Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog


On Krishnatashtami, we celebrate the Bhagavan Krishna’s birthday. The scriptures portray bala (baby) Krishna as a happy and mischievous child with boundless energy and great fondness for all things milk. Milk, yogurt, buttermilk, cream, ghee, venna, and milk based sweets are lovingly offered to bala Krishna during this festival time. In our family, for pooja neivedyam we prepare venna (the cream layer from yogurt) and pala kova or kalakand.

Kalakand, an exquisite milk-based sweet preparation is an interesting process. Concentrated milk called khoya and fresh paneer called chhana are mixed and simmered together with sugar to a luxurious thick, firmness. The mixture is cooled, then cut to squares and garnished with pistachios. That is kalakand of my hometown Nandyala. As you can imagine, the kalakand has a rich taste.

Depending on the khoya-chhana ratio and sugar variety, kalakand is 2 types.
Milky-white kalakand: Three parts chhana and one part khoya together simmered slowly with white sugar for hours. Continuous stirring and low heat cooking result in a pure-white kalakand. It’s a labor intensive process and usually you will find this milky-white kalakand at Indian sweet shops.
Coral-pink kalakand. Chhana and Khoya are in 1:1 or 1:3 ratio and unprocessed, old-world style red sugar (turbinado) sweetens and colors the kalakand. This is the type we prepare at our home. Both varieties taste equally delicious, but I prefer the Coral-pink colored kalakand. Here is how I made it for Krishnashtami prasadam.

(takes about 2-3 hours. Makes about 18 to 20 2x2x1 square shaped Kalakand)

½ gallon whole milk and juice from one lime – to prepare chhana
½ gallon whole milk – to prepare Khoya
2 to 2½ cups – unprocessed cane sugar (turbinado)
1 cup, shelled and unsalted pistachios – coarsely crushed for garnish
Silver or gold foil to decorate the kalakand

2 big, sturdy, wide based pots
Lots of patience. Family or friends on the side definitely will help and make the process more enjoyable.

Chhana for Kalakand

1. Milk: Place the pots on stove-top and add half gallon milk to each pot to prepare chhana and khoya simultaneously.

Chhana: In one pot, once the milk starts to boil, reduce the heat. Add the limejuice (lemon juice) and stir. Within minutes, you will see small clouds like white curds floating on top. Wait till they get bigger (if they don’t, add some more limejuice and stir) and the whey below gets less milky. This process takes few minutes, so wait at least five minutes. Switch off the heat and let it stand for few more minutes. Then pour the whole thing immediately into a clean muslin or cheese-cloth in a colander, over a sink. Gather the curds by twisting the cloth into a firm lump. The fresh paneer called chhana is ready.

Milk simmering thickened milk after 1 hour on the stove
Simmering Milk ………….. Thickened milk (khoya) after 2 Simmering Hours

Khoya: In another pot, once the milk starts to boil and lower the heat and simmer, until the milk gets thick and is reduced to about one fourths of the original quantity. This is khoya. (While thickening, stir frequently. Care must be taken that milk does not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn/black.)

2. Add Sugar: To the khoya, add the freshly prepared chhana (paneer) and sugar. On low heat, cook, continuously mixing, until the khoya-chhana mixture thickens to a waterless-firm lump. This process takes about 45 minutes to one hour.

3. Decorate: Pour the firm mixture onto a plate. Level it evenly and allow to cool completely. The mixture thickens and firms up even more on cooling. With a knife, cut the cooled kalakand to squares or diamonds. Place the gold or silver foil on kalakand and sprinkle pistachios. Offer the jewel like decorated kalakand neivedyam to Bhagavan Krishna and enjoy the prasadam pieces with family and friends.

Kalakand stays fresh up to a week when refrigerated.

Kalakand Cooling

Kalakand Cut to Squares

Kalakand Jeweled with Pistachios ~ for Indian Sweets 101

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Sweets 101,Milk,Mitai,Naivedyam(Festival Sweets),Paneer,Pistachios (Wednesday September 5, 2007 at 3:42 pm- permalink)
Comments (64)

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64 comments for Kalakand »

  1. yum! I really wish I was you neighbour and you would do the neighbourly thing and share your goodies with me.

