Archive for November, 2012

Almost all Indian sweets contain a variety of nuts.  Even ostensibly nut free mithai such as milk cakes or pedhas are made in parallel with other, nut rich preparations.  The risk of cross contamination must be factored in.

It is so much safer to make special occasion mithai at home.  You need just about 15 minutes to make this yummy kalakand for all the family—and it is all the more delicious as it is so much more fresh than anything that has been on store shelves.





  • 1 cup grated or crumbled paneer
  • 3/4 cup condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • A few strands of saffron (optional)
  • A few pumpkin seeds (kernels), sliced thin
  • A drop of green food color.


  1. If you are using saffron, crush strands in a small bowl and add a teaspoon of hot water, to strengthen color. Set aside.
  2. Combine paneer, condensed milk, ghee and dry milk powder in a non stick saucepan or wok
  3. Place on low heat.
  4. Cook till mixture thickens into a lump.
  5. Add cardamom powder and saffron.
  6. Remove pan /wok from heat and spoon the cooked mixture into a plate, about 6” in diameter.  Flatten mixture with a spatula or with the back of a large spoon.
  7. Thinly slice pumpkin seeds and color them with the drop of green food color.
  8. Press colored pumpkin seeds randomly onto the flattened kalakand
  9. Allow the kalakand to cool, then make square pieces.  Gently lift pieces onto your serving platter, or place in a container and refrigerate for later use.


Use colored pumpkin seeds when not using saffron, or just make it colorful if you like.

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Diwali is here! This traditional favorite is quick and easy to make, and  can be enjoyed by all.  These delicious gulabjamuns are gluten free, and when they taste just as good, why even make the conventional wheat containing ones?

(approx. 18 jamuns)



1 cup instant non fat dry milk powder

2 Tablespoons cornstarch (‘corn flour’ for Indian readers)

2 Tablespoons thick yogurt, plus 1 Tablespoon in reserve if needed

2 teaspoons ghee

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Oil for deep frying.


1 cup sugar

2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom seed (elaichi)



Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl

Add one and a half teaspoon ghee, leaving half teaspoon for later use.

Mix half of the yogurt and add the remaining as needed, to make a medium-soft dough.  You may require the extra amount, depending on the texture of the milk powder.

Knead well so that the dough is very smooth..  Smear a little ghee on your hands as you knead, to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.

Rub just a little extra ghee as you form small balls (about 18), with the dough.

Cover balls with a clean damp cloth or moistened paper towel.

Heat oil in a medium size wok, and allow oil to heat well, keeping flame on low..

Drop a small bit of dough into the oil to test readiness.  The dough should rise to the surface and fluff up a little.

Fry jamuns on low heat, a few at a time, till they are a rich, golden color.

Remove from oil, holding the balls with a slotted spoon against the side of the wok, so that most of the oil will drain.

Place on a dish lined with paper towels.

To prepare the syrup, combine sugar and water and place on medium high heat.

Allow the syrup mixture to come to a rolling boil and continue to let it boil for 4-5 minutes

Remove from heat and add elaichi powder.

Gently drop the fried balls into the hot syrup and set aside.

In about an hour or so, they will partly absorb the syrup and fluff into larger, spongy balls.

Warm the gulab jamuns a little before serving, or enjoy them at room temperature—either way they taste great! 

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