Kalakand, the Milky Cheese Cakes - celebrating the Raksha Bhandan, the Brother Sister sacred Bonding.

kalakand mawa mishri traditional indian sweet milk-based sweet

Raksha Bandhan is a festival of fervour, where a sacred thread called 'Rakhi' is tied by a sister around her brother's wrist. As part of the customs the sister performs an Aarti and concludes with prayers. Moreover, as a part of tradition, a brother presents his sister varied gifts, and vows to guide and protect her throughout the life.

The Rakhi not only meant for siblings but also widely followed outside too specially in colleges as I too had the chance to witness these, during my college days. The guys used to remain absent on this day fearing of any girl tying him and making him as her brother. But girls were very enthusiastic as to getting gifts from the brother whom they tied Rakhis'. Though this day is not observed a holiday, especially the educational institutions, but none in the colleges had interest to attend the classes. I too was a part of a 12-member group in my college, where we were famously called dirty dozen, who used to hardly attend any of the classes otherwise too.

Presenting here a recipe associated with this festival, the Kalakand sweet, white in color, marking the peace and prosperity among the siblings. The Kalakand sweet is purely a milk-based sweet, sweetened with sugar, infused with cardamom and embellished with nuts of your choice. The grainy-like texture of the sweet is much sought with freshly-made paneer (cottage cheese). In this recipe, since a thick cream of milk goes into the making, sugar can be adjusted to suit your palate.

milk-based cake, kalakand
Kalakand sweet

1. Milk - One and half litre
2. Paneer (Cottage Cheese) - 1/2 cup (made from one and half litre milk)
3. Cardamom powder - 1 tsp. (optional)
4. Few nuts chopped of your choice
5. Sugar - 1/4th to 1/2 cup
6. Lime juice - 2 tbsp (can use apple cider vinegar too)

cottage cheese cake

Cooking Method:

1. First make the paneer ready by boiling milk in a deep bottomed vessel. Then add lime juice or apple cider vinegar to cuddle the milk. Once the water separates from milk line a large sieve with muslin cloth (or any cotton cloth) and place over a large bowl. Pour the cheese into the lined sieve and run some cold water through it.

2. Now keep the milk in another vessel and let it boil until it gets half of its quantity. Once this is done, now add in the paneer (crumble the paneer before adding into the milk as in the mean time, it would have got in together). 

3. Once the paneer gets into the milk, add in sugar and stir it continuously on low heat. Keep on stirring it until a lumpy mixture is formed. Then pour this mixture into plate and pat it with a spatula evenly. Once this gets cool, then cut it into desired shapes. Enjoy this sweet on any festival occasion and enjoy the festivities with full zeal.

kalakand, cheesy cake, cottage cheese cakes, pal kowa, hal kova, mava burfi

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