    Comment by freshma — September 5, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

  2. Oh, how I wish for a good neighbour.:) Unfortunately in our apartment building I rarely see people.

    Comment by Indira — September 5, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

  3. That looks so delicious Indira, bit long process but worth every second of it, you have so much patience.

    Comment by Madhu — September 5, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

  4. Hi Indira,
    I have tried so many of your recipes and all of them have been a big success. Thank you so much for your great recipes and pictures and detailed instructions. Just love your blog.

    Comment by meghana — September 5, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

  5. OH MY GOD!!! You made Kalakand at home! Wow Indira! This is my favourite of all the sweets. They look as fresh as just blossomed flowers:) Lovely Lovely Lovely! Regards/Nina

    Comment by Nina — September 5, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

  6. The picture of khoa on the stove is making me nostalgic! As for kalakand, i have only one word: YUMMY!

    Comment by musical — September 5, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  7. first time I come to your site and simply love it. It ‘s a great source of information and recipes to try. I may come back soon to try one of your recipe since hubby loves Indian food and often craves for it! Hopefully, I can find all ingredients in my local indian shop!

    Comment by Noro — September 5, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

  8. indira.. you are the champ! delicious

    Comment by Rajitha — September 5, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

  9. You are BEST. I Love You sooooooooooo much.
    I learnt cooking from your website , still have a long way to improve. You always remind me “my amma” and my childhood days.

    After I started using your website, I got so much inspired and we bought “”
    but again got shy thinking what if others read my feelings. And the way you express your feelings. WOW. I too want to write like you. Nowadays I’ve started reading cookbooks too like you. 🙂

    You are my idol 🙂

    Kalakand is my fav sweet.

    Thankyou so much,
    Best Regards

    Comment by Vani — September 5, 2007 @ 7:18 pm

  10. oh my god!!!the kalakand looks gr8. I love kalakand but i wsh i had patience like u to make it at home. I either buy it frm the store or I make it in the microwave. Amazing pics!!!You rock

    Comment by ranjitha — September 5, 2007 @ 7:43 pm

  11. I’m speechless. And I’ll be your neighbor anytime 🙂

    Comment by Linda — September 5, 2007 @ 7:54 pm

  12. drooling over here Indira. I love the presentation of the first kalakand. I have been away from the food blog world off and on in the last few weeks and here I come back to these lovely beauties and then some! Mt. Rainier looks fabulous as well. Happy Janamastami to you and your family too!

    Comment by archana — September 5, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

  13. First of all Shri Krishna Janmashtami Subhakankshalu from our side…
    Thats really a yummy kalakhand you made…
    As everybody mentioned… We wish to be your Neighbour…LOve to have a friend like you…
    WE always love to try your recipes..


    Comment by Soumya — September 5, 2007 @ 9:10 pm

  14. You have a lot of patience Indira….and amazing ideas. I have eaten kalakand all my life and loved it,but never thought could make it at home. Your pictures and instructions make it look too easy.
    Lovely post


    Comment by Lakshmi — September 5, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

  15. I am not much of a sweet person but you kalakand preparation made my mouth water…. the preparation is a representation of your perfection. Great job Indira.

    Comment by spandana — September 5, 2007 @ 9:51 pm

  16. […] Ash | Food & Drink […]

    Pingback by Kalakand recipe | DesiPundit — September 5, 2007 @ 10:13 pm

  17. Indira I have never seen such delicious looking piece of kalakand.for the nth time i wish i stayed somewhere closer to you!:) and the coral pink colour is just perfect!

    Comment by Madhuli — September 5, 2007 @ 10:45 pm

  18. mmm…baby krishna would be around your kitchen all the time it seems…You seem to lock him inside your house by creating these mouth watering goodies. Nice pics and clear step by step recipe Indira! Thanks a lot for sharing!

    Comment by Nirmala — September 5, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

  19. Looks beautiful Indira. I have khoa and will try this.

    Comment by Raaga — September 6, 2007 @ 12:07 am

  20. Wowwwwwwwwwww….beautiful..hats off to ur patience Indira. Loved the first photo. I just wish I could grab it out of the photo and savour it. Anyway, now I know what dessert I am going to make next 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful Janmashtami.

