Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Kalakand for Deepavali


Happy Deepavali to everyone. This is my Diwali dessert and also my entry for the JFI Diwali event. JFI is a very unique community cooking event started by Indira of Mahanadi fame. Mahanadi is an amazing food blog and an inspiration to many. This time Vee of Past, Present & Me another beautiful food blog is the graceful host of this event. So there’s going to be a big Diwali party at her place.
Vee wanted to see a Bong take on Diwali. But my entry is more of a busy-Indian-Mom-Take-on-Diwali. But then, Diwali is much much more Indian than Bengal or any other region and I am a busy Mom, so it fits I guess...
Kalakand is a sweet I loved since my childhood. When I first left the Indian shores for USA, among all of my cherished possessions were at least two packets of Kalakand from Haldiram loaded in my carry bag. It was only last year that my friend R~ showed me to how to make this very easy Kalakand in my microwave and I was hooked. Of course R’s Kalakand always turns out perfect, so thanks to her and again to some unknown brilliant person who adapted this recipe and made it beautifully simple.

What You Need

Sweetened Condensed Milk ~ 1 can
Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese ~ 1 15oz tub
Green Elaichis ~ 8 to 10
Some Pistachios

How I Do It

Grease a flat bottomed microwaveable bowl with little ghee
Pour 1 whole can of condensed milk in the bowl
Stuff the condensed Milk can with Ricotta cheese, the essence is to get 1:1 by volume and add this amount of Ricotta cheese to the bowl. Mix well. Note: For a softer and less sweet version use Condensed Milk and Ricotta in 1:1.5 ratio.
Dry grind the elaichi pods to get elaichi powder, add that to the above mixture.
Mix well and put it in the microwave. Now comes the fun part.
Microwave on HIGH (mine said POWER-100) for 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the mixture so it does not boil over.
Stir the mixture very well and microwave again for 5 minutes. These 5 minutes are pretty crucial as you need to keep peering into your microwave and at any signs of the mixture spilling over, stop – stir – start again. If your microwave is on the counter top good for you, if above your stove, bring out the high heels, it’s party time.
At the end of this you stir again, by this time the liquid would have thickened.
The next 5/6/7 minutes are more important. So what I do is, Microwave for 1 minute, stir, check the consistency and start again. At the end of all stirring and microwaving the consistemcy should be thick & slightly grainy, not totally dry and hard.
When the consistency becomes grainy (should normally happen by end of 15 or 17 minutes) , the mixture has taken on a very very light brown hue and there is still some moisture left, take it out and let it sit just like that .
After about an hour, cut it up into pieces (it might stick a little, don’t worry, shape it with hand if needed) and decorate with pistachios.

I think the timing gets better with trials. The end result is always edible, so even if you don't get it right the first time, give it a second chance.

Since Bongs love their sweet and eat it too, this version is much liked by my family& friends and non-Bong friends too.Many of you might have slightly varying versions of this recipe, let me know your versions too. And for those who are new into cooking, try this out and have a great mithai for Diwali.

Trivia:The name "ricotta" means "cooked twice" in Italian, referring to the second processing of the liquid to produce the cheese


  1. OMG! All your recipes is making me miss home cooked food SOOO badlyy!! :((

    Especially aloo posto. Oh how i love aloo posto with daal and bhaat. And to top it all if theres beguni with it..... yummm!


  2. Lovely recipe ! would love to see pic of the final product :-)

  3. Hi medha,
    Thanks and Have a great Diwali. I love beguni too.

    Hi Krithika,
    Thanks for dropping by and a Happy Diwali to you.The first pic is the end product.
    Intermediate pictures would have helped as it would have given a idea as to when to stop. But my camera battery had conked off, so next time I will take some more pics and edit this post.

  4. Hi Sandeepa, its sure a great way to make Kalakand , and Nice pics,specially with the diya's Kalakand is looking so tempting ..yummy.... looking for ward to more yummy recipes from you .Happy Diwali !!

  5. I have eaten lot of Kalakand in my life, Sandeepa!! Excellent entry!! Happy Diwali!! Save some for Sat!!:))

  6. Hi Sandeepa,

    First time here and I really love it...You have a great blog...I love your photos and your kalakand sounds so easy and delicious. Just a question, can I make this on the stove without the microwave?

    Looking forward to many many more recipes from you!

    Happy Diwali! :-)

  7. Hi mantu,
    Welcome.A very Happy Diwali to you, your little one and rest of the family

    Yeah, even I love Kalakand more than any Bengali sweet. It originated some where in North, is it Alwar, Rajasthan ?
    Have a great Diwali

    Welcome and a very warm Diwali wishes to you too. This recipe has a stove top version too. I have never tried it, but you have the same ingredients. You need to keep stirring the mixture continuously and when it has turned just right pour into a flat bottomed dish,which has been greased lightly.

