New Delhi: Kalakand (a.k.a. Indian Milk Cake) is a popular Indian sweet made by reducing milk and sugar. It tastes delicious and has a delicate grainy texture.
- 400 grams sweetened condensed milk or 1 tin or can
- 250 to 300 grams Paneer or 2 cups tightly packed grated or crumbled paneer
- ¾ teaspoon cardamom powder (choti elaichi powder) or 6 to 7 green cardamoms – crushed in a mortar-pestle to a fine powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
- 10 to 12 pistachios (pista)
- 10 to 12 cashews or almonds (Kaju or badam)
- 7 to 8 strands of saffron (Kesar) – optional
- Grease a pan or a tray with some ghee or oil.
- Crush coarsely pistachios, saffron and cashews or almonds in a mortar-pestle. You can also sliver or slice the nuts.
- Grate 250 to 300 grams paneer. You can also crumble the paneer. If the paneer is refrigerated, then I suggest to grate it. If freshly made, then you can crumble it finely. There should be no chunks in the crumble.
Making Kalakand Sweet
- Take 1 tin/can (400 grams) of sweetened condensed milk in a thick bottomed pan or kadai.
- Add the grated or crumbled paneer to the condensed milk. Mix very well.
- I did add some sugar as I felt the sweet taste was less for us. I added 1 tablespoons sugar. You can check the taste and add it accordingly.
- Keep the heat on low or sim and cook this mixture of condensed milk and grated paneer.
- Stir the mixture often so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- The kalakand mixture will start thickening as it simmers and begins to cook.
- When the mixture gets thickened well, looks like one mass and starts leaving the sides of the pan then switch off the heat.
- Keep in mind that the kalakand mixture should have some moisture and should not look dry. It should not have a liquid consistency or be runny.
- It took me 15 minutes on a low heat. Depending on the quality of your pan, pan thickness and size, flame intensity it may take 12 to 16 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add cardamom powder and rose water. Stir very well.
- Now pour the kalakand mixture in the prepared greases pan or tray.
- Shake the pan gently so that the mixture spreads evenly. You can also level with a spoon or spatula.
- Sprinkle coarsely crushed nuts or slivered nuts all over the kalakand.
- Gently press the nuts with a spoon. Cover and allow the kalakand to become warm or cool completely at room temperature. Then keep in the fridge for a couple of hours for it to set.
- After it sets, slice the kalakand and serve. In case if you cannot slice the kalakand, then don’t worry. You can just serve it with a spoon like a halwa. It still tastes delicious.
- Serve kalakand as a sweet or as a dessert. Keep any leftovers in the fridge in an air-tight container. Kalakand keeps well for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.