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Kesar Badam Kulfi (Kulfi without condensed milk or milk powder)

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Kesar Badam Kulfi is a rich, creamy and easy kulfi recipe made using the traditional method of simmering milk and adding nuts, sugar and saffron.

3 Kulfi kept on Ice cubes. Along side 3 more kulfi moulds seen

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What is Kulfi?

Kulfi or Qulfi is a frozen dairy dessert originating in the Indian Subcontinent. It is a popular dessert in India and neighbouring countries and is our version of the Ice-Cream. 

It is similar to Ice-cream but is richer and creamier. The traditional kulfi recipes are Malai Kulfi, Pista Kulfi, Kesar Pista, Kesar (Saffron), Mango, Rose, Elaichi (Cardamom) etc. However, now you have many new varieties available. Different fruits and nuts can be added to come up with some unique flavour.

To add to the richer and creamier texture many do add Khoya/Mawa/Milk solids or even milk powder. Kulfi is also made using sweetened condensed milk along with the milk. Any recipe you follow the key here is that the resulting mix should be reduced and creamier. 

How is Kulfi Made

Kulfi is made by reducing milk to half. Nuts and flavours are added to it. The resulting mix is rich in fat and proteins. The mixture is then allowed to cool a bit and then frozen in special kulfi moulds. One can freeze this in normal containers too.

The roadside vendors or the professionals generally freeze this in a mixture of salt and ice which is added to a big matka. The matka helps to insulate from external heat and slows down the melting process.

I remember eating this Kulfis from our roadside vendor, who used to come every evening and serve some nice Ice-Cold malai kulfi. We even had a good kulfi shop nearby where there were dozens of different flavours and it was really difficult to choose. To date whenever I go to my mom’s place I always buy some.

Close up look of Kulfi seen holding in a hand

Recipe process of Kesar Badam Kulfi (or Kulfi)

I make this Kulfi with only milk and have not added any Khoya/Mawa/Milk solids or milk powder or condensed milk. I use full-fat milk and let it simmer on slow stirring frequently. The milk has to reduce in half.

Yes, it takes time and patience, but you can always pair it alongside your other work. The beauty of this method is that it does not need any other ingredients to thicken. The reduced milk has a good nice consistency and can easily set.

Once the milk has reduced to half, I add sugar and flavourings and simmer it for a few more minutes. Then nuts are added and everything is mixed together and allowed to cool. Fill it in moulds and then just wait to let it set.

I like to add Saffron or cardamom as flavouring to this kulfi. I have not added any colour and all the colour is natural and from Saffron. 

3 Kulfi kept on Ice cubes

Varieties or Variations of Kulfi

One can make it plain without any flavours or just cardamom. Generally referred to as Malai Kulfi. Malai Kulfi however would have a slight addition of mava for the rich texture.

Instead of almonds, I like to add pistachio and make it Kesar Pista Kulfi. At times I make a mix of almonds and pistachio to make Kesar Badam Pista Kulfi. One can add cashew or any nuts if you like. Fruit purees are a great addition to this. Commonly used ones are mango, chikoo, strawberry etc.

If one boils sweetened milk along with milk or like milk and sugar together, it will have a caramelized effect and will add to a distinct taste. 

I would say this Kesar Badam Kulfi recipe is one of the easiest kulfi or Ice Cream or Frozen Dessert recipes one can make. With no setting agents as cornflour or milk powder, it can be done with easy ingredients available at home.

If you do not have any dessert at home and have guests coming up and have some 7-8 hours, you can make this easy peasy Kulfi with the ingredients available at home.

3 Kulfi kept on Ice cubes. Along side 3 more kulfi moulds seen

Few more Ice Cream Recipes on my blog

I made this Kulfi last year, but could not post it on time. So this time when Pavani from Pavani’s Kitchen, announced the theme Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts and when Aruna gave me the secret ingredients as saffron and sugar, I immediately decided to add this quick and easy Kesar Badam Kulfi which is made without condensed milk or milk powder. 