    Comment by KeralaGirl — September 6, 2007 @ 1:10 am

  21. Looks very tempting and irrestible..If only I could taste and not just stare at it and imagine how tasty it would turn out to be!!

    Comment by Timepass — September 6, 2007 @ 1:52 am

  22. The first picture looks like the performer in a spotlight! superb!

    Comment by Anjali — September 6, 2007 @ 2:28 am

  23. You are a very talented lady,Indira.I am a reglar visitor of your site and have tired couple of recipes,the latest one being lime pickle.Yummy….

    i am going to try this recipe soon….thanks for such a mouthwatering recipe…..

    Comment by rashmi — September 6, 2007 @ 6:59 am

  24. This looks too good Indira – am sure the long process and cooking time was well worth it. Thanks for the detailed recipe and pictures.

    Comment by Laavanya — September 6, 2007 @ 7:30 am

  25. Great pictures and very inspiring as always !
    Thanks for stimulating the cooking and nurturing feeling which goes with it..
    would like to add a suggestion regarding the can use it to soak daal , rice, lentils of any kind before cooking them or use the whey during cooking be it lentils or some vegetables.Also can make the dough for chapattis using a mix of whey and water. Whey has nutrients and enzymes of benefit. I have also used it to wash my face even and it leaves a soft clean feel.

    Comment by Devna — September 6, 2007 @ 9:20 am

  26. Looks really delicious Indira! Happy Krishnashtami to you and Vijay!

    Comment by Latha — September 6, 2007 @ 9:32 am

  27. Beautiful! What can I say??? Wish i could grab that!!

    Comment by Manasi — September 6, 2007 @ 10:20 am

  28. oooh kalakand.. I miss all things indian and sweet. Btw a lot of people use riccotta cheese to make you like that idea?

    Comment by disha — September 6, 2007 @ 10:24 am

  29. Hi Indira,
    Happy janmashtami to you. Kalakhand looks perfect. I have tried making quick kalakhand with ricotta cheese and condensed milk and it turned out quite well, but not comparable to the perfect product of labor here.

    Comment by Hema — September 6, 2007 @ 11:22 am

  30. hmm…. what can i say. i don’t even have words to describe your patience and talent.simply superb!! thanks for sharing.

    Comment by red velvet — September 6, 2007 @ 11:34 am

  31. Oh my god, that was so awesome. How I wish my mom is here in US of A.

    bless you Indira garu

    Comment by Balu — September 6, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

  32. Yummy! ever knew kalakand is prepared at home. Always bought it off the shelf. Been a long time since I had it. Surely, Lord Krishna would be very pleased with ur offering.

    I have one question, though. Could you tell me the pot u have used to boil the milk? Is it aluminium? Where did u buy it and is there any ticular reason u use it? Thanks in advance.

    Keep the great work going. I am a great fan of urs and leave no chance to propogate ur website among my friends & relatives.

    Comment by Jaya — September 6, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

  33. Indira, meku chala chala opika, I am sure this tastes excellent given all the attention and time. Chinni Krishna I am sure would have loved this.

    Comment by Sreelu — September 6, 2007 @ 2:14 pm

  34. Hi Indira,
    That looks soooooooo delicious and mouth watering. I wish there was an option to taste ur dishes on the web.

    Comment by Meghana — September 6, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

  35. Beautiful!! I love Kalakand, soft and grainy at the same time, and yours looks better than the ones in sweet shops!:)

    Comment by Mansi — September 6, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

  36. Hi Indira,

    Kalakand looks so good. You are the master in cooking and also presenting the recipe beautifully.


    Comment by Madhavi — September 7, 2007 @ 6:08 am

  37. Thank you for the nice notes on this recipe. I appreciate your Sugar Love. It’s sweeter than the kalakand. 🙂

    Hello Vani: Congratulations on your new domain purchase. If you decide on food blogging, please do write your blog name.
    All the best!

    Devna: Thanks for sharing useful tips about the whey.

    Jaya: It’s an aluminum pot. Big size, thick, restaurant quality and I use it only to prepare sweets like this one. It’s from Subji mandi, NJ.

