April 14, 2008

Kalakand..Something Sweet On Vishu! and RCI-Bengal

Happy Vishu!! Vishu dina Ashamsakal...to all my readers. Hope each and every one of you have a prosperous, happy and healthy year ahead.
Thanks for all the input on the template. I have reverted to the old template for now while I work on getting the new one customized to my liking.It feels odd to go back and forth between templates now, but since Blogger has made that part easy, it was just a matter of one click. Now let me see if I can get the new template to look so streamlined.


Last year Vishu fell on a Sunday and I had time to celebrate it with a nadan meal. Hence now when I look back at it, there is a memory made. This year, It falls on a working day so the same level of excitement is missing. Still, anybody visiting my blog should have a visual feast, right? I know I should have a true Keralite dish today of all days, but other preoccupations have been keeping me busy and away from the kitchen. So though I don't have any sadya laid out, there is Kalakand for you to sweeten your tooth on.

Don't you notice that "happy memories" are what how or what we make of an otherwise ordinary day? Birthdays, festivals, anniversaries..all are just days till we take the pains to do something special, maybe cook something,maybe call friends over or maybe even eat out. And isn't it so natural that these memories are indelibly tinged with food? What we ate, where, who made it, how we ate it, did we like it or not..the details may change but the memories for me definitely are all about the place and the food.

My associations with Kalakand are more with Diwali than Vishu, when all our neighbors brought over a plate of delicacies. My mother used to separate them on the basis of their demand in the house and invariably the kalakands, the gulab jamuns and the burfis were the first to go. Some other nondescript sweets would languish unwanted just as the popular ones were fought over. Of these my favorite was the kalakand. Kalakand has a semi-crunchy, incredibly soft and crumbly texture and is really white in color. It's one of the really time intensive Bengali sweets that I really wouldn't be making, if I wasn't out of the country.


This is a microwave version of Kalakand, very easily made with local ingredients. Some enterprising immigrant adapted the recipe for kalakand with ricotta cheese to make this pleasing sweet many years ago and according to the web legends, this recipe has been around for 20 years or more!!
My friend A introduced me to it just last year and now when I searched, there were so many recipes similar to this everywhere. So I am guessing I am late in learning how to make it, and though it is only somewhat near the taste of a real kalakand, it satisfies my sweet urge instantly. Did I mention it is made in a microwave..no long hours of stirring and cooking?:)) No milk getting stuck and burnt and you prying it off. This sweet tastes like a cross between the snow white kalakand and the brown "palgova" that I used to get in the Co-operative milk store in Palayam in Calicut. So if are familiar with either, you will like this.
So Happu Vishu and if you are on you way home to no feast, you could still try making this sweet.
You Will Need:
Powdered milk- 4 tablespoon
1 Tin(14 ounces) Ricotta cheese (whole milk)
Butter- 2 tablespoon
Condensed Milk-1 small can
Cardamom - 5 crushed into powder, discard skin
For Garnish:
Almond -2-3 tablespoon chopped up
Pistachios-2-3 tablespoon chopped up

Preparation:

1. Soften the butter and mix it in with the ricotta cheese, condensed milk and dry milk powder in a microwave safe glass square dish. Use a whisk to smoothen out the lumps and blend it well. Try not to be tempted to lick the condensed milk can clean.(yum!) You might cut your finger on the edge!!
2. Set the microwave for 40% heat or level 4. (Check your microwave manual on how to do it if you still have the manual.) On this setting on the microwave, cook for 10 minutes. Open, stir well, take a taste test..(yum!!) It will still taste like condensed milk but richer.
3.Put it back in for another 5 minutes at the same 40% setting. Open, stir and put it in for 5 minutes at 60% setting. Open, and by now you get the picture...stir again and taste. Now it will take on the flavor of peda or palgova..milk sweets. Add the powdered cardamom and stir it in.
4. Now heat it at 75% for two minutes. You have almost reached the end so go slow and keep checking to see if it is turning brown. It can get burnt very fast now so I prefer to keep it slow and check after every minute. Heat it on full heat for another 1 or 2 minutes till it looks golden brown and its ready. You can cook it a bit longer if you want a more crustier texture to it.As the microwave power and time varies, it may take you a couple of trial and errors before you will get the optimal time taken to get the mix to a stage where the milk solids are starting to come together.
Sprinkle the top with more crushed up almonds and pistachios. Place it the refrigerator to cool. When it has cooled and become firm to the touch, you could cut into easily into any shape and size you like. Stays fresh in the refrigerator for a week or so.
Since this is a Semi-Bengali Dish, I hope its ok if I sent it over RCI-Bengal, hosted by Sandeepa.

37 comments:

Seena said...

Easy recipe, looks beautiful too.. :)

Jyothsna said...

