Friday, October 4, 2013

Kesar Kalakand With Navratri Wishes


Navaratri starts tomorrow. Nine days of fun and festive mood. Navratri is such an important festival in Indian culture. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or Dussehra.

Gujratris perform garba and dandiya these days where as bengalis have thier traditional durga puja. Both have their own importance and charm. I have studied in Gujarat for over 5 years and I am also married to a guy who is from Gujarat, and thus this festival becomes special for me. Back at home my family will do pooja of mataji (goddess) for all 9 days with complete dedication. But the other side of Navratri is doing garba.


Garba nights in Ahmadabad are crazy. All, with no barriers of caste, age or gender perform dandiya. What a colourful sight it is! The beautiful dresses, with traditional touch- wow is the word.  Ah! It makes me so nostalgic.

Like all the other festivals, Navratri is also about cooking fresh and yummy dishes. I just find people so happy these days- they wish that may these 9 days never get over. May be I am getting bit carried away. Anyways for the beginning of this festival I made Kesar Kalakand. This recipe is very quick and easy. I am not very good in making Indian sweets; to tell you I can’t even make sheera/halwa properly. But making kalakand is easy for me. Kalakand can be made in many flavors and ways. I used trouble-free cottage cheese/paneer to make this. Here comes my simple Kalakand recipe.


Ingredients:

1 tin (400g) Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 heaped tablespoons Milk powder
1 tablespoon Kesar/saffron
2 tablespoon warm water
Pinch yellow colour
Almonds halved-6-8
500 g Paneer/Cottage Cheese
3-4 powdered Cardamom/Elaichi

Method:

Mix saffron in warm water and leave aside for 10 minutes. Wait till water changes it colour to yellow-orange.
Mash Paneer coarsely and mix in milk powder, yellow colour, saffron water and condensed milk.
Heat the mixture in a thick bottom pan. Cook on medium heat with constant stirring till the mixture becomes thick and starts leaving the sides of the pan.
Remove from heat and mix cardamom powder.
Spread onto a greased plate. Let it cool and set for 1-2 hours.
Cut in squares and top each piece with halved almond.


Notes:
Add in 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to make chocolate kalakand.
I used food colour to bring bright yellow effect, however this is totally optional.
Keep mixing the mixture else it will stick at bottom and give that burnt taste.
If in hurry, leave the mixture in fridge. It will set quickly.

Taste:
Sweet, aromatic and soft

16 comments:

  1. Mothwatery kalakand...i miss Ahmedabad garba sweta..

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  2. Delicious kalakand ! Looks yummy

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  3. kalakand looks mouth watering and nice presentation...

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  4. Looks real delicious ! lovely clicks too !

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  5. Wish you a very Happy Navaratri, kalakand looks delectable and yummy,,,,

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  6. Give me that plate of irresistible kalakand, i can happily finish that whole plate rite now..Very gorgeous kalakand.

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  7. Looks superb, love that beautiful texture..

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  8. I love burfi, kalakand or anything of that variety :) basically all indian sweets. It looks awesome!!

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