So excited for Christmas when I can finally have a few days off! Christmas gifts have become quite the tradition in our home and most friends almost always expect something every year. I make a mix of edible gifts including homemade chutney’s, spices and something sweet and savoury. Each wrapped up in boxes/ jars with a ribbon I know all those who received it over the years have always said how much they’ve enjoyed it over the holidays.
I must admit that not everything I make is labour intensive and nor does it take hours to prepare! With it being Christmas I reckon cheats are acceptable as long as the flavours and the resultant treat is delicious! So this year I’ve included Kalakand. It has a soft crumbly milk cake consistency made from reduced thickened milk. Traditionally the barfi can also be made with khoya (mawa) thickened reduced milk solids used for a lot of Indian sweets. It takes a while to reduce the milk to get the resultant khoya mix so to speed things up I’m making it this year with fresh paneer. I always stock some either homemade or from my local farm shop so grating it to make Kalakand is a breeze. Once grated the remaining ingredients just need to be mixed through and heated. Cut to squares and boxed up, this makes a gorgeous Christmas foodie gift!
This barfi treat is perfect with a cup of masala chai. What a marvellous way to begin the festivities!
- Line a 8×8” cake tin with baking paper and set aside. In a heavy bottom saucepan add the paneer along with the condensed milk, milk powder and ground cardamom powder
- Mix well and cook over a medium flame for 12 minutes stirring continuously making sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- The Kalakand will begin to leave the sides of the pan as the mix begins to release its moisture. Remove from heat and spread evenly in the cake tin
- Flatten the kalakand with a spatula and top with pistachios, almond and saffron. Chill in the refrigerator overnight until it is set. Cut into bite size squares and serve with chai.