Monday 14 April 2014


Kalakand or milkcake is a traditional Indian dessert made from wholemilk, cottage cheese (chena) and sugar mixed with some ground dry fruits such as cashew nuts, pistachios, and green cardamom for added boost. These milkcakes originate in the district of Rajasthan are soft, moist and crumbly in texture. There are two variations of making kalakand one on stove top which is a bit more time consuming as you would be preparing from scratch or you may also create these beauties in the  microwave. It is a very quick hassle-free and easy way of making perfect kalakands in minutes. Works perfect for me atleast! Why don't you give it a go!

All you need (in both the cases) is to allow some time for the cake to set so that it is easy for you to cut into clean slices.  Always use a knife dipped into hot water to get neat slices of kalakand. That way it is easy to cut through and will prevent the crumbs from sticking on to the knife. I usually refrigerate my kalakands at least for 4-5 hours before slicing , overnight is recommended if you have time.
Kalakand is one of my favourite Bengali sweets and yes, for me it even comes after Kolkata Rosogollas. We both (me and the husband) devour this decadent sweet also very popular in Bengal. My 2 year old son is very fond of it.He is a lil foodie you know, just like mummy and daddy :D :D. My daughter who is 3 is just the opposite, not much fond of food though but when it is about these delicious milkcakes she loves them too.

Because of the ease of making instant kalakands in the microwave and being a family favourite I make them quite often during any festivities and celebrations or even potlucks. This time again I made some over the weekend for the Bengali New Year Celebration and thought of sharing the recipe just before Poila Baisakh,( The New Year's Day) with all my valued readers. But my apologies for not being able to get this post out on time. There is soo much happening around the house it is sometimes just too hard to sneak in time for yourself. If not now,make sure you save this recipe for future use. Your guests will be very impressed, and that's a promise!
So let's take  a look at the recipe. And before we do that let me wish all my foodie friends celebrating this time a very happy Puthandu, Bihu, Navreh, Ugandi, Vishu, Baisakhi ,Gudi Padwa, Chaiiti and Cheiraoba, may this new begining bring in good health and happiness into your beautiful lives. And to all my Bengali readers " Shubho Naboborsher anek preeti, subhecha o obhinandan. Notun bochor khub bhalo katuk shokoler" 
Today's recipe is the instant microwave version. I learnt this trick from one of my Aunt's. She uses cottage cheese and condensed milk, whereas I have used ricotta cheese for it's silky and granular texture. Using either in the recipe is absolutely fine. But remember to use only homemade cottage cheese. The cooking time given in this recipe is approximate and may vary depending on the microwave you are using. This is a very easy recipe and you cannot go wrong. If not the first time, some trial and errors over time will give you the perfect result. However, having said that the end result is still edible and a delicious form of rabri.
You will need :
500 grams of Ricotta Cheese
125 grams of Cream Cheese
350 grams of Condensed milk(I used 3/4 of the tin only)- increase or decrease amount as per you liking.
few drops of rose water
Few raisins (soaked in warm water) and cahews (slit from the middle) for decoration.
For the ground powder:
15-20 Pistachios
10-12 Cashews
7-8 Green Cardamon Pods
In a food processor or blender lightly crush the nuts on pulse mode  and set aside.
You will also need:
A deep round or square good size micro proof dish. A tablespoon to stir and mix
Cling  or foil wrap
Some warm water and a sharp knife for slicing.
Step 1: In a micro proof dish mix all cheese, and condensed milk and half of the crushed nuts, sprinkle few drops of rose water mix well into a smooth mixture just as in the picture below. Making sure there are no lumps in the mixture.

Step 2:Slide into your microwave. Mine @ 1000 W was in for 7 mins the first time.
STEP 3: After about 7 Mins the mixture will look some what like the picture below. Without removing the dish give it a good stir and mix well.

Step 4:Set the microwave to about 8 more mins, stoping half way(@4 mins) and stirring, continue to cook for another 4 mins. It should look like this in the picture below. Sprinkle some more ground nuts and mix.
Step 5:Cook for another 7-8 minutes or so in total. Stirring half way in between. It will also release some water but do not worry as it will dry out eventually. This "in- between" break is very important to get the right consistency. 

Step 6: Continue for another 4 - 5 mins. Stiring in between at about 2 mins or so. The mixture should look like this as in the picture below. Creamy, sticky and grainy.
Tips:1. If your cheese mixture is still runny , as cooking time may differ for microwaves, cook for few minutes more (2-3 mins at a time) stopping and stirring in between. Very Important!
Tip 2. If you are close to the desired texture after about step 5 reduce cooking time as in Tip 1.Keep a close eye and make sure the mixture does not dry out too much and crumble.
Step 6:Once your mixture looks like in  the above picture carefully remove from microwave using oven gloves. 
Step 7: Mix gently and push to one side (into a half circle)of the same dish just as in the picture to set. Using a flat knife press the edges to ensure atleast 1/2-1cm thickness. Gently press it down and allow to cool. Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios, cashew and cardamom mixture. Sprinkle some more rose water.
Step 8:Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours. More the merrier.
Step 1: Take some hot water in a glass, and dip a sharp knife. slice the milkcakes into square, decorate with cashews and raisins.
Serve and enjoy this melt in the mouth gourmet dessert with your family and friends!!

If you like this recipe please leave a feedback. For regular updates on more mouthwatering and exclusive recipes  "LIKE" my page on facebook

With deep care

EAT as you LIKE..


01 10