Happy Vishu to you too :) Come over for the sadya...:)

Mythreyee said...

Looks so delicious.

Anita said...

How much were you left with in the end? :D

indosungod said...

Hope you had a good celebration. Kalakand looks delicious, anything with milk and sugar is fine with me, will try this out soon.

Happy cook said...

Happy Vishu to you and family
Love the Kalakand

Kalai said...

Happy Vishu to you and your family, Shaheen! Kalakand looks delicious! :)

Pravs said...

I love the palgova's we get in calicut and i have blogged a similar one too..named it palgova :) Nice pics. Vishu dina ashamsakal to you too !!

Poonam said...

So delicious!

Shankari said...

Happy Vishu! my mouth is watering as I look at your picture!

MR said...

wish u too a vey happy vishu!!
mouth watering recipe !!!

Prajusha said...

Happy vishu to u too..
nowadays iam craving for some sweets..:)will try this soon..

Rachna said...

Happy Vishu to you too.. I looooove kalakand!!!

Sandeepa said...

Happy Vishu Shaheen and thanks for the lovely sweet entry. I have a microwave kalakand version in my blog and as you said it was made for Diwali :) Its definitely a quick, easy way to make it.

BTW do you visit Oak Tree in Edison ? Theres this place called Galaxy (I think) who have awesome kalakand, both the varieties

Sagari said...

kalakand looks sooooo yummyyyyy

lan said...

appetizing picture! happy vishu to you too.

Sumitha said...

Thanks for the wishes Shaheen.Hope you had a lovely day.
How many times we have come across people asking us,on certain ocassions'so whats special today?' referring mainly to the food part of the celebration:)

Cham said...

Happy Vishu To you, and the sweet looks so delicious..

Medhaa said...

so easy and lovely plate. Happy new year to you too.

Anonymous said...

happy vishu to you too. The plate on which Kalakand is kept, looks beautiful. Kalakand also is very very tempting. I've never tasted it before. Is the condensed milk, sweetened or unsweetened? I didn't understand the microwave heat settings that you've mentioned but will sure give it a try.

Rg.

Maya said...

Thts a great looking kalakand, thanx for the microwave recipe..

Anonymous said...

A NICE ONE!has to chk whethr the cheese is availale here.
waitin to comment on ur new template:)
ki

sra said...

And a visual treat it is, indeed! Happy Vishu, Mallugirl!

Mansi Desai said...

I just LOVE kalakand! I made rasgullas for sandeepa, but I'll gladly have a piece of your kalakand:)

Happy Vishu to you too, a bit belated though:)

Revathi said...

Happy Vishu !!

Vani said...

Happy Vishu! Kalakhand looks delicious, Shaheen! Beautifully presented too.

aflailingcook said...

Happy Vishu to you and may this year be filled with sweetness. This recipe seems simple, will try it.
BTW, i'm the one who cried for beefcry when your website was off limits.

Macadamia The Nut said...

Very very Very (belated) happy Vishu!!!!!
*hugs*

And I love love love you for posting a microwavable recipe :D
I'll try it this weekend and tell you how it went
*muah*

Nags said...

my absolute fave recipe! and i didnt know it was this simple. lovely pic too :)

RP said...

I just made this! You won't let people diet, eh? We were all set to start dieting!!! It came out good. Tasted it while it was still warm. Yum! And do you know there are people like me who are expert in licking condensed milk cans without getting the fingers cut? Hmm.. I think I should give you some training on that. :D

Macadamia The Nut said...

I almost burnt it :D but now I know how to adjust the timing to suit my MW. It was deelishyousss!!!!!!

Macadamia The Nut said...

A thank you from me and my pals ;)
http://meat-ingpoint.blogspot.com/2008/04/mallugirls-microwave-kalakand.html

Mallugirl said...

I had my hands full with a house full of flu patients and couldn't get around to replying to ur comments. Thanks for all ur comments and responses..i guess i should post more sweet stuff.:)

aflailingcook said...

Sorry to hear about the flu, hope everyone is fully recovered.
Tried the Kalakand, came out extremely yummy, my wife enjoyed it so thoroughly that I've been requested to make it again. Due to my propensity to burn things, stopped with a softer version. Your instructions were so easy to follow. Thank you! Since i'm a sweet guy, had to add some sugar.
Thanks to you, I have been given more access to the kitchen.

Pearlsofeast said...

Really fantastic kalakand.I also make this , we all love the delightful taste of the milk bars.I don;t even feel like buying it !!!!!!!

Lovely presentation and nice garnishing!!!!!!!!

Hetal said...

Wow..this is so good...kalakand is one of my favorite sweets.

Anonymous said...

Really fantastic KALAKAND. I never tasted this. For this coming Vishu 2009 we are planning to make this.

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Regards
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