Desserts & Sweets/ Recipes

Mango Kesar Kulfi

Mango Kesar Kulfi /

I cannot let the summer go by without making my Mango Kesar Kulfi. I’m sure you have your own favourite kulfi recipes, but do try this one. It’s easy and a delightful embodiment of everything that is an Indian mango – sweet, fragrant and indulgent.

How to make a luxe  kulfi 

Traditional kulfi recipes require patiently boiling milk to reduce it to a desired thickness. This is time consuming and tedious. An easier way to make rich creamy kulfi is to boil a combination of milk and light cream. My Mango Kesar Kulfi is made this way and  the texture and mouth-feel is just so much better. Cream has a higher fat content and less water, so you’re unlikely to bite into ice crystals and the kulfi is sweet silk on your tongue. I have shared other kulfi recipes on this site, (Thandai Kulfi, Custard Apple Kulfi) where I’ve used condensed milk instead of sugar for added smoothness. Since mangoes are quite sweet, I’ve skipped the condensed milk and added sugar (by the tablespoon) at the end, after cooking the kulfi mixture, cooling it and adding the mango. This way I prevented my Mango Kesar Kulfi from becoming cloyingly sugary.

Mango Kesar Kulfi /

Kesar-kissed kulfi

Saffron lifts this kulfi to another level. Its aroma and colour complement the flavours of mango, somehow rounding off the taste. With every luscious mouthful, it’s as if the saffron was always a part of the mango; they’re so right together. Just a teeny pinch of saffron makes all the difference.

Salt makes sweet better

If you’ve tried any of my dessert recipes, you’ll know that I always swear by a smidgen of salt in the pudding. This recipe for Mango Kesar Kulfi is no different. The salt is a small yet significant flavour factor. If you want to test this theory, taste your kulfi mixture before and after adding salt, and you’ll know. Salt makes the sweet even nice. I can’t sell it enough. You have to try it and taste that ‘aha!’ factor yourself.

Mango Kesar Kulfi /

I added some chopped mango to my kulfi for an extra punch of fruit. Since there’s no such thing as too much mango!

Mango Kesar Kulfi /

Mango Kesar Kulfi

A silky, saffron-scented, cold mango treat
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 10


  • 300 ml full fat milk
  • 200 ml light cream
  • 250 g pureed fresh, ripe mango
  • ¼ tsp cardamom seeds, powdered
  • Sugar, as needed
  • A small pinch of saffron threads
  • tsp salt
  • 1 mango, diced into small pieces (optional)


  • Pour milk and cream into a large saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the flame and simmer for 10-15 minutes till reduced by a third.
  • Add the saffron, salt and cardamom, mix well and cool.
  • When the mixture has almost lukewarm, stir in the mango pulp and ensure it has mixed well. Taste, and add sugar, a tablespoon at a time till the desired sweetness is reached.
  • Add the diced mango to the mixture and pour the mixture into kulfi moulds. Chill in the freezer for 3-4 hours till fully set. To serve, run a blunt knife around the sides of the moulds and unmould the kulfis.


Time taken to cool the kulfi mixture and freeze the kulfis is not included in the cooking time. 

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