  8. Party time indeed.:)

    This should be named "easy, breezy Kalakand". The only one who is going to sweat here seems to be the microwave.:) and that makes this delicious looking sweet a perfect party sweetmeat.

    Thanks Sandeepa for sharing with us and also for your lovely comments on my blog.

  9. Ok, I forgive you for not posting a bong take , just because I love anything that doesn't require the stove to be turned on!!

    Happy Diwali and Thanks for participating!!!

  10. wonderful recipe..thnx for sharing...really a gud sweet for the lovely Diwali.

  11. Lovely pic and great recipe too!
    Happy Diwali Sandeepa!

  12. Hello everyone,
    Thanks to all of you for dropping by and making me feel so welcome. I haven't made friends so quickly in real life before.
    A very Happy Diwali to all of you.

  13. Just came to your blog thourgh Mandira's. The Kalakand looks sooo good. I have been craving some, and didn't know how to make it ( the ones in shops in US are not that great). Happy Diwali to you!

  14. Hi Sandeepa,
    Lovely entry for JFI. Wishing you a happy diwali..

  15. Hi Sandeepa! Just saw your message in my post, hope your Diwali was happy too.

  16. Hope you had a nice Diwali, Sandeepa....thx for the comment on my blog.

  17. Hi Sandeepa,

    I recently made kalakhand with the same ingredients. I doubled the amount of riccota cheese to a 2:1 ratio. It sure is a fool proof recipe.

  18. Hi hema,
    that's a nice idea, shall try that next time, did it make the kalakand more soft ?

  19. Looks like you had a wonderful diwali Sandeepa!!!! It looks lovely.... :)

  20. That looks so good and so easy! Just the way I like to cook Indian food...

    Just spotted some proper barri'r ranna recipes. More, more please...

  21. Hi Rooma & Mallika,
    thanks for your comments :)
    yeah sure more bari'r ranna to follow, check back

  22. Hi there,

    Just wanted to tell you that I tried out this Kalakand and it came out super! Thanks for posting such an easy recipe!!


  23. Cool! Kalakand is my favorite too. Have been looking for an easy recipe, what could be easier than this? Will try this soon. Thanks!

  24. Hi Sandeepa, Wow this sounds so easy! Will definitely give it a try. Being an Oriya, my hubby has a big sweet-tooth. I was getting tired makign mitha-dahi and chenna-poda (an Oriya sweet-dish which literally means "burnt cheese"). Will be a welcome relief to have kalakand! Thanks, Pragyan

  25. Hi Sandeepa,
    I tried this recipe yesterday and it turned out great!!!. Thanks a lot for such a easy and tasty recipe.


  26. hey sandeepa,
    the kalakand was absolutely wonderful me & my hubby loved it.great stuff & that to with no effort..not this is wat i call comfort food..

  27. Hey Sandeepa,

    First off, Happy first from a very happy lurker at your blog !

    Second, I will be trying this recipe this puja season for my bong hubby and I had a query.

    Can this be made a week in advance and refrigerated ?


  28. J

    Sine this doesn't take a whole lot of time, a week might not be that good a idea. It will definitely stay good for a week but the taste might go down a bit.

    You can do it a day or two in advance.

  29. Sandeepa,

    Thanks so much for replying. Well, I confess I went ahead and made it today and it turned out very well.

    I wanted it to be a surprise but I better tell him now, coz its so yummy the surprise may be just a few pieces left by the end of the week.

    Thanks for sharing these recipes S. Its such a pleasure to lurk at your blog.


  30. Hi Sandeepa,

    I tried this out today and your directions were almost perfect!! I used paneer instead of ricotta, but, this kalakand is so yummy.
    Thanks!! I will post pictures on my blog when I have a little time.

  31. HI,

    The kalakand came out really well. I'm amazed it took so little time(15 minutes) and was done totally in the microwave.I used a whole 15 oz. tub of ricotta with 1 can of condense milk (instead of 1:1)and ground elaichi. I tried it after an hour, but I think it will taste even better when it settles more. Great recipe!

  32. yummmm...that sounds so delicious and easy!!!

  33. Great Recipe. I was looking for an easy Kalakhand recipe to surprise my wife. And this was it!!


    - Rover

  34. I think , we can have a competition ,though ultimately I will win it anyway . :)

    Thanks for the recipe sandeepadi . I don't know ( as I love to procrastinate ) whether I will be able to start the microwave or not(!!!), but it gave me hope that at least we can have it here ( with a LITTLE [!!!] bit of try ) . :) :)

  35. Hi Sandeepa,

    I have been following your blogs for quite sometime now they are amazing. kalakand has been a big hit with most of the potluck parties out here and many have tried it out, Very nice and simple recipe.

