India has a very diverse cuisine. While some dishes stay restricted to a certain region or state, there are others which gets wildly popular and manage to win everyone’s heart. Kalakand is one such sweet preparation, which even though originated in North India, has somehow managed its way to every part of the country making it’s appearance in almost every festival. Prepared with sweetened, solidified milk(khoya) and Indian cottage cheese(paneer), these soft crumbly bite size squares happen to be one of the most popular Indian sweet treats.
The preparation of khoya calls for hard-core labor, long hours of standing by the stove, stirring gallons of milk with sugar until it gets thick and creamy. I have seen my mom doing it. It used to make the entire house smell wonderful and as much as worth the effort it is, I think it’s ok to just grab it readymade from the shop. It’s very easily available in an Indian sweet shop or any grocery store as well.
There are various versions of homemade kalakand. While some prefer to use sweetened, solidified milk(khoya), others like to use condensed milk. The whole preparation can be either done on a stovetop or in a microwave(which is the easier way out). I am not denying the fact that the traditional method still rocks. It gives the best texture and the perfect softness, but the easy method is not that bad as well!
So, we’ll start by making some fresh paneer. All you need is whole milk and something acidic, like lemon juice or vinegar, plus some free time in hand to stir the milk as it comes to a boil. You can however omit this step completely by taking the short route, like buying paneer from any Indian store or replacing paneer with ricotta cheese. I preferred to use fresh paneer.
And while you are in a mood to indulge, add some white chocolate in it too. Celebrate autumn! The combination of white chocolate with condensed milk gives it a very rich taste and the texture is softer than the usual kalakand.
As much as I love colors, it was fun to omit it for once and enjoy the shades of white. Thanks to Simon for the new photography and styling event that she started. I don’t think I would have otherwise pushed myself to take up the challenge and photograph all white! It was challenging and fun at the same time.