This delicious cardamom-infused Indian ice cream is about to become a summer staple. Today I’m sharing a recipe for kulfi that is paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free! No need for an ice cream machine either!
I’m giving kulfi, a famous Indian ice cream, a paleo-friendly makeover! And it’s just as good as the original version! You’d never know it was dairy-free or vegan.
What is kulfi? How is this recipe different?
If you’ve never tried kulfi before, it’s a dense and creamy frozen dessert that melts slowly. It’s typically made by reducing milk on the stovetop, which gives the dessert a subtle caramel-like flavor and makes the dessert thick/dense.
Kulfi is typically a dairy-heavy dessert that’s made with milk, condensed milk, milk powder… you get the point, a lot of dairy. Well, this version is made with cashew milk and coconut milk and it’s just as creamy and just as tasty as traditional kulfi! It’s also loaded with nuts and flavored with cardamom and saffron.
So if you have a dairy allergy or if you’re vegan, this is the recipe for you.
(That’s definitely a grapefruit spoon pictured next to my kulfi. I’ve never used that spoon to eat grapefruit. But kulfi? Absolutely.)
So if you’ve never had kulfi before, let me *officially* introduce you two. You’re about to fall in love and have a long and happy life together because let me tell you, kulfi will keep you happy. Kulfi is dependable. It won’t melt into a puddle and get all over the place like regular ice cream. Kulfi is pretty good-looking, and oh, it also happens to be rich and creamy… sounds dreamy, right? Yep. I’m basically obsessed. I’d marry kulfi if I could.
How’s that for an introduction? For kulfi’s full biodata, click here (just kidding… also, you probably only got that joke if you’re Indian…).
A few things to know about this dairy-free kulfi:
- Cashew milk. My recipe calls for it – you can make your own or go with store-bought (silk cashew milk works well).
- No need for an ice cream maker! That’s actually the one appliance I don’t currently own.
- These are traditional kulfi molds BUT I actually use small paper dixie cups! I find them much easier to unmold – you just tear the paper cup right off – so easy and they give the ice cream a “kulfi-like shape.” You can use the ice cream mold of your choice.
Let me know what you think of this vegan kulfi. You’re going to love this tasty frozen dairy-free dessert!
- Add the cashew milk, coconut milk, cardamom and saffron to a pot and bring the mixture to a full boil. Keep an eye on the pot so that it doesn’t boil over.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the almond flour, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and immediately stir in the sweetener and pistachios. Allow the mixture to cool on the stovetop. (I suggest tasting a spoonful of the mixture and adding more sweetener to taste if needed).
- Next, pour the mixture into an ice cream mold and freeze until solid.
- When serving, garnish with crushed pistachios.
- I use small dixie cups as they are easy to unmold and give the ice cream a "kulfi-like shape." You can also use these traditional kulfi molds or the ice cream mold of your choice.
- *If you use sweetened cashew milk then you may want to use less maple syrup/honey.
- I suggest tasting a little spoonful before you freeze the mixture - that way you can adjust the level of sweetness!
This recipe is from my Paleo Indian eBook, South Asian Persuasion with 100+ gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly recipes (just fyi, my cookbook is not vegan… but if you are vegan or even if you’re not, try my paleo jalebi!)