  36. This is a wonderfulr recipe. That it can be made in the microwave is even better.

  37. Have posted my try of this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  38. Hi Sandeepa,
    Kalakand is one of my favorite sweets and the kalakand in US is just not upto the mark. I saw your recipe for kalakand today and tried it out immediately (after a trip to the grocery store)..the kalakand came out beautifully!!!!THANK YOU :)
    Keep blogging!

  39. I made the sweet for MBP :) It came out good,thanks for sharing with us Sandeepa!

  40. Hi,
    Thanks a MILLION for your recipe. I tried it last week and it a a BIG hit ! Everyone love dit..Thanks so much and wish you a very Happy Diwali !

  41. I made 5 batches of this for Diwali. It was a life saver..Thanks much for posting!

  42. I tried it, at first I was skeptic how can this be so easy? My husband loves this sweet so i experimented and it turned out to be GREAT.Thank you so much for sharing.

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  44. Hi dear,

    I have visited here before but never left a comment. You have a beautiful food blog, needless to say. I am revisiting today to let you know I tried your recipe and it turned out great!! Here is a link to where I have posted a picture! Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes with all...

  45. ohhh is the link

    Thanks again!! :)

  46. what is riccota cheese equivalent in india?i'm really tempted to try it...:D

  47. Ricotta cheese has Rennet enzyme, derived from the fluids in camel's stomach. There is supposed to be a 'artificial rennet enzyme' too but the containers never list artificial vs natural.So, be careful with this stuff if you are a staunch vegeterian or fasting

  48. Awesme.....i tried came out just perfect....

  49. I want to thank the blogger very much not only for this post but also for his all previous efforts. I found to be very interesting. I will be coming back to for more information.

  50. Sandeepa,
    I tried kalakand and it was a big hit at home and at work! Thanks for sharing.

  51. Hey,

    all you recipes are great!!
    just wondering is there anything that i can add to the kalakand to make is stick together, it was falling apart a little when it was cold and moulded.
    thanks in advance

  52. Hey Sharmi

    You know what, I think that is because you over did it. Was it on the dry side ? It should be moist and sticky.

    MW's have mind of their own, next time just stop maybe 2 mins early when the mix is still moist. That way it will hold its shape

  53. Hey Sandeepa,

    Thanks a ton!! your recipe was a great hit on our Durga puja pre meetings!! i am soo glad..


  54. Hi Sandeepa,

    Your recipe sounds really great! I'm having some people over this weekend and wanted to make this sweet. How much ricotta cheese and condensed milk do you think I would need to make 60 pieces? Please let me know when you get a chance.


  55. Anon

    As far as I can remember, this made 16-20 pieces.
    Do the math for 60 :-D(3 times of each approx.)
    Also I would suggest if it is your first time do in batches instead of doing all together

  56. Tried the kalakand out, came out really son complimented by saying "it was softer than the kind we buy"

    I used a slightly different proportion
    32 oz ricotta cheese with 1 can condensed milk.
    I cooked it on a stove top, as I am not a confident cook when it comes to using the microwave.
    Turned out really well.
    Thanks for posting the recipe Bong Mom

  57. Just blogged abt this. Thanks for an easy recipe!

  58. Hey! I love to cook but have very lil experience in our bangali ranna, thanks to being spoilt by nani! I don't have a microwave but wanna make this..please recommend how! x

  59. HI, I wanted to know whether I can make it in a broiler. If I cover the cheese and condensed milk mixture and put it in broiler, will it be fine? I do not have a flat microwave proof dish :(

  60. Scintill...

    You can do it on the stove top but it will take some stirring and more time.


    Do you have a Microwave ? What containers do you use for it ? Anything with a flat bottom and raised sides that is MW safe will work. Broiler is not a good idea.
    You can of course do it on stove top.

  61. I tried out the recipe & it came out very nice. Everybody liked it a lot. Thanks for sharing this Kalakand recipe!


  62. planning to make kalakand for the first time and came across your recipe which was posted some time back…….do you still use the same 1:1 ratio for Ricotta and Condensed Milk? Just wondering if you or anyone have made any updates on this recipe recently….….thank you in advance for your response.

    1. It remains same. However you can use little more of ricotta too, say 1.5:1. Would not go more than that.
      You can check the comments on this post to see if anyone did any variation

  63. Thank you so much…the Kalakand came out so good, almost perfect in first trial! I used the 1.5:1 ratio; even managed took some pics….thanks again for sharing the recipe!!!

  64. Hi,
    My mixture seemed pretty thick after 10 mins. Do you think it could be done that quickly?


    1. It is usually done by 15mins for most people. By 10 it does get thicker. After 10 go by steps of 1 min to see you are getting the right texture


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