As you might be aware for the group Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge we give secret ingredients to our partners. So I gave Aruna Sugar and milk and she made this season’s favourite, Mango Matka Kulfi.

Pavani has a wonderful collection of different Ice Cream flavours on her blog. I would love to try her No-Churn Rose Ice Cream and No-Churn Avocado Ice Cream. Yum yum…

YouTube Channel

3 Kulfi kept on Ice cubes. Along side 3 more kulfi moulds seen

Kesar Badam Kulfi (Kulfi without condensed milk or milk powder)

Kesar Badam Kulfi is a rich, creamy and easy kulfi recipe made using the traditional method of simmering milk and adding nuts, sugar and saffron.
4.89 from 18 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Dessert, Ice Cream, Indian Fasting Recipes, Milk / Condensed Milk / Evaporated Milk / Milk Powder, Spices
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Freezing Time: 6 hours
Servings: 8 Kulfi
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre


  • 1 Litre Full-Fat milk
  • ¼ Cup Sugar – More can be added if you like sweeter
  • A pinch of saffron
  • ¼ Cup of Almond Flakes or Soaked and Peeled Almonds


Preparation of Almonds

  • If using whole almonds, soak them in hot water for 1 hour.
  • Peel the skin and slice them finely.
  • If using almond flakes, crush them slightly.
    Almond Flakes

Making Kulfi

  • In a heavy bottom, pan add milk.
  • Bring it to a boil stirring in between.
  • Once boiled, let it simmer on slow stirring frequently until it reduces to half.
    Boiling and simmering of Milk
  • Add sugar, saffron and simmer for 4-5 minutes more.
    Adding Saffron
  • Add the crushed or sliced almonds to the milk and simmer again for 1-2 minutes.
    Adding of Almonds in Kulfi Mixture
  • Switch off once the milk is reduced and everything mixed together.
    Mixed Kulfi Mixture
  • Let the mixture cool completely.
    Prepared Kulfi mixture
  • Once cooled, fill this in the Kulfi moulds or a container/box.
    Kulfi in kulfi moulds
  • Close and let it freeze completely.
    Kulfi mixture added in Kulfi moulds

Unmolding Kulfi

  • To unmold the kulfi, remove it from the freezer.
    Frozen Kulfi Moulds
  • Run it under hot water for 30-40 seconds or alternatively you can rub it between your hands.
  • If you want to add a lolly stick, Insert it slowly. (This can even be added once the kulfi is half set)
  • The kulfi would come out from the mould. Enjoy.


  • Standard US Size Cups are used.
  • Using Full fat milk is advisable to make kulfi.
  • Use a heavy bottom pan.
  • Do keep on stirring the milk, or else it will stick to the bottom of the pan.
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @cookwithrenu_ad or tag #cookwithrenu_ad
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.
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Recipe Rating

Sasmita Sahoo

Tuesday 18th of May 2021

keshar badam kulfi is one of my fav combo... Your clicks are tempting me to make soon .... WIthout condensed milk it looks so creamy n delicious

Anu Kollon

Monday 17th of May 2021

Kesar Badam Kulfi looks so creamy and mouth-watering. I see a lot of patience and hard work involved in this recipe. By the end of the day, all that matters is great taste and homemade with zero additives.

Jayashree T.Rao

Sunday 16th of May 2021

Kesar Badam Kulfi looks creamy and delicious. I too prefer making only with full fat milk. It gives a richer taste.

Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth

Sunday 16th of May 2021

Kulfi of course made the traditional way tastes way better than the quick fix ones for sure... I am so drooling at your kulfis and wouldn't mind getting one right now... hehe...


Sunday 16th of May 2021

These Kesar badam kulfi without condensed milk looks so rich and creamy. I love kulfi and this is one of my most favourite combo. Would love to try your recipe soon. Royal treat to beat the heat.