Kalakand

Kalakand

Kalakand

Course: DessertsCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

30

minutes
Setting time

2 to 3

hours

Kalakand is a traditional Indian sweet dish made from Milk and Chena or Paneer (cottage cheese).  It is one of the most popular desserts in the entire Indian sub-continent. Kalakand being one of my favorite sweet dishes thought of sharing it with you on the auspicious occasion of Rakhi Purnima.

This is a very simple and easy recipe with only few ingredients.  I have provided a ‘from scratch version’ of this recipe here. But I have also included a ‘shortcut version’ in the ‘Tips’ section.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ litres full cream Milk

  • 3 tbsp Lemon juice/white Vinegar

  • 1  medium sized cup Sugar or to taste

  • ½ tsp Cardamom powder

  • 2 tsp Ghee

  • 1 tsp of Rose water (optional)

  • Chopped nuts to garnish (Cashew, Almonds, Pistachios, etc)

Directions

  • Take 1 litre of milk in a heavy bottom pan.  Bring it to boil.
  • Once it comes to boil, reduce the flame to low. Add Lemon juice or Vinegar and keep stirring till the milk curdles. Remove from flame and drain the liquid (Whey or Dahi ka paani) using a strainer or a piece of muslin/cotton cloth to extract the Chena/Paneer.
  • Rinse off the Chena with water to remove any sourness acquired due to lemon or vinegar.
  • Squeeze off the excess Whey and keep the Chena hanging for 30 minutes to drain off the remaining Whey, if any.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the Chena from the cloth and crumble it into tiny rough pieces. Keep it aside.
  • Now take the remaining 1 ½ litres of milk in another heavy bottom vessel and place it over low to medium low flames.
  • Bring the milk to boil and keep the flames to low. Keep stirring at regular intervals, to prevent sticking at the bottom. The milk has to thicken and reduce to half of its original volume. This part takes a little time and patience.
  • Now add the crumbled Chena to the thickened milk and mix thoroughly.
  • Add Cardamom powder and continue stirring the mixture constantly for 15 to 20 minutes or until it gets really thick.
  • Add Sugar and Ghee. Keep stirring and mixing. Once the sugar melts, the mixture would become little thin. Add Rose water and stir.
  • Keep cooking on low flames until the mixture gets more thickened. Stir constantly to prevent burning.  Cook the mixture until it starts leaving the sides of the pan and forms a thick mass/lump which can hold shape once set. Remove from flames.
  • Grease an inch thick pan with Ghee and pour the mixture. Level the top and the sides with a spatula.
  • Garnish with chopped nuts and slightly press the nuts with the spatula into the mixture.
  • Leave the mixture to set and let it cool down completely for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Cut it into small cubes and your delicious, moist, soft, grainy authentic Kalakand is ready to be served.

TIPS

  • You can even refrigerate the Kalakand in an airtight container for few days.
  • For an instant version of Kalakand you can use 150 to 200 gms of fresh Paneer from market and crumble it.
  • To reduce the time and effort you can even use condensed milk and milk powder.  In Step 6 instead of fresh milk use 1 tin of condensed milk (400 gms) and 2 tsp of milk powder and follow the remaining steps as above. The time required to thicken the mixture will be much less and instant Kalakand will be ready in no time. But personally I like making everything from scratch and hence have shared the above.
  • Adding Rose water is absolutely optional.  I add it for an enriched essence.

Prepare it yourself, savour it and do post me your comments and feedbacks.  Happy Rakhsha Bandhan to all!!!

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