If you are a mango lover, this Mango Kalakand recipe will surely delight your taste buds, and I bet you will wipe away the whole batch without sharing! Grainy textured, moderately sweet, and subtly flavored with rose water and cardamoms, Kalakand is a well-known Indian delicacy widely sold in confectioners’ shops across the country.
Since Kalakand cooks instantly, it is usually prepared for celebrations and tastes simply irresistible.
What is Mango Kalakand
Kalakand is one of the most popular Indian desserts served and relished during religious ceremonies, merrymaking, and festivities.
Traditionally, it is made by boiling the milk, then curdling it to form paneer/ chenna, and then simmering it until it thickens. Kalakand resembles the milk cake recipe, but it is richer, creamier, softer, and has a grainy texture.
This recipe of Mango Kalakand has the flavor and fun of mangoes added to it. Cardamom powder and rose water bring subtle flavors that elevate this delicious recipe’s taste and entice every sweet buff.
Difference between Kalakand and Milk Cake
Both these sweets have the same base ingredients and are cooked following similar methods. While cooking these sweets, milk is reduced, and sugar is added for sweetening.
Cardamoms are added for flavor and aroma. Both have a grainy texture and milky flavor.
However, they are both entirely different as they taste and look different. Below are the main differences between the two —
Milk Cake —
- Milk is simmered until milk solids caramelize slightly at the edges.
- Milk cake is prepared without adding any nuts.
- It attains a brown hue due to heat and caramelization.
- It has a firm and thick texture with a denser flavor.
- It is made by curdling milk and thickening it to form this delicious dessert.
- It has a very light color.
- Kalakand is delicate, juicy, moist, soft, and slightly crumbly with a melt-in-mouth texture.
Reasons You’ll ♡ Mango Kalakand Recipe
There is every reason to love this amazingly delicious milk-based Diwali mithai that is famed for its deliciousness. You will love this recipe as this is —
- Flavorful and aromatic
- Scaleable recipe
- Make-ahead delicacy
- As it is customizable, it can be flavored differently.
The best part is that Mango Kalakand is unbelievably easy to prepare and is a pure delight!
Mango Kalakand Ingredeint List
Paneer — Fresh Homemade paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is the primary ingredient of this recipe and is used for preparing this delicious mango-based dessert.
Cream — Heavy whipping cream is added to the kalakand mix to make it taste richer and brilliantly textured.
Rose Water — Lends a fresh and mesmerizing aroma to the Mango Kalakand.
Cardamom — Cardamom/ elaichi powder is added to the recipe for its bright flavor and fragrance.
Sugar — Powdered sugar is added as the sweetener to this Instant Kalakand recipe.
Ghee — Pure homemade ghee with exotic flavor and heavenly aroma is best for making this Kalakand.
Mango puree — This is the star ingredient of this delicious Mango Kalakand, which renders flavor and texture to the recipe.
Nuts — They lend a beautiful garnishing that turns the Kalakand recipe into more awesome and delectable.
Recipe Tips and Variations
Substitute vinegar with lemon juice — Paneer or milk solids can be made easily by adding vinegar to the boiling milk. However, you can replace vinegar and use lemon juice instead while curdling milk and making paneer (chenna).
Use a heavy-bottomed pan — When making this quick and easy kalakand recipe, you need to boil the milk to prepare the paneer/ chenna. For this, it is essential to use a heavy-bottomed pan so that the milk doesn’t get burnt while cooking.
Avoid store-bought chenna — Homemade fresh chenna (paneer)/ cottage cheese is best for making moist, soft, and delicious Kalakand. So, refrain from using the store-bought chenna.
The secret to the granular-textured Kalakand — To achieve daanedar or granular-textured chenna/ paneer, do not stir the chenna briskly when it is in the pan. Keep stirring it intermittently, but do so gently. Also, do not mash up the paneer to form a paste. This way, it will not make the desired granular textured dessert, which it is known for.
