Kalakand ~ Sweet Milky Flavours with Nirmala Mardia

by on February 15, 2017

A favourite mithai in North India, kalakand was traditionally prepared by curdling milk and cooking it until it thickened. Nirmalaji adds an interesting and healthier twist by the addition of sandesh. As she says, “You can make it whenever you have excess milk. Add fruits and/or nuts to easily create many interesting and attractive variations.”


  • Milk: 2 litre; preferably low fat
  • Yoghurt: 3 tbsp
  • Sugar: ½ cup
  • A pinch of citric acid
  • A few strands of saffron
  • A pinch of cardamom powder
  • Pistachio slivers (optional)


  1. Prepare saffron water by rubbing it in 1 tsp warm milk until the milk turns orange. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 litre of milk in a pan and allow it to thicken. Cook on a high flame and stir continuously so that it thickens without turning red.
  3. Switch off the flame when it is still free-flowing and set this rabdi aside.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 litre milk. As it comes to a boil, add 3 tbsp of yoghurt and a very small pinch of citric acid. Stir.
  5. As soon as the milk curdles, switch off the flame.
  6. Immediately, strain it in a sieve. You will now get soft paneer. (Adding the small pinch of citric acid makes the paneer extra special. Do not waste the strained liquid, says Nirmalaji. Use it to knead dough and prepare soft chapattis).
  7. Mix the paneer and rabdi, mashing them lightly for 2 minutes with the back of a spoon.
  8. Add sugar and mash for another minute.
  9. Decorate with pistachio slivers, dots of saffron water and cardamom powder.
  10. Serve warm or chilled.
  11. This can be served as a mithai at the beginning of meal or as a dessert at the end. It is also a great accompaniment with hot, tava-roasted parathas.

Photo Courtesy: Harmony Magazine

Part-1 of this post is an interview with Nirmala Mardia, a Rajasthani Jain from Chennai.
First published in ‘Heart to Hearth’ – a column in Harmony Celebrate Age, a magazine about silvers.


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