Kalakand With Cottage Cheese

October 27, 2021mayurisjikoni

EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY

THEME: DIWALI DHAMAKA

RECIPE: KALAKAND, WITH COTTAGE CHEESE

Kalakand, with cottage cheese turns out as good as the one with paneer. Moist, soft, delectable barfi, perfect for Diwali. And the sweet treat comes together within 20-25 minutes. It is allowed to set for 2-3 hours and it is ready to be enjoyed with friends and family.

CAN I MAKE IT AHEAD?

Yes you can. Make sure you store it in an airtight container and leave it in the fridge. I promise you it stays moist for over a week.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COTTAGE CHEESE AND PANEER?

While in India we often call paneer as cottage cheese in English, it is not nearly the same. While paneer consistency can depend on how long it is pressed or hung for the whey to drain out, cottage cheese contains a fair amount of liquid.

Also cottage cheese may contain some salt while paneer does not.

However, both are made in the same way. Hot milk is curdled by adding lemon or vinegar.

WHY DID I USE COTTAGE CHEESE?

For a very long time, I’ve wanted to use it to prepare an Indian sweet. The opportunity arose with the Diwali Dhamaka theme. I’ve used artisan type 2% cottage cheese which means that the curd pieces were not only larger but it contains a bit of cream.

I wanted the cottage cheese to be creamy and simply pressed the large curd pieces with a fork to break them up a bit. Hubby liked the bite the cottage cheese added.

DID THE SALT IN COTTAGE CHEESE BOTHER ME?

Not at all. Anyway, I have a habit of adding a generous pinch of salt whenever I can to sweets, desserts that I make. It simply helps to balance the taste.

CAN I REPLACE COTTAGE CHEESE IN THIS RECIPE?

By all means you can. Replace it with crumbled paneer or ricotta cheese. Paneer and ricotta cheese will cut down the cooking time by about 5 -10 minutes.

IS KALAKAND AND MILK CAKE THE SAME?

Nowadays both are interchangeable. Many say both are the same. However, the traditional method of making milk cake, maw mishri or qalaqand as it is called was so different many years ago.

HISTORY ABOUT KALAKAND

It is believed that the pioneer of the traditional Alwar ka mawa or Alwar Milk Cake was Baba Thakur Das. Alwar, at the foothills of the Aravalli Ranges, Rajasthan was much greener than other surrounding areas and a milk rich area. Baba Thakur Dasji came to India from Pakistan during the partition. He was a halwai (sweet maker) in Pakistan and was sent to Alwar. He made the famous Punjabi sweet doodha barfi.

THE PIONEER

Fortunately for us, one day while the milk was boiling it curdled.  Baba Thakur Dasji allowed it to thicken and filled the thickened sweet in a mould. Afterwards, when it was opened, it emerged with a delicious brown centre. When people asked Babaji what it was, he said, ‘ yehi to kala hai’, meaning that is the skill. In conclusion, from that time onward the sweet was called Kalakand.”

Traditionally, full fat milk was boiled with alum till it was reduced to a solid mass. However, this took hours to prepare and was hard work. But, these days kalakand is made with paneer, reducing the cooking time considerably.

Also the typical brown centre is not present in the quick method of making kalakand.

A BIT ABOUT THE GROUP:

In brief, every month a new theme is chosen by members. Furthermore, the participants are paired up. In turn, they give each other 2 secret ingredients to use in their recipe which is prepared fitting the theme.

As soon as their dish is ready, the photo is shared on our Facebook group. Afterwards, the others try and guess the secret ingredients. Towards the end of the month the recipe is shared on the group. Furthermore, this way members get to know each other and interact with each other.

 

THIS MONTH’S THEME

This Month’s Theme, DIWALI DHAMAKA is what we call the Admins Theme. Renu who blogs at Cook With Renu and I manage this group. For the theme Renu has prepared  versatile Easy Milk Powder Chocolate Ladoo. One can add any flavouring of their choice to this basic milk powder ladoo recipe.

 

MY PARTNER

This month I have the opportunity to pair up with Jayashree who blogs at Evergreen Dishes. I really wish I had my sev maker with me so that I could try out her Palak Sev Recipe. However, have book marked it. I explained to her that the present place I’m staying at doesn’t have any Indian Grocery Store near by and also I don’t feel comfortable deep frying. So based on that she suggested that I use saffron and cardamom. Immediately I thought of making kalakand, which by the way is my daughter’s all time favourite.

In fact, Jayashree indicated that she may want to make a sweet dish. Accordingly, I suggested that she uses ghee and jaggery. With those two ingredients she has prepared a different, delish Date Payasam.

