Doodh Pak is a delicious, creamy milk based Gujarati sweet with a little rice added to it. It is usually served with puri, sabji, kadhi, gota and rice as a part of the main meal.
What is Doodh Pak?
Doodh in the Hindi or Gujarati language means milk and pak in Gujarati refers to a sweet dish. It is commonly made from milk, a bit of rice, sugar and nuts. These days rose petals and fresh fruits are added to make it more rich.
Difference Between Doodh Pak and Basundi
Doodh Pak is different from Basundi. Rice is not used for basundi and the milk is boiled till it becomes thick. After that fresh fruits, nuts and spices like cardamom, nutmeg are added. Unlike kheer which is thick and more rice is used, for doodh pak we use little rice and its not thick. It can be served hot or chilled.
When Is It made?
Traditionally, doodh pak is made during the Diwali festival especially on Kali Chaudas Day (Naraka Chaturdasi) along with puri, a shaak, rice, kadhi, gota or bhajia. This is offered to our forefathers as its believed that during the Diwali festival we must not forget the departed souls. Furthermore, it said that on this particular day a sweet offering is made from new rice or new beaten rice(poha). Perhaps, that is why we make doodh pak. However, one is not restricted to making this delicious sweet dish only during Diwali, I also make it when guests are invited home for a meal.
Pre Diwali Rush for Me
I just got back from Canada, had to stay for a couple of days in Nairobi to get visa for Bangladesh as my best friend’s son is getting married in December. Preparation for Diwali this year is a mad rush for me trying to get the house spick and span, cooking the goodies, but am not able to keep up with the plans. However, I do make the basic sweet dishes that I usually make as Diwali celebrations last nearly a whole week.
Doodh Pak and Memories
I grew up in a large family and remember my mum handling all the kitchen chores on her own till my uncle got married and my kaki arrived into our household. So no wonder from a very young age, my mum would ask me to help her with chores I could manage. One of them was sitting down on the ‘patlo’ (low stool) and helping her to stir the hot milk for doodh pak. Occasional reminders would be shouted out from the kitchen “keep stirring, don’t burn the milk”. For me that was a serious job, not to be taken lightly.
Remember Doodh Pak was usually made a day before Kali Chaudas as the whole family loved it chilled. Dunking hot puris into chilled doodh pak is bliss. Doodh Pak in our family was not restricted to Diwali. It was also made as birthday treats.
Diwali Goodies that I always make:
- Masala Farsi Puri – spicy fried puri or crackers
- Magas – famous Gujarati Sweet made from Chickpea Flour
- Kansar – Diwali festivities begin with this humble sweet dish
- Googra – another Gujarati speciality. Fried Pastry is filled with nuts and semolina. My all time favorite.
- Some years It is tough a choice between Boondi Laddoo and Mohanthal.
- I make Gur Na Ladwa in remembrance of my mum.
- Date and Nut Cookies to add to the goodie bag I prepare
- Kiddies too need special treats, so I make Coconut Chocolate
- These Saffron Pistachio Muffins too go in the goodie bag.
- 1½ litres full fat milk
- ½ cup evaporated milk/ fresh double cream
- 3 tbsp rice
- 1 tsp ghee
- 10 to 12 almonds
- 12 to 14 pistachios
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ¼ cup nutmeg powder
- ¼ tsp saffron
- 1 tbsp charoli / chironji optional
- ½ to ¾ cup sugar
- Take a tbsp of hot milk and soak the saffron in it.
- Wash the rice and let it soak in the water for about 15 minutes.
- Cut the pistachios and almonds into thin slivers.
- I prefer to slightly roast the charoli.
- Pour the milk into a non stick pan. Let the milk boil over medium heat, and stir it occasionally.
- When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for nearly 10 minutes. Make sure you stir it frequently to avoid getting the milk burnt at the bottom.
- In the meantime, drain out all the water from the rice. Heat the ghee in a small pan and roast the rice in it for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the roasted rice and evaporated milk or cream to the simmering milk. Simmer for a further 15 -20 minutes. Stir the mixture frequently.
- Add sugar and simmer for 5 minutes. By now the milk will have become slightly thick.
- Add cardamom and nutmeg powder, saffron, charoli and the cut almonds and pistachios. Mix well.
- Serve immediately or put it in the fridge to cool.
- Serve with hot puris.
- Some people prefer hot doodh pak and some cold. My family prefers it really cold.
- If you do not want to add evaporated milk or cream, then increase the amount of milk to 2 litres. The cooking time will increase.
- I prefer using full fat milk for this recipe as it makes the doodh pak, nice and thick and rich.
- I used only ½ cup of sugar but if you prefer more sweetness, then add ¾ cup.
Adjust the amount of elachi and nutmeg used according to your taste.