The festive season is already here in India and to mark its presence I have thought of sharing recipes for Indian sweets regularly. I think desserts are my speciality, be it Indian or International, more than eating, I love making sweets at home. I have tried many recipes over the years, after lots of trial and errors I have learnt few and still trying to learn some. Most of the Indian sweets are milk based, and playing with milk is what I like to do. I love the aroma when milk starts thickening/reducing and changes its colour.
Durga puja is one of the main festivals in Indian, and coming from a bengali household, this festival is big deal for me and for any bengali out there. It all begins from Mahalaya and ends with vijay dashami. All these days, what we do is wear new clothes, eat, celebrate and repeat. Unlike other communities wherein non veg plus onion garlic is restricted during this period, bengalis are the one who eat to their fullest.
Basically its celebration time everywhere, so why not here on my blog! I begin this period of festivity with a very famous sweet recipe from Uttar Pradesh in India known as PEDA. Uttar Pradesh produces the best peda in the world and the best variety is known to be produced in Mathura.
Pedas are generally used as offering to God and later is consumed as prasad. Earlier, whenever I used to visit Indian sweet shops, I thought making Indian sweets at home must be a great deal but it is nothing as such. The main task is to reduce milk without burning in most of the Indian sweets.
People use khoya to make pedas but even khoya is made my reducing milk so why not use milk directly. This process that I use to make pedas at home is really very simple. One has to just have patience to reduce milk without burning it. I used 1 litre of milk for the recipe, you can double or triple the amount if you want a larger batch. Just be careful while adding sugar, because once the milk reduces, it releases its own sweetness. So very less sugar is needed.
I have also tried this recipe using condensed milk which I shall be sharing in the future, this time try it out with full fat milk and you will realize that making peda at home can be so simple. We never buy them from shops these days. The taste of homestyle sweet making anyday beats the taste of sweets from shops plus the happiness and satisfaction is always there. I hope you will like the recipe so lets get started!
- Full fat milk - 1 litre
- Sugar - 3 to 4 tbsp
- Curd/Citric acid - 2 tbsp/1/4 tsp
- Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
- Almond/Pistachio slivers - as required
- Chop almonds/pistachios and keep aside.
- In a large pan, pour in the whole full fat milk and bring it to a boil.
- Once the milk boils, add in sugar and start reducing the milk on a high flame.
- I prefer doing it on a high flame because I do not move from there and continuously stir it plus the time consumed is less.
- If you are not free to stand continuously or do not have the patience, keep the flame on medium low but do not forget to stir the milk at regular intervals from the bottom and sides.
- You will see the milk starts changing its colour and starts turning creamish.
- It took me 25 to 30 minutes to reduce the milk fully.
- Once reduced, add in curd or citric acid and you will see the milk solids(chenna) separate out from the whey.
- Dont stop heating, you need to dry out the whey completely until only milk solids(chenna) are left in the pan/kadhai. Preferably use a non stick pan/kadhai.
- When only milk solid is left, add in the cardamom powder and mix well.
- Now, take a blender and pulse the mil solid/chenna until smooth and all the crumbles have grounded well.
- Take little ghee on your palms and grease them.
- Let the mixture cool down a little bit.
- Then start taking the pulsed chenna and make rounds according to desired size.
- Take a almond/pistachio slice and push it in the rounds just made using your middle finger. Repeat same for all.
- Decorate pedas on a plate and they are ready to serve.