seen lots of food bloggers using them.

    @Azita Joon Thank you so much.

    @Umair The recipe does not postulate that condensed milk is a substitute for khoya; condensed milk is used as a sweetening agent, in lieu of granulated sugar.

    @Fati Thanks- come over!

  7. I love that you’ve made them look just like the kulfi-on-a-stick that’s available on almost every corner in Southall! I bet yours taste 10x better though!

  8. Oh, i thought you put it in to get that granulated texture one gets from using either khoya or crumbled barfi in kulfis.
    Btw condensed milk poured over normal ice lollies/popsicles make them, I’m lost for words but the smiley says it all. 🙂

  9. Just the thing for the protracted heat wave underway…delectable Kulfis! Love the great shots; one can virtually feel the cold vapors emitting.

  10. I simply love kulfi , thanks for the recipe .
    The pictures are awesome… feel like having one now but ….in the office … cant even go out to have one

  11. What a delicious looking popsicles! I can’t get enough of ice cream this summer. And my favourite flavour is definitely pistachio. I love the combination of pistachios, almonds and cardamon in your recipe. I’m gonna give it a try.
    Have a nice day!

  12. Shayma, what a fantastic leap forward in terms of imagery! The photos are beautiful and really do justice to your wonderful stories and recipes. So glad to see you’re back. xo

  13. I was thinking of kulfi since morning and now I see your post. You just made me want it even more! Will be making it pretty soon now 🙂
    I love Canon 50mm. It never fails to amaze me every-time I take a picture. Good Luck with your new lens and happy blogging!

  14. This is the best kulfi I have seen so far. Love your pics especially the last one with such pretty colors. I have to make this for the weekend party.
    Looking forward to connect with you and learn more. Ciao.

  15. Awesome girl, just awesome. The pictures are fabulous, the shot glasses endearing, and the kulfi has been rapidly bookmarked. Be still my beating heart … these are whimsical!

  16. Wow Shayma! Those look awesome! My mom often made madka kulfi. All I remember is it was HEAVENLY and imagine it must have been difficult to make. Yours looks amazing and sound much easier.

  17. I love kulfi and when wholefoods stopped selling it, I felt cheated; now I am going to make this becaue, guess what, I love cardamom; I have it in my coffee every day! Love these shots, new lens or not your an inspired photographer!

  18. Oh wow….I can imagine the respite these provided to an 8 year old! The make me long to have some NOW and congrats on your new lens….I’m so looking forward to being the proud owner of s DSLR soon. LOL

  19. Shayma, I made these and fell in love with them! Didn’t look half as pretty as yours, but they tasted darned good!! Thank you my dear girl … xoxo

  20. very nice my recipe is little bit like yours, i am very happy to see true kulfi of Pakistani not the one whipped cream one ,i know much about kulfi because in our restaurant we served it just like your once keep up the good work.

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