Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Milk peda (milk fudge, Doodh peda) - when the weather calls for instant gratification and popular applause

Some days are like that, may be the weather or may be something going on at work or on the home front. You feel like you need a quick pat on the back and a cheer me up. And those are the days when you don't want to engage in long drawn cooking or toil in the kitchen keeping tab of exact measurements, defining consistencies etc. I have those days too, thankfully not often. And when it does happen, I like to try something quick but perks me up immediately. On one such days recently, I made these sweeeeeet and grainy milk pedas also known popularly in India as Doodh (Milk) pedas.

If you are a regular on this blog, you probably know that I generally make 'not so rich' dishes and unless an occasion calls for it, stay away from heavy on butter, sugar or oil recipes. But let me not give you the impression that my life is depraved in any way, because it is not :-). We are all normal  healthy people relishing every meal that I make at home. I have a quirk, while I love to cook and make a huge spread of things whether it is a regular meal at home for 3 or I am entertaining a small group of close family members or a large groups of friends, I do not like to spend a long time on any single dish. I multi task in my kitchen, plan and make lists the previous night, so I am done and out of the kitchen in a matter of a couple of hours at the most. My least favorite thing to do in the kitchen is to keep working on the same dish while doing nothing else but watching the concoction in the vessel to change color or reach a certain consistency, not my cup of tea, I am too impatient for that kind of an activity. I like active engagement where my hands, legs are working along with my brain. This literally makes so many of the time consuming recipes a rarity in my kitchen, but I do have some of my favorite recipes marked for the blog and you will see them in due course. Oh the joys of being a food blogger :-)

Well, the other day I needed to make something to take to my Balvihar classes, we have a bunch of about 40 kids and one family gets some prasada (munchies to eat after the classes) every week. It was my turn and I was looking for something all kids (and parents) would enjoy which also needed to be not juicy so we could distribute it easily without the youngest kids dropping it all over and I suddenly remembered seeing a lot of Peda recipes for Diwali. When you look up doodh pedas, you will get a variety of them made from milk, khoya, paneer, ricotta cheese or milk powder. The day I was supposed to make them, I was a little tired and definitely not in the mood to make anything elaborate. So I chose these quick and easy microwave version of the pedas and a hundred of them were gone as kids and the parents kept coming back for seconds and thirds :-). So if you are looking for something that becomes the star of your party, go ahead and try this out without even spending a half hour on them. The best part, only one vessel and a spatula to clean and both are non sticky :-)

If you are from Karnataka, at some point you would have had an encounter with the state government owned Nandini Milk Diary. When all we had for source of milk was the cow or buffalo around the corner in Mysore, the Nandini booths came up as a refreshing change. Not only did they guarantee a certain level of quality as far as the milk was concerned, the novelty was in the fact that they hugely popularized many milk based drinks including the homely buttermilk (vagaarane majjige) sold in plastic pouches. My BIL, nephew and DD are all huge fans of Nandini milk peda and the cold badam milk. On one of the vacations to India, DD who was all of 8 years at the time found her calling in running down the slopes of the street to the corner Nandini milk booth while her parents or grandma were allowed to watch her only from a distance. She would hand the man in the booth exact change and get her own bottle of chilled badam milk with a straw inserted and come back home jumping and singing :-). I love the Nandini peda and the Kalakand. Unlike the pasty peda you get in some bakeries in India, these are grainy in texture and just melt in the mouth, they do not have an overdose of sugar in them either and ofcourse they are made from milk unlike my version of today.
Depending on the region you hit in India, you get different version, textures, sizes and shapes of these pedas. And there are umpteen flavors of them too from the traditional kesar (saffron) and cardamom to the new age chocolate pedas. Go ahead and try any or as many that appeal to you.

The pedas here are close to (I won't claim they are like Nandini Pedas as mine are not made from fresh milk) the Nandini pedas in texture. I used non fat dry milk and sweetened condensed milk. We didn't need any additional sugar for this peda as both milk sources have sugar in them. So if you are pressed for time, but need to impress your guests, try these under 10 minutes pedas and give a big smile, but don't ask me for the calorie information on them, all I will say is - they are sky high:-)
 
What do you need to make doodh pedas?
Sourced from multiple web sites
Makes about 20 pedas
2 cups dry milk/milk powder
1 - 14Oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tblsp butter
8-12 strands of saffron
2 Tblsp milk to soak saffron in using
1/8 Tsp freshly ground cardamom powder

How do you make doodh peda?
  • Take a microwave safe bowl, add the butter & microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Take the bowl out, give a shake and if the butter is not completely melted, microwave for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the dry milk and using a spatula turn it around to coat with butter. Add the condensed milk and give it a good mix and return to the microwave for another minute.
  • Mix, add soaked saffron along with the milk and return to MW for a minute.
  • You should see the mixture losing the wetness from condensed milk at this point and when you mix it, the mixture feels lighter than when you started.
  • Mix and return to the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute, keep an eye on the bowl from outside and if you see the mixture spilling over the sides of the bowl (it happened to me), switch off and take it out.
  • If you hold a small piece of the mixture, it comes together easily into a ball, add the cardamom powder, mix and pour the mixture into a wide plate (it cools down faster and is easier to handle).
  • Grease your palms with a bit of ghee, gently bring together cooked mixture with fingers for a minute so it gets a smooth surface.
  • Pinch off gooseberry size from the mixture, roll it between palms, shape it into a ball and flatten it slightly.
  • If you plan on garnishing it with nuts or fruits, make a small dent with your thumb on top and add the nuts or dry fruits there. Set the pedas on a plate to dry out a little bit before storing them.
Notes:
  • One batch took me 3 MW cycles of 1 minute each, as each MW is different in power settings, watch the consistency changing and do not let the mixture dry out in the microwave as it makes chewy pedas.
  • If you like chocolate, use cocoa powder (1 Tblsp) along with the dry milk and follow the rest of the process, I would not add saffron to this version though.
  • You can toast and add coarsely ground nuts (almonds, pistachio work great) to the mixture for a crunch in the pedas.
  • Do not over knead or put pressure on the mixture before making balls as it makes the peda chewy.

8 comments:

Wer SAHM said...

yummy sweet to treat at any time...

Monu Teena said...

wow .. nice recipe you have shared.. we use to call it naan khtayaan mostly may be u have heard this name before .. Do visit my blog when time permits. Recipes passion.. love to have your feedback dear.. happy blogging have a nice day !

Anonymous said...

Yum Pedas. Very rich & creamy, extremely tasty, great recipe! Love it.

NamsVeni Pothas said...

wow...Doodh Peda...so easy to prepare and easy and soft to eat mouth melting. very nice sweet . i love Nandini peda also. but your recipe is more healthy and attractive.

Kannada Cuisine said...

Ah! super agi kanta ide.. pretty agi kanisa idi

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Nandhini pedas are really delicious..
These look yummy too..considering the fact that they take only few minutes and almost negligible work...should try them soon

sashi said...

I guess its okay to let the mixture cool a bit and then knead and make balls. Do you let it cool?. When exactly do you knead and make balls?

Nagashree said...

Sashi, do not knead this mixture, it tends to make the peda chewy. As soon as you are able to handle the hot mixture (about a couple of minutes) is when you should start pinching off balls. I spread the mixture in a plate so the temperature came down faster. Hold the ball between palms and gently roll them. Hope this helps.