Kalakand is a very tasty eggless dessert from India. This popular Indian dessert (mithai) is made with milk, paneer, sugar, dry fruits and cardamom powder. A perfect recipe for Indian festivals like Diwali and Navratri.
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A few weeks ago, I shared a couple of recipes for the Indian festival Navratri and now as another major Indian festival – Diwali is approaching, I am back with an Indian dessert recipe – Kalakand.
For all of us, there are a few dishes which are associated with a festival or event as we grow up eating them during that time. Kalakand and Gulabjamun are associated with Diwali for me. There were a lot of other sweets which we used to eat during Diwali but, these two were my favorite. Though Gulabjamun was made at home by my mother, Kalakand was always brought from the market.
Diwali is my favorite festival, a time of the year when it becomes unbearable for me to live away from my parents and sister as there are so many beautiful memories with them attached to it.
Though this time I won’t be able to visit my parents during Diwali, I will remember them by making the dessert from my childhood - Kalakand.
What is Kalakand
Kalakand is an Indian dessert made with milk and Indian cottage cheese called paneer. A lot of people also add solidified milk (mawa) to it but that’s optional. This delicious sweet, and creamy dish is one of my favorite Indian desserts.
The easy way of making Kalakand
In Dubai, fresh paneer is not available easily and I didn’t want to use frozen paneer to make Kalakand. Also, since I wanted to make Kalakand in the traditional way from scratch, I made paneer at home.
Though a very easy recipe, it needs patience to cook milk over a low flame which could be time-consuming but the result is worth trying.
However, if you are looking for a quick recipe, you can buy fresh paneer and use it in this recipe. It will make the process very quick.
More easy Indian dessert recipes
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Step by step photo instructions
- 2 ltr full cream milk
- Juice of half a lemon
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder (Elaichi powder)
- 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
- Chopped pistachios for garnishing You can use any other dry fruit of your choice
- Boil 1 ltr milk in a pot. After the first boil, add lemon juice to it. Mix and continue to heat the milk. If the milk gets curdled within 1-2 minutes, switch off the gas otherwise add more lemon juice and repeat the process until the milk gets curdled.
- Strain the curdled milk, discard the water and keep the paneer (cottage cheese aside).
- Take a large heavy-bottomed pot/ wok and add the remaining 1 ltr of milk to it. Cook the milk, till it thickens (around 30 minutes). Keep on stirring in between so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.
- Now, add paneer and cardamom powder to the thickened milk, mix and continue cooking for another 40 minutes or till everything thickens.
- Add sugar, mix and cook. Sugar will make the mixture runny. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes till it thickens again.
- Grease a baking pan or thali with ghee and pour the mixture on it. Spread evenly. Garnish with dry fruits.
- Allow the Kalakand to set for a few hours and then cut into the desired shapes. Enjoy!
After my first India visit, milk cake was my favorite dessert and now at home I want to try it. Thanks for your recipe!
My question is if I can use less sugar in this recipe without risking the texture or consistency of the mixture?
Thanks a lot, Koray. Milk cake is one of my favorite desserts too. Though Kalakand can also be called milk cake, if you mean the dessert which is sold by the name of milk cake in India and is brown in color then it's a different dessert. Kalakand is white in color and softer than the Indian milk cake. The process of making both the desserts is almost similar but milk cake is cooked for a longer period, put in a container with a tight lid and then covered with a thick cloth for a few hours. This is done to seal the heat inside which gives a very nice brown color and texture to the milk cake.
You can reduce the quantity of sugar in this recipe, it won't impact the texture.
Kalakkand is one of my favorite desserts. This looks delicious and your stepwise instructions are so helpful.
Thanks a lot Lathiya 🙂
Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey
Such a tasty recipe and your step by step pictures make it so easy to make. Lovely share for Diwali.
Kalakand with home made paneer definitely tastes so much better than one made with ready made paneer. Super treat for Diwali, I would have definitely had a piece or two.
Thanks Mayuri 🙂
Nice recipe, kalakand looks super delicious. It is one of the favourite sweets at home.
Thanks Jayashree 🙂
Kalakand looks so delectable...store bought paneer does not make a good kalakand and hence I like the way you have made it from scratch...
Thanks a lot Amrita 🙂
Kalakand looks so good. I wish we can eat with vegan version one. I bet your family is enjoying this yummy sweet for Diwali.
Thanks a lot Uma. Even I try to eat vegan most of the time but because of paneer in Kalakand it becomes really difficult to create a vegan version. I will share if I could find a solution :).
I have always made kalakand the shorter way and not too happy with the texture. I just love how grainy your kalakand is and that is exactly how I like it.
Thank you so much Sandhya 🙂
Perfectly made kalakand - though it's time consuming, I am sure the final result is well worth the effort. Kudos to you for making it at home. Wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali.
Thanks a lot, Pavani. Wishing a very Happy Diwali to you and your family too.
Kalakand is so easy and delicious recipe which is must for every occasion. Your Kalakand looks delicious.
Thanks for sharing
When it comes to sweets, Diwali reminds me of vermicelli / semiya kheer. It was a must preparation on chaturdhasi. Kalakand has turned out good.
Thanks, Usha. It's interesting how we all have different dishes associated with a festival. I also love semiya kheer:)
Looks very festive and super delicious, love this kalakand very much.
Thanks a lot, Jolly :).