Friday, February 17, 2012

Kalakand - Perfect sweet for celebrations

There was (is?) a bakery/sweet shop in Rajajinagar I block in Bengaluru called Eishwarya sweets, he had an upstairs kitchen where he prepared fresh, delicious sweets and savories. I had tasted kalakand for the first time here with BH. The store has morphed a lot and the last time I saw, it still was on the same street, but looking very different and modernized :-). I also like the kalakand you get at Asha sweets in Malleswaram, Bengaluru (very close to the famous Malleswaram 8th street), it is a narrow, small shop always crowded and has one of the best kalakand I have tasted. Years back during my IISc days, I used to get rasgollas packed in earthen pots and take it home to Mysore for my little nephew. I visited the store with daughter & a friend last summer and fell in love with their delicious Badami haalu (almond milk).

Kalakand is BH's favorite sweet, and we usually end up getting some fresh kalakand along with other goodies every time we visit India. The simplicity of the sweet is in the number of ingredients it uses - just two if you don't count the lemon/lime juice for making the paneer. The process is time consuming but the end result is extremely gratifying. There is not much chance you will miss the consistency like the traditional burfis, so it is a beginner friendly recipe. The milky richness makes it a perfect dessert for any occasion.
So here goes a perfect bite of Kalakand to wish BH many many Happy returns of the day as he turns another year wiser & older. 
What do you need to make Kalakand? 
6 cups whole milk for paneer
6 cups whole milk for the khova
Juice of 1 lemon/lime
1 cup sugar (adjust if you like it more or less sweet)
chopped unsalted pistachio/slivered almonds for garnish (optional - I didn't use it)

How do you make Kalakand? 
Making Paneer:
  • Take 6 cups of milk in a thick bottom pan, bring it to boil.
  • Add the lemon juice and let the milk curdle. 
  • When you see milk & whey separating in the pan, switch off the stove and let it settle for 2 minutes. 
  • Pour the curdled milk into a cheese cloth (I used a new thin white towel) and let the water drain away.
  • Wash the mixture by running water on it to remove the lemony flavor, squeeze the cloth tightly and hang it for about 5 minutes. 
  • Crumble the paneer and keep it aside.

Making Khova:
  • Take 6 cups of milk in a thick bottom pan on medium heat. 
  • Frequently stirring the milk to ensure it doesn't burn, until it reduces to about 1/3rd of the original quantity. 
  • Keep breaking the layers of milk that forms at the top and mix it in. 
  • The process took an hour and half for the quantity I made today. 
Making kalakand:
  • When the khova is ready, add the crumbled paneer and sugar.
  • Frequently stir on low heat until all the water content evaporates. It took 15 minutes for the quantity I made today.
  • Pour into a plate in a thick (atleast an inch) layer and spread it evenly.
  • Garnish with nuts, I didn't do it as we like the pure taste of the milk with no make up.
  • Let it cool completely before cutting into pieces. I made 12 pieces of 2X2X2 inches.

Tips:
  • Use whole milk for the rich taste.
  • If you like the hint of lemon juice in kalakand, skip washing the paneer with water.
  • Do not take short cuts and use store bought paneer in this recipe. The dish gets the tasty glow from fresh paneer. Actually making paneer is a very fulfilling experience and I hit that high note every time I open the cheese cloth and see the perfect ball of paneer staring at me :-), take a look at it below..


3 comments:

NamsVeni Pothas said...

this is a real milk sweet and very good one for every one . nice and sweet recipe.

Manjula said...

yummy, my favorite. I have a quickie version if u r interested, tried it a lot while in US and is as tasty as the from-scratch method. Mix ricota cheese (2lb), condensed milk (14oz) and a stick of butter in a microwave-safe bowl. cook in microwave till done -- manjula

Nagashree said...

Thanks for the short cut Manju, one of my friends makes it that way too. I will try next time.