Kalakand is an easy and quick way to whip up a tasty Indian dessert in less time. Made with just a few ingredients, kalakand is very easy to make and tastes delicious! The recipe is made in two parts – first is splitting the milk and preparing the chenna. The second is boiling full fat milk, and reducing it to half. Then we mix the two parts till it turns into a creamy, luscious mix. Set to chill for a few hours and kalakand is ready! I love to serve this with a topping of condensed milk. It’s absolute heaven I tell you.
Kalakand is one of the most popular Indian sweets and is absolutely delicious. These soft, rich and creamy cakes of chhena wrapped in luscious thick rabdi with just the amount of sweetness and a slight crunch of sliced nuts will satiate your taste buds and leave you feeling happy and satisfied. This Kalakand recipe, unlike the traditional elaborated recipe which is long and time taking, is so easy to make and comes together in no time to give you that perfect desi dessert anytime the heart craves something sweet.
If this is your first time trying your hands at making mithai or you’re not very confident, this Kalakand recipe is the perfect way to begin. It is absolutely fool proof and you cannot go wrong with it. Once you make it, you won’t stop. I like to top my Kalakand after setting it for a while, with some condensed milk and it is absolute heaven I tell you!
Ingredients in Kalakand
Kalakand is basically made up of just two ingredients – Milk and Sugar. Rest everything is optional but is highly recommended to get that perfect mithai. Let’s talk about milk, the base of this delight:
Milk is solely the hero of this dish, just like almost all other Indian sweets, and every element of it is constituted of milk. It is extremely important to use full fat milk to get the perfect juicy and spongy chhena and the best, luscious and thick rabdi. Avoid using milk from tetra packs or low fat or skimmed milk as it will affect the texture of your chhena and in turn prevent you from getting the perfect Kalakand.
Tips to Get the Perfect Chhena Every Time
Making the perfect chhena can be a struggle sometimes. The crumbliness and softness of the chhena is a game changer and hence it is extremely important to make the perfect chhena for your Kalakand. The following tips will help you make that perfectly soft and crumbly chhena every single time.
- Always use full fat milk or whole milk to extract the maximum chhena out of the milk and make perfectly soft and spongy rasgullas. Avoid using milk from tetra packs or low fat or skimmed milk as it will affect the spongy texture of your rasgullas.
- Turn off the heat after the milk comes to a boil and then add your acidic ingredient. If the milk doesn’t start curdling, put it back on the stove and let it curdle.
- Add ice cold water or ice cubes to the milk once it has curdled to stop the curdling process. This helps you get the softest chhena ever.
- A perfectly drained chhena is very important. In order to test whether your chhena is perfect or not, smear a little portion of it on a smooth surface such as your kitchen countertop and check the consistency. For the perfect Kalakand we need a slightly crumbly yet soft chhena.
- 1 litre full fat milk – for the chhena
- 1 litre full fat milk – for the rabdi
- 3 tbsp lime juice or white vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 10 – 12 strands of saffron
- Chopped pistachios – for garnish
- Chopped almonds – for garnish
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- In a deep pan, bring 1 litre full fat milk to a boil.
- Stir continuously and make sure the pan is heavy bottomed to prevent the milk from burning.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, add in the lemon juice or white vinegar, one tbsp. at a time.
- Turn the flame off while stirring well in order to split the milk evenly.
- Place the strainer over a big bowl and line it with a clean muslin cloth.
- Pour the curdled milk on the lined strainer and stir to drain the excess liquid.
- Wash the chhena with cold water.
- Pick up and twist the muslin cloth to squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Take out the well-drained chhena in a plate or a flat surface and disintegrate it gently with your fingers.
- Rest it aside.
- In another clean deep pan, bring the other litre of full fat milk to a boil.
- Keep boiling while stirring continuously, scrapping the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Boil the milk till it is reduced to half and attained a thick and creamy texture.
- Once the milk has reduced to the desired consistency, add in the saffron strands.
- Keep stirring continuously and allow the saffron to release its full flavour and colour into the mixture.
- Now, add the sugar and mix well.
- Add in the chhena that we set aside earlier to the reduced milk mixture.
- Mix well and keep stirring in order to avoid burning.
- Once you attain a thick rabdi consistency, take it off the heat.
- Grease a rectangular tray evenly with ghee.
- Transfer the Kalakand mixture on to the tray while it is still hot and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon
- At this point, garnish with chopped pistachios and almonds and a few saffron strands.
- Sprinkle some cardamom powder on top for added flavour.
- Place the tray in the fridge and let it set for at least 3 – 4 hours or more.
- Once completely set, take out and cut into cubes of desired sizes and serve with some condensed milk topping to experience the utmost deliciousness.
Make sure to try this recipe out for yourself and dig into the ultimate rich goodness of this decadent Indian delicacy. You are going to become a fan of this Kalakand.