 

SOME MORE DIWALI RECIPES:

CHANDRAKANTI PITHA
Chandrakanti Pitha is a delicious dessert which is traditionally made in the Ganjam district of Odisha. Made from soaked moong dal and rice batter, the outer part is crispy and the inside soft and not too sweet. It is usually prepared during Diwali.
Check out this recipe
GOOGRAS/ GUJIYAS
Googra/ Gujiya is a sweet fried pastry that is must have during Diwali. The semolina, nut filling and flaky pastry makes it a delectable treat.
Check out this recipe
SEV MUMRA
Sev Mumra is a crispy, crunchy savoury Indian Snack that can be stored for a long period. Sev is deep fried and the rice puff is roasted.
Check out this recipe
ZUCCHINI HALWA - VEGAN
Zucchini Halwa is dairy free, melt in the mouth, flavorful, aromatic halwa cooked in the Indian style. If you are a fan of doodhi ka halwa or bottle gourd halwa then you'll surely love this one. 
Check out this recipe
MEETHI SEV/ SWEET VERMICELLI
Meethi Sev or Sweet Vermicelli is a delectable sweet dish that gets ready literally within five minutes. Easy to prepare, add flavours and nuts of yoru choice.
Check out this recipe
QUINOA LAPSI
Quinoa Lapsi is a gluten free version of the traditional Gujarati sweet dish, lapsi. It is not only rich in protein but healthy with the addition of nuts, dried fruits and jaggery. This lapsi is totally suitable for those who follow a gluten free diet 
Check out this recipe
SHRIKHAND - GUJARATI STYLE
Shrikhand is a creamy, delicious yogurt based Gujarati sweet dish. Nuts and spices add an exotic flavour. It is usually served with hot puris.
Check out this recipe
GUR NA LADWA (CHURMA LADDOO)
Gur Na Ladwa /Churma Laddoo  is a common sweet made during Diwali by most Patel homes. Made from wheat flour, ghee, milk with spices and nuts added to the mixture. These delectable, melt in the mouth laddoos are made either with jaggery or sugar. 
Check out this recipe
PURAN POLI/ GHARI ROTLI
Puran Poli/ Ghari Rotli is an Indian Flatbread filled with sweetened cooked lentils and spices. It is usually prepared during festivals and special occasions. 
Check out this recipe
BAKED FARSI PURI/ MATHRI
Baked Farsi Puri/ Mathri is a healthy way to enjoy the famous Indian fried Snack. Spicy, crispy and a gult free snack.
Check out this recipe
FRESH COCONUT BARFI/ KOPRA PAAK
Moist, soft, delectable fresh coconut barfi that is made from freshly grated coconut, sugar, milk and khoya.
Check out this recipe
HOMEMADE BOUNTY CHOCOLATE
Homemade Bounty Chocolate, so easy to make, absolutely delicious. Maple Syrup and Vanilla flavoured soft moist coconut coated with dark or semi sweet chocolate.
 
Check out this recipe

 

INGREDIENTS REQUIRED FOR KALAKAND, WITH COTTAGE CHEESE

Cottage Cheese – preferably 2% or 4% fat ones.

Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1 can or about 300ml.

Milk Powder – any. I used full fat milk powder. It is also known as dried milk.

Ghee – clarified butter. If you don’t get ghee then use unsalted butter.

Nuts – chopped, of your choice to add on top. I have used almonds and pistachios.

Cardamom Powder – add according to your taste.

Saffron – to add some to the kalakand and a few strands on top.

Edible Rose Petals – optional.

 

CHECK OUT THE STEP BY STEP VIDEO

 

 

 

 

KALAKAND, WITH COTTAGE CHEESE

mayurisjikoni
Kalakand, with cottage cheese turns out as good as the one with paneer. Moist, soft, delectable barfi, perfect for Diwali.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
SETTING TIME: 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert, Indian dessert, Indian Sweet
Cuisine Diwali Food, Indian
Servings 10 PIECES

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g 2%-4% cottage cheese
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk 300ml
  • 3 tbsp milk powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped almonds and pistachios
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • tsp saffron
  • 1 tbsp ghee

Instructions
 

  • Grease a small tray or steel plate with little ghee and keep on the side till required. You can line it with parchment paper if you wish.
  • Using a fork or a masher, break up the big pieces of cottage cheese.
  • Add cottage cheese, milk powder and sweetened condensed milk to a thick based saucepan.
  • Put the saucepan on medium heat and allow the mixture to become hot.
  • As soon as it becomes hot, stir if frequently so that it does not stick and burn at the bottom of the pan.
  • Keep stirring the mixture frequently till it becomes thick.
  • Add ghee and mix. Keep stirring all the time when it becomes thick. This takes about 20 -25 minutes.
  • Add cardamom powder and mix. Keep stirring the mixture till it comes away from the pan.
  • Add saffron and mix. Kalakand mixture does not form into a ball like normal barfi.
  • When you see that the mixture is coming away from the pan and has become thick, kalakand is ready.
  • Add the kalakand mixture to the greased tray. It should be at least 1 inch thick. With a spatula, smoothen the top.
  • Garnish the top with the chopped nuts, rose petals and a few saffron strands. Press down the garnish gently with a spatula or spoon.
  • Allow the kalakand to set for at least 2-3 hours. I allowed it to set in the fridge.
  • Cut the kalakand into the desired size using a sharp knife. You will get 10-14 pieces depending on the size.
  • Enjoy chilled Kalakand with friends and family.

