Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kalakand ( Indian Milk Cake )

The Festive season is around the corner. After Janmashtami last week, it’s now time to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, a grand festival in India before Navaratri or Durga Puja comes. As we all know, our festivals can’t be celebrated without sweets. It’s very common practice to offer sweets to Hindu gods and distribute the same among devotees once the puja is done. So for your need, I have come up with the recipe of very popular Indian sweet today. While I am busy planning my son’s 9th birthday, didn’t have enough time to capture pictures of a new post. So thought of sharing this recipe that I tried a few months back and was lying in my draft for some time.

The name of today’s recipe is Kalakand, a delicious Indian dessert, though originated from north India, it has gained popularity across all parts of India.  It’s a milk based sweet dish and rich, soft and crumbly. This traditional dessert is made with Indian Cottage Cheese (Chenna) and solidified milk (Mawa) ). 
There are various methods of preparing Kalakand and some short-cuts too. Though the traditional one is little time-consuming, worth every bit of the effort. To prepare Kalakand from scratch, the  first thing you need to do is to make some Chenna. Then to get a thicker mixture, you would cook Chenna with low flame and allow the mixture to set for a few minutes. Once it’s formed,  you should cut it into squares and garnish with nuts like Pistachios and almonds. If you have never tried a sweet dish, you should definitely give a try to prepare this relatively easier one in this festive season.

Ingredients :

Whole Milk : 9 cups
Lemon juice : of a big lemon, mix with 2 teaspoons of water.
Green Cardamoms : 3, crushed 
Milk powder : 4 tablespoons 
Sugar : 3 to 4 tablespoons or to taste 
Ghee / Clarified Butter : 1 teaspoon 
Pistachios : chopped 3 to 4 tablespoons. 

Method :

1. Boil 4 cups of  milk in a big pan and stir continuously. Once the milk starts boiling, lower the flame. Pour the lemon juice. Stir the milk. Once the milk starts curdling, and it changes into chenna (cottage cheese) and greenish water, remove the pan from heat. Leave the chenna / channa in this condition for 5-7 minutes.

2. Put it over a soft cotton cloth / or a cheese cloth (if you have any). Let all the water drain away. Now put this cloth with the chenna under running cold water for 2-3 minutes. This will help to remove the smell of lemon. Hang the chenna along with the cloth on the kitchen faucet for 30 minutes. Please note that the Chenna shouldn’t get too dry.

3. Take a nonstick pan, add the remaining milk and boil it till the milk reduces to half of its quantity. 

4. Now add the chenna to the milk. Stir it till the mixture thickens. Add the milk powder and keep stirring. Add sugar and crushed cardamoms. Stir it again and cook the mixture until it separates from all the sides of the pan and it forms a lump. 

5. Grease a plate with the ghee / clearified butter. Spread the Kalakand evenly on the plate. Garnish with chopped pistachios or almonds. Refrigerate it for about an hour.

6. Cut the Kalakand into squares and serve. 

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