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.