Peda is a very popular sweet from the Indian subcontinent, usually prepared from thick condensed milk, khoya, and sugar. A lot of variations are found all over India using traditional flavorings, including cardamom seeds, pistachio nuts and saffron. As such the colour varies from a creamy white, saffron yellow to a caramel colour.
Pedas are very popular as gifts during festivals and also offered to Gods & Goddesses in various religious services. We have grown up with these Indian goodies and making them at home seemed like a dream for most of my life. These semi soft pillowy pieces made from milk are so delicious. By now you know I bring to you really simple recipes, this one is no different. I have tweeked the process by using condensed milk instead of sugar. This thickens the mixtures really quickly. Follow them step by step and enjoy! They are rich and yet so light; you can easily gobble up a dozen. 🙂 I recently made this batch for my daughter’s Diwali party at school – needless to say they were all gone in a jiffy.
Serves : 20 – 25 pedas
1 litres full cream milk
200 ml condensed milk
1tblsp ghee ( clarified butter)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
few drops of rose essence
1-2 tblsp vinegar/lemon juice or sour yogurt
chopped pistachios for garnish
- In a heavy bottom pan, bring milk to boil. Keep stirring so the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. This will also ensure the cream not to accumulate at the top while boiling. If you see cream collecting on top; remove with the help of a spoon and keep aside.
- Now, gradually add vinegar/lemon juice/ sour curd and stir gently. (I prefer using sour curd – the texture of paneer/chenna remains soft). You will notice that the milk starts curdling at this point.
- Once all the whey is separated, strain the paneer/chenna into a cheesecloth or a muslin cloth. Do not squeeze hard at this point. You want your paneer/chenna to be moist so it doesn’t dry out. Hang the cheesecloth for 30 minutes so the water is drained out naturally.
- After 30 mins, you can either knead the dough with your palms or blitz the paneer/chenna in the food processor.
- Heat a broad pan with ghee and add the paneer mixture. Pour in the condensed milk and cook on a medium flame. You know the mixture is ready when it starts forming a dough and leaves the sides of the pan.
- Remove from heat and add cardamom powder and rose essence. Give it a little knead so the flavours all blend in.
- Transfer the mixture on the plate and allow it to cool.
- When mixture is just warm; divide the mixture in to equal small balls ; the size of a walnut.
- Garnish with chopped pistachios on the top. This will naturally flatten the peda giving it its popular shape.
- Keep it refrigerated at all times. Stays fresh for 4-5 days if it lasts that long. 🙂
- Always use full fat milk. Cow milk works best.
- You can easily replace the process of making homemade chenna / paneer if you get ready ricotta cheese. The time required to cook here might be longer since I find that ricotta cheese has a little more water content than homemade paneer. But the results are absolutely the same. 🙂
- I used a little less than 200 ml condensed milk to suit my sweet preference. You may add more if you wish.
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