One of the reasons that I don’t usually make Bengali or Indian desserts very often is that they take a lot of time standing in front of a stove. It’s not like baking something where you pop it in the oven and then go away for a while. South Asian desserts require your attention for the full prep time. There is no “down” time. On my recent quest to make Paneer at home, I made several batches of paneer with varying degrees of success. The batch I made with whole milk and heavy cream mixture (4 cups whole milk and 4 cups heavy cream) was soft and had a smooth and creamy texture. It failed as a paneer for savory cooking but was the perfect consistency for making a dessert that I’d enjoyed eating but have never made myself–Kalokand. It’s a delicious, creamy and rich dessert that has no other flavor but the richness of milk. It’s one of those desserts better saved for those special occasions.
I’m not sure I’d have ever tried making Kalokand had I not had the great paneer making experiment. I’m so glad that I did. I’m posting this so that my mom can see the pictures (if my sister will actually show her this post) and tell me what she thinks. I want to make sure I did it right. It sure tasted amazing and like I remembered it tasting. It’s not as intimidating as I thought and it’s worth making on purpose.
Here’s the recipe:
One batch of Paneer made with 4 cups whole milk and 4 cups of heavy cream
4 cups of 2% or whole milk
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped Pistachios
1 tablespoon chopped Pistachio for garnish
Make a batch of paneer using whole milk and heavy cream, don’t knead it. In a heavy bottom pan heat 4 cups of milk and bring it to a gentle boil. Stir often so it doesn’t burn. Reduce the milk volume in half to about 2 cups (takes about 12 minutes). Add the paneer into the reduced milk and continue cooking until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the pan (about 4-5 minutes). Add the pistachios and the dark brown sugar and cook another 3-4 minutes until mixture begins to dry out some more and resembles a soft dough. Pour into a greased plate or small pan so that mixture is about 1/2 inch thick. Smooth out the top and sprinkle the remaining Pistachios. When cooled, cut into small squares. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.