    Comment by Indira — September 7, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

  38. Hi Indira,

    What a fabulous website…Its a gift for women like me. Soon after my studies I was into a very demanding job. Before marriage never bothered to enter into kitchen. Call it arrogance or reluctance…I used to say ‘ahhh cooking is not for me…’
    After 2 yrs work got married and within one month landed in Switzerland. A new relationship, new place called Kitchen, new type of work called cooking. God knows my struggle. Believe it or not I did not even know how much water to add into rice before that. And my only source is searching the web for recipes.

    I was lucky to come across ur web site.
    I really appreciate the simplicity u maintain and ‘to-the-point’ way of explaining things. Result I almost succeeded in every recipe I followed from ur website.
    Thank u so much…


    Comment by Madhu — September 10, 2007 @ 9:29 am

  39. Hai Indira,
    I love ur website and the recepies u show, simple and elegant. I have made many of ur sweets and curries. Came out really well.
    I made the Kalakkand just now, came out really well and tastes very good. But, i did not get the brown color for the Koa..How did u acheive that color????
    Reply to this would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks! Keep up your good work.


    Hi Padma, congratulations on making the kalakand.
    About the color, I sweetened the kalakand with turbinado (the red color sugar) and it added the pale coral color to the end product.
    – Indira

    Comment by Padma — September 11, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

  40. this is truly one of the most creamy and delicious indain sweets one can eat. thank you, dear indira.

    Comment by bee and jai — September 22, 2007 @ 7:29 pm

  41. Can you post recipe for Ajmeri Kalakand, it more or less looks the same except for it has some borwnish cadbury kind of stuff in the middle


    Comment by Anil — September 24, 2007 @ 11:36 pm

  42. Indira, never knew we could make khoya at home. The kalakand looks so moist n fresh – just right!!! Good really, really good.

    Comment by Shella — October 25, 2007 @ 6:28 am

  43. Hey Indira…oh man ur making my mouth water…hey can i substitute the turbinado wth light brown sugar???

    Comment by Deepa — November 6, 2007 @ 4:40 am

  44. hey indira..
    saw da recipe n i juss made it.. n it tastes wonderful.. i never thot it could be made at home.. thank you so much…

    Comment by Akanksha — December 26, 2007 @ 12:33 am

  45. hi .
    Your recipe and pic looks great .I want to try out the recipe but i cannot find turbinado here in sweden . I was wondering if can substitute it with something else like brown sugar or palm sugar ?


    Hi Esther,
    All kinds of sugar work well in this recipe including brown sugar and palm sugar. Unrefined sugar is preferred, because it not only sweetens the kalakand and also enriches the kalakand with their mineral goodness.
    I wish you all the best with kalakand preparation. Please let me know how it turned out at your kitchen.
    Thanks and regards,

    Comment by esther — February 23, 2008 @ 9:09 am

  46. Hi Indira .
    Thanx for the help and a great recipe. It was my first time making indian sweets, it tured out wonderfully and very tasty too. Keep up the great work .

    Thanx again,

    Comment by esther — March 2, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  47. thank you very much. It is really delicious

    Comment by sharika — May 6, 2008 @ 7:12 am

  48. Hello Indira,

    I’m a first time visitor to your ‘delicious” website. I sure will try making kalakand, hope it turns out great, just the way it looks in your!

    Comment by Rani M — May 21, 2008 @ 10:54 am

  49. Dear Indira,

    namasthe, and noothana samvathsara shubhakankshalu.

    thanks for your service.
    we are all grateful for your extraordinary efforts and service.

    i wanted to know how to make pootha rekulu.

    i didnot find this from your site, and i didnot find anywhere and i don’t know how to make it.

    i am from adoni, kurnool district.

    i am happy that you are making our place proud.

    please tell me or update how to make pootha rekulu in your site.

    hope you will help me.