Patience is the key — One must be very patient while preparing a perfectly cooked Kalakand. The amount of time required to cook this dessert up to the right stage depends on the thickness of the pan and the intensity of the heat provided when cooking it. It takes somewhere between 15- 20 minutes at the lowest setting to cook this Kalakand. Follow your instincts here; when the Kalakand is ready, it stops sticking to the pan and forms a concentrated mixture. Overcooking should be avoided at this stage as it will make the Kalakand chewier and hard.
Most flavorful mango puree — Fresh mangoes make the most flavorful puree that takes the recipe to another level! I like using fresh mangoes for the desired results, although you can use any mangoes. Just make sure they are perfectly ripe and sweet. You can also use canned mangoes, but I would recommend using fresh ones if possible. The canned ones are usually diluted and already sweetened, suppressing their flavor.
Cardamom effect — This easy mango kalakand recipe instantly boosts flavor and aroma by adding cardamom powder. Just a little touch of this fantastic spice would do its magic to the dessert. You can pound the cardamom pods in a mortar pestle and add them to the mix.
For an authentic flavor — Cook chenna over medium heat to make the best kalakand. Slow cooking caramelizes the mixture and delivers an authentic, intense flavor of Kalakand. Always use homemade chenna as the store-bought ones will not yield great results.
Add nuts or altogether skip — Adding your favorite nuts to this Diwali dessert recipe is entirely your choice. You can top it with pistachios or almonds and gently press them into the hot Mango Kalakand mixture so that it sticks perfectly. You can skip the nuts altogether to make it a nut-free recipe.
Slicing the Kalakand — Do not rush through the process of cutting the Mango Kalakand, as this is an important step, and it needs to be handled patiently. Allow the hot Kalakand mixture to cool and set completely before you slice them into pieces. Removing hot slices from the tray will disintegrate the pieces and spoil the recipe. Therefore, it is best to let the mixture cool, set it correctly to hold its shape, and then remove it from the tray.
Scalable recipe — This recipe of Mango Kalankand is scalable to your requirement. You can double or triple the recipe following the directions on the recipe card below and serve it to your guests and family at house parties/ potlucks/ get-togethers.
Variation of flavors and aromas — Cardamom and rose water are used for flavoring this easy Diwali recipe. However, you can also use different flavors to bring some delightful variations:
- Use Kewra water to render a different aroma and flavor.
- Add a tablespoon of rose syrup to the thickened kalakand mix and transform this delicious recipe into a subtly-flavored Rose Mango Kalakand.
- Chocolatey Kalakand: This Mango Kalakand can be recreated to form chocolate Kalakand by adding cocoa powder to the kalakand mix. Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder as soon as the kalakand mix thickens. Also, adjust the sugar quantity by adding 2 or 3 tablespoons to bring in extra flavor.
Skip sugar if — You can use powdered or granulated sugar to sweeten this dessert. However, you can also use jaggery powder if you like while skipping the sugar altogether. Jaggery will intensify the color and flavor and make the recipe completely irresistible.
A twist with Ricotta cheese — Traditionally, Kalakand is made by curdling the milk to form paneer or chenna. But for acquiring a perfect grainy texture, you can use part-skim Ricotta cheese. However, if you use whole-milk Ricotta cheese, cook it a little longer for the delectable twist.
A yummy substitute for sugar — You can skip adding sugar altogether and add condensed milk instead. This gives a super yummy flavor and richness to the recipe. However, make sure to adjust the amount of condensed milk depending on the sweetness of the mangoes being used. If the mangoes are sweet, add ¾ cup condensed milk; add a full 1 cup.
Let me know what you think!
Are you drooling over this soft and sweet delicacy? Wait no more. Gather the ingredients and begin with the cooking.
This delicious Mango Kalakand recipe is waiting to be explored. And what’s the better time to start than now?
Should you make this Mango Kalakand, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below.
And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
MORE LIP-SMACKINGLY DESSERTS THAT YOU’LL LOVE!
Follow the step-by-step instructions to make the best Mango Kalakand Recipe
- 1½ liters Whole Milk
- 2½ tablespoons Vinegar
PREPARE THE MANGO PURÉE
- Wash, pat dry, and cut mangoes in half.
- Scoop out the pulp from the mangoes and scrape the pulp off the seed too. Transfer it to a blender.