Notes

  • Kalakand stays fresh in the fridge for a week. Store in an airtight container.
  • Any left overs must be stored in the fridge.
  • Replace the cottage cheese with crumbled paneer or ricotta cheese.
  • Add nuts of your choice.
  • Add cardamom powder according to your taste.
Keyword Cottage Cheese Kalakand, easy kalakand recipe, kalakand recipe

PIN FOR LATER:

A little request:

  • If you do try this recipe then please either
  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  • tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962
 

25 Comments

  • PANEER ALMOND COCONUT BURFI – Preethi's Cuisine

    October 31, 2021 at 4:39 am

    […] suggested by our dear Admins Mayuri Patel and Renu is Diwali Dhamaka,. Do check the lip smacking Kalakand with Cottage Cheese by Mayuri Patel. You should check her space for many amazing recipes .My partner this month is Renu […]

  • Sujata Roy

    November 4, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    5 stars
    Kalakand with cottage cheese sounds interesting. Its a great help for those who live abroad and unable to get fresh paneer or chhena. I always use fresh homemade paneer. But now I would love to try with cottage cheese. Slightly salted cottage cheese will perfectly balance the sweetness. Loved your presentation Mayuri and I can imagine the divine taste of these Kalakand.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 8, 2021 at 8:27 pm

      Thank you so much Sujata. Next time, will make the paneer at home and make the kalakand. With cottage cheese, it was an advantage as the kitchen in the rented place has limitations.

  • Shridhar Preeti

    November 9, 2021 at 12:44 am

    5 stars
    Mayuri, the kalakand looks so appealing. Loved reading about the history of kalakand. I had stayed in Alwar for a few years and yes, the kalakand also known as Milk Cake from Alwar is to die for. We all , at home wanted to have the darkest part.
    This easy method of yours using cottage cheese is a boon in today’s fast pace life.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 9, 2021 at 6:12 pm

      Thank you so much Preeti. Zduring my schoolin in Mt. Abu I’ve had a fair amount of kalakand.. and loved it. Soft, and crumbly and succulent.

  • Shobha Keshwani

    November 11, 2021 at 4:02 am

    5 stars
    Loved your recipe of kalakand. I make the easy microwave version. I am going to make it for hubby dear after some gap as we just had so many sweets during Diwali.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 11, 2021 at 11:55 am

      Thanks Shobha, next on the list is to try making it in the microwave.

  • Preethicuisine

    November 12, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    5 stars
    Kalakand looks so rich and Delish. This is one of my most favourite sweet. It is so irresistible that I can’t stop myself from eating . Would love to try your version with cottage cheese. A royal treat for any festive occasion.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 13, 2021 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you so much Preethi, it is my daughter’s favourite too. Here the cottage cheese is with a bit of cream so the end result was a soft and moist kalakand. So do try the recipe.

  • kalyani

    November 13, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    5 stars
    I am totally partial towards milk based sweets, esp the fudge look alikes; this kalakand with paneer looks sooooo festive, and delicious, and yes, more than perfect 💕!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2021 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks Kalyani, as I mentioned in the post, the cottage cheese is a bit different from paneer. But yes, can be made with paneer too.

  • Sasmita Sahoo

    November 15, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Kalakand is my family’s most fav sweet. Whenever any celebration this is a must in the list………
    These are so moist and delectable sweets one must try. You have prepared a perfect treat for Diwali.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2021 at 8:52 pm

      Totally agree with you Sasmita, kalakand is moist and delicious.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    November 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    5 stars
    Kalakand looks super delicious and inviting. Liked the way you used cottage cheese and loved kalakand texture a lot. My brother always bring this, whenever he visit my place. Definitely will try your version soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2021 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you so much Aruna. When I’m in Bangalore, I sometimes buy from the shops.

  • Renu

    November 15, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    5 stars
    A good way to make kalakand using cottage cheese, we get cottage cheese easily but not paneer. You are right they are different and cottage cheese is more watery. Thanks for the recipe, kalakand looks delectable.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2021 at 8:50 pm

      Thank you so much Renu, to reduce the cooking time, you can drain out the water by pressing cottage cheese in a cheese cloth like we do for paneer. I didn’t do that as mine had a bit of cream.

  • Anu Kollon

    November 15, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    I love Kalakand and never dared to make them at home because of the long cooking process. The use of cottage cheese makes it so easy to make. Loved this recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you Anu, and using sweetened condensed milk reduces the cooking time. Try it.

  • Bachhav Poonam

    November 15, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    5 stars
    I love how creamy rich your kaland looks with a perfect grainy texture. I make kalakamd with homemade paneer and reduced milk ..I like your quick version with condensed milk.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you Poonam. I make the chocolate version by reducing milk and using paneer. Just wanted to try out the quicker version and it turned out good.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    November 16, 2021 at 5:13 am

    5 stars
    Kalakand with cottage cheese is an all-time favourite. It makes a good festive treat. Yours looks so good and festive.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree.

  • Seema Sriram

    November 18, 2021 at 12:40 am

    5 stars
    Among the Indian sweets Kalakand is the one I usually buy rather than make. Your recipe here feels so simple I will hereafter make it. I am sure it tastes wonderful too.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      Thank you so much Seema, please try the recipe. Can easily replace the cottage cheese with paneer.

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