Kalakand

Kalakand is a milk based sweet which is normally prepared on festive occasions.

It used to be a long process where milk is cooked until it thickens and then the rest of the ingredients get added into it.

The paneer (cottage cheese) too would be home made.

I still prefer to prepare the paneer the previous night. Although generally we put some weight on it to extract all the moisture, when preparing this dish, I avoid doing so to retain the moisture as the end result is a perfect grainy textured Kalakand.

I prefer using milk powder instead of khoya as it saves time and tastes the same while cutting the entire process much shorter as making khoya from scratch is a long process.

You may increase the amount of sugar as per your preference.

Ingredients:

Paneer/cottage cheese – 1 cup grated

Milk Powder – 1 cup

Ghee – 2 table spoons

Brown Sugar – 5 table spoons

Almond slivers – 1 table spoon

Pistachio flakes – 1 table spoon

Cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Milk – 1 cup

Method:

In a heavy bottomed pan, preferably a non stick or ceramic pan, add milk and boil it – stirring occasionally until it thickens and reduces in quantity. This may take about 10-15 minutes.

Add in the grated Paneer and milk powder, mix well so that any lumps that may form disintegrate. Keep sautéing until you get a grainy texture.

Now add ghee followed by the brown sugar and cardamom until the mixture begins to form a ball leaving the sides of the pan.

Grease a small baking dish with some butter and transfer the mixture into the dish.

This may take about 12 – 15 minutes.

Garnish with pistachios and almond slivers

Pat it with the back of a ladle or a turner to smoothen the top and allow it to cool.

Once warm (no longer hot), cut them into square bits and enjoy.

Coconut and rose flavoured milk rolls.

This year during Deepavali , a Festival of Lights, I tried this new recipe which turned out delicious. The roasted desiccated coconut gave a lovely flavour to the roll.The rose syrup and the glazed cherry bits gave the love polish hue to the roll.

Ingredients:

Desiccated Coconut roasted – 1 cup

Milk powder – 1.5 cups

Glazed cherries -5-6 pieces.

Cashew powder – 2 table spoons.

Milk – 1/2 cup

Ghee – 3 table spoons

Rose syrup – 1 spoon.

Method:

I’m a bowl add the milk powder and a spoon of melted ghee and rub the mixture lightly with your finger tips. Add about 2 to 3 table spoons of milk and rub them all together with light finger movements.

Now add the rest of the milk, roasted desiccated coconut and cashew powder and prepare the dough kneading lightly.

Heat a non stick pan and add a spoon of ghee and the dough. Keep moving your hands quickly for 5-6 minutes until the dough begins to form a ball.

Now add in the cherry bits and the rose syrup and mix well.

Take an aluminium foil and apply some ghee to it.

Put the mixture on rhe aluminium foil and try to make a thin roll along with the foil. Tuck the edges and refrigerate it for 40 minutes.

Open the foil and slice the roll into thin slices. The knife may get sticky so wife it every time you slice it in order to get perfect slices. Now lightly press the pistachio slivers over each slice lightly and enjoy them.

Since both the dessicated coconut, milk powder and rose flavour are sweet in nature., I have not used any sugar or sweetener .

If you wish it to be sweeter then you may add in a table spoon of icing sugar.

Sesame milk with sabja/Tukmaria seeds

This is an unique combination of a healthy drink which is not only rich in antioxidants but also nutritious and delicious. Best enjoyed during summer. Since sesame is heat generating in nature adding Tukmaria seeds(also called as Sabja or sweet basil in India) makes it cooling..

Best enjoyed cold/ refrigerated.

Ingredients:

Sesame seeds – 2 table spoons roasted.

Jaggery powder – 2 tablespoons

Cold Milk – 2 cups.

Cardamom pods – 2 . (Peeled and powdered).

Tukmaria/Sabja seed – 2 table spoons.(Soaked in half cup of water).

Method:

In a blender add all the above ingredients Except the Tukmaria/sabja seeds and blend them.

Take a strainer and strain it and pour them in glasses.

Now add a tablespoon each of the Sabja/Tukmaria seeds over each cup and mix it lightly.

The soaked seeds bloat and act as a coolant.

Enjoy it cold or at room temperature.

Dates Basundi

A nutritious guilt free dessert which is sugar free and delicious too..

Ingredients:

Pitted Dates-1/2 cup.

2 .5 cups milk.

Cardamom -1/4 spn powder

Nuts to Garnish.

Method:

Soak the dates in 1/2 cup hot milk for about 2 hours.

Grind it to a smooth paste.

Heat 2 cups of milk in a heavy bottomed pan until it thickens.

Add the dates paste and keep cooking for another 6-7 minutes.Add the cardamom powder and garnish with slivered almonds or nuts of your choice.

Refrigerate and enjoy it cold.