I was really looking forward to being in Mathura in July; to soak in the sights and sounds of this land known as Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi (birthplace of Lord Krishna) and to savor its food. Because of time constraints I couldn’t go, but on the way back from Agra, as I hummed one of  Shri Jaydev’s ashtapadis, I wondered about Mathura’s crowded streets,  rows of sweet shops with their colorful mithai (especially Kalakand and Peda) and the fervent atmosphere at the temples. Ever since I came back I had been thinking of making Kalakand and lo and behold, Krishna Janmashtami is here! तो चलिए, शुभ काम में देरी कैसी?

kalakand is a luscious milky dessert.  It is made from Paneer and thickened milk called Khoya. This combination gives it a very rich and unique taste. I made Kalakand in very small quantity as it takes a long time to make (90 minutes.)

Kalakand (Small)

This recipe makes about 10 pieces of Kalakand.

8 cups milk (2 liters)
3/4 cup sugar
8-10 pistachios to decorate
2 heavy duty pans
juice from 2 lemons mixed with 1/2 cup water.

1. To make khoya, add 4 cups of milk to pan. Bring milk to boil once and then reduce heat and let it cook on low heat until milk is almost half its original quantity. Go on to make paneer now but keep stirring the milk once every 3-4 minutes. Make sure that you use a thick-bottomed pan and keep the heat low.
2. in another pan, boil 4 cups of milk. As the milk bubbles up, reduce heat and add lemon juice. The milk will curdle forming thick chunks of paneer. Shut off the stove. Pour paneer in a sieve and let all the whey drain.
3. Run cold water on paneer for a minute.
4. Empty paneer in a muslin cloth. Gather the ends of the cloth and wring it to remove water from the paneer.
5. Once khoya is ready (Step 1), add sugar and mix well.
6. Add the paneer and cook the mixture on low heat until all the water has evaporated and the mixture looks thick.  (about 30 minutes)
7. Shut off the stove and spread the mixture to a 1 inch thickness onto a thali/plate.
8. Let Kalakand cool completely before cutting it into squares. Decorate with Pistachios.