    Comment by SAVITHA JAYADEV — January 1, 2009 @ 1:35 am

  50. hi indira…
    i tried making this sweet…it tasted really good but only problem was that it didnt look as moist as yours…it was kind of dry…can u plz tell me how i can correct tht next time,..:) thanks

    Comment by manisha — March 30, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

  51. I have khoya and paneer and vaguely remembered that these two combined with sugar can make an easy yummy kalakand. When I found your website and learned it can make Ajmeri kalakand, I was thrilled. Well, I just stopped slobbering enough to write this comment. God Bless and Thanks. I’ve spent almost all my life having my granma and mum make this ‘therattippal’. My turn now – but better late than never, as they say! Ajmeri kalakand is my fav sweet.

    Comment by Vidya Sury — April 9, 2009 @ 1:45 am

  52. Wow!!! neva’ thought Kalakand is so easy to make…i mean with few ingredients…damn!! i’m gonna make this tomm.

    Thanks n Happy Cooking!!

    Comment by Aparna — April 11, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

  53. the recipe is awesome. i’ll try it out this weekend.

    Comment by srini — May 24, 2009 @ 10:54 am

  54. kalakand is my favorite sweet. I have made it often but would like to try your recipe. Can I use ordinary white sugar? same quantities? thank you…my first time at your website..i will be back….wayne

    Comment by Wayne Mcintosh — July 13, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

  55. Hello Indira,
    I really liked your recipe,looks really great as well. I will try it for janmashtmi now, but can you tell when to add the sugar?


    Comment by Archana — August 10, 2009 @ 9:09 am

  56. Hi Indira..

    Really your kalakand looks YUMMY.. i just want to know whether can we use the panneer that we get in the supermarket..


    Comment by Srilatha — August 15, 2009 @ 4:32 am

  57. Hi indira,
    thank you for this recipe . I haven’t tried this yet . But I have a question.
    I use non-stick vessel to boil milk (rabdi etc ).
    Many times I have seen a brownish layer at the bottom and whenever I stir the milk.. the brown stuff gets mixed with there a way to avoid getting this brown layer?

    Comment by sweet_tooth — October 5, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

  58. Hi Indira,
    I did try your recipe…Thanks a lot for the recipe…it came out too good.. I made little changes.
    This is my hubby’s favorite sweet.

    Comment by Nivu — October 13, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

  59. […] Kalakand is a popular sweet made out of solidified, sweetened milk called Khoya and Paneer (cottage cheese). Growing up in Bangalore this used to be one of our favorite sweets. It has a rich, decadent and melt-in-your moth taste. Traditionally made, it is a very long process in which the Khoya and Paneer are made from scratch. After that they are mixed together along with sugar until thickened. They are then cut into squares and garnished with pistachios. Indira has posted a detailed recipe here. Whenever I look at the post, I marvel at the description, pictures, and the process and hope that some day I shall be able to take that long road. […]

    Pingback by Kalakand — November 22, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

  60. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I made it today and blogged about it in my blog.

    Hi Priya, thanks for trying out and letting me know. Your kalakand looks delicious.

    Comment by Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal — May 8, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

  61. I tried out this recipe today and it turned out to be wonderful and very easy.The only ingredient needed is patience!
    Thanks Indira! 🙂

    Comment by srujana — December 29, 2010 @ 2:05 am

  62. I tried this recipe yesterday and the result was simply delicious.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us Indira.

    Comment by Rajani Shareef — October 9, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  63. Your recipes are simple – so that people can make. Perhaps you people stay abroad. The photos look great and the processes are very well explained. Good short cuts and quick fixes to achieve what is otherwise a very very laborious process. Great work. Keep it up.

    Comment by narayanan iyer — December 29, 2011 @ 6:02 am

  64. […] ‘Kalakand’ is a very popular Indian sweet which could be referred to a ‘sweetened milk cake’. It is one of my most favorite sweets and really screams ‘Diwali’. Don’t you think? The process of making Kalakand is two fold – make the ‘Chhena – fresh crumbly cheese’ and ‘Khoya – reduced milk’ and then cook them together until solidification! It is a time-consuming process but definitely worth the effort. Since, Kalakand is made completely out of milk, (preferrably Whole Milk), it is definitely a rich sweet but festivals are here once a year so I think indulging once in a while in such a rich, delicious creamy and crumbly sweet is completely ok (divine)! This is adapted from one of my fav blogs ‘Mahanandi‘. […]

    Pingback by Kalakand « Food Paradise! — November 15, 2012 @ 11:02 am

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