- Blend the mangoes until smooth.
- Pour the puréed mango through a wire mesh strainer. Set aside.
REDUCE MANGO PURÉE
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the prepared mango pulp.
- Cook for 4-6 minutes over medium-low heat until the pulp is reduced in volume and becomes thicker. Stir continuously to prevent burning. Once the pulp becomes thicker, take it off the heat. Transfer it to a container and allow it to cool completely.
- Add whole milk to a heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat.Tip — Full-fat milk produces the best chenna (paneer) that makes the creamiest and richest Kalakand; therefore, I highly recommend using whole-fat dairy. Low-fat milk can be used, but you must compromise with the result.
- Keep stirring the milk at regular intervals.Tip — Maintain the heat at all times. Keep the flame at the lowest setting and maintain the heat while cooking the milk, as it may stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
- Once it comes to a full boil, turn off the heat and add vinegar to the milk. Keep stirring the milk as it curdles. You will see chunky pieces of paneer floating in a lime-colored liquid. The milk has separated, and you can progress to the next step.But if it doesn't curdle, please add an extra tablespoon of vinegar.
- Line a strainer with cheesecloth or muslin cloth and pour the curdled milk through it. Chenna/paneer will stay in the cheesecloth, and the buttermilk will drain through.
- Rinse the chenna/paneer with tap water to eliminate the vinegar's taste and smell.
- Bring the ends of the cheesecloth together and press the paneer to squeeze the water out of it. Tip — Do not press the chenna hard to get rid of water, as this will result in dried-up chenna that makes Kalakand hard. Moist chenna is preferred for the juicy and soft Kalakand.
- For the juiciest and softest chenna, tie the ends of the cheesecloth together and hang the chenna for some time to squeeze extra water from it. Hanging the freshly prepared chenna for 15 minutes will remove excess water. Your homemade moist and crumbly paneer is ready.
ASSEMBLE MANGO KALAKAND
- Combine cream, paneer, and powdered sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan.
- Stir to combine. Once everything is well-blended, lower the heat to the medium-low setting and start stirring until the mixture resembles a creamy yet crumbly mix.
- Add rose water and cardamom powder, and mix again.
- Add ghee and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Tip — Ghee is important. Ghee elevates the overall flavor and fragrance of the Kalakand; therefore, we cannot skip adding it to the recipe.
- Add mango puree.
- Cook this mixture over low heat for 20-25 minutes until the mango mixture starts to come together like a thick mix and will leave the pan's sides.
- To check if kalakand is at the right consistency, press the mixture with the spatula; it should not be sticky.
- Do not wait for the prepared kalakand mix to cool down. Grease the tray by brushing it with ghee. Tip — Greasing the tray and parchment paper will help the kalakand slices to come out easily when serving.
- Immediately transfer the kalakand mix to this tray from the pan.
- Even it with a spatula and press it down as you spread it across the pan.
- Garnish it with slivered pistachios and saffron strands. Allow it to set in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
- Once set, cut into squares and enjoy!Tip — For a clean slicing — When slicing the Kalakand, clean the knife between each cut. This prevents the Kalakand from sticking to the blade and allows cleaner cuts without crumbling the Kalakand.
Frequently Asked QuestionsHow can I store Mango Kalakand? You need to take a little care while storing this Mango Kalakand dessert, as it requires different kinds of storage during other times of the year. During winters, you can easily store this dessert at room temperature for a day in an air-tight container. However, storing it in a refrigerator in the hot summer months would be best. As this is a milk-based dessert, it is not advisable to put it at room temperature. As soon as it cools down, transfer it into an air-tight container and store it in the fridge. Can I freeze this Mango Kalakand? Yes, it is a freezer-friendly dessert and keeps well in the freezer. To freeze this Kalakand –
- First, cut the Kalakand into squares and place it at a distance of 1- 2 inches between each piece on a small baking sheet.
- Freeze it for 2 to 3 hours, then transfer it to an air-tight container with parchment liners between each piece.
- Now, you can freeze them for up to 1 month.
- Before serving, thaw them and bring the frozen pieces to room temperature for 10- 15 minutes.