Sunday, 3 November 2013

PUMPKIN KALAKAND (COTTAGE CHEESE PUMPKIN FUDGE)

Wishing you all a very Prosperous, Safe &  
HAPPY DIWALI!! 


A cousin of my Mum used to bring, us kids, awesome fudges and other Indian sweets from a lovely town in north of India, Dehradun. It is located in the picturesque Doon Valley and is known for its prestigious educational institutions, is the home to the Indian Military Academy and the gateway to many Hindu pilgrimage towns. However, the name Dehradun always invokes the memories of my childhood – of it being the home to one of the finest sweet shops in the country.

The textures, the colours, the tastes, the combination of ingredients used to be so unique and nothing like what we used to have in general. In fact, I have never come across such wonderful sweet treats at any other place that I have visited so far in India. I especially remember this fudge with shredded bottle gourd and vermicelli that used to taste insanely delicious.

I got to visit Dehradun as a management student. As a part of the curriculum of our business management degree course, the students were taken for company visits to understand their HR practices. Our batch was taken to BHEL at Dehradun and while on our visit, I tried to hunt for sweet shops selling those goodies, but shortage of time and lack of knowledge about the city ended up in a futile hunt.


Drawing inspiration from those gorgeous fudges, I have tried to infusing those flavours into one of my favourite sweet of all – kalakand but with a pumpkin twist. After my savoury gluten free pumpkin post, I am celebrating pumpkin here in a sweet Indian fudge avatar.

You will need,

1 litre full cream milk (I used 6%)
1 litre full cream milk (for making cottage cheese)
½ cup (scant) sugar
A pinch of saffron
¾ - 1 tsp cardamom powder (adjust the amount to suit your taste)
¾ cup pumpkin puree (I used sugar pumpkin)
2 tbsp finely chopped pistachio

For the pumpkin puree, I used the sugar pumpkins.
Cut them in half (I cut them into wedges as it reduces the roasting time) and arrange them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or regular foil. Roast them at 180°C until the flesh is slightly browned and tender. Remove from oven and when the wedges/ halves are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh and purée in the food processor or liquidiser.


Make cottage cheese from one litre of milk. Drain the whey and crumble the cottage cheese.
Boil the other one litre and reduce it to half the quantity. 
Add cottage cheese into the milk and cook further till the consistency is reduced to further half.

Now, add the pumpkin puree, sugar, saffron and cardamom powder.
Cook till the consistency resembles one thick mass. {However, you need to ensure that the mixture has some moisture left coz we want a moist fudge and not a dry one. Also, the fudge will thicken further on refrigeration}

{The whole process took me nearly three and a half hour as I reduced the milk on a low flame while I was finishing rest of my household chores}

Line a square tin with parchment or butter paper and transfer the contents in it. Level the top and sprinkle over the finely chopped pistachio. Cover the fudge with cling wrap (with the cling wrap touching the complete top surface of fudge mixture. This will prevent the surface from drying and forming a crust)
Cool and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours, preferably overnight. Next day, cut into square and serve.


Note: Since canned pumpkin purée is not available easily here, I roast a few sugar pumpkins at a time and freeze the purée. It keeps for nearly a month.

Serves 8-10

101 comments:

  1. Awesome kalakand did not know that pumpkin would blend in so well with it.
    Happy Diwali Taruna.

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    1. Thanks Meena! My guess was same as yours ;-)

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  2. Happy Diwali to you!! This kalakand looks wonderful and I love the pumpkin twist. I'm not a big mithai person but I do like kalakand and this looks heavenly. I hope you have a great holiday Taruna! Wishing you all the best.

    Nazneen

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  3. kalakand with pumpkin is interesting... looks really yum...

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  4. These Pumpkin Kalakan look and sound so inviting!
    Great idea to use cottage cheese, it makes the recipe lighter luscious.

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  5. I never thought I'd see cottage cheese and fudge in the same sentence! It not only sounds amazing, but I'm making homemade cottage cheese asap! Loving every part of this recipe.

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    1. Thank you so much Paula! Do let me know how it turned out.

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  6. I love the idea of cottage cheese in this! Really an interesting fudge - the flavor must be terrific. Thanks so much.

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    1. It was indeed terrific! Everyone loved it till I told them it had pumpkin...ha ha ha...

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  7. Wow, Love your twist on traditional sweet. Pumpkin gives this warm colour to eat- delicious! Love your photography too.

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  8. HAPPY DIWALI!!
    Ommggg...love this kalakand. I made it last year, and my friends loved it. I know this is yummy, a great diwali sweet.

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    1. Thanks dear! I hope you had a great time Asha.

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  9. Beautifully made. I am not sure if I can replicate the same yet I have a whole pumpkin in my fridge. See if I can find the time for the long cooking process. Still its winner in its own ways.

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    1. Thanks Nav...Indian sweets certainly take up alot of time and that is why I usually make them on special occasions only.

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  10. I love the combo of cottage cheese and pumpkin..they look so beautiful!

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  11. I only know of on Indian restaurant with a decent variety of Indian sweets. I wish we had more, these look wonderful and just might give them a try.

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  12. Happy Diwali to you! Isn't it amazing how much food is connected to our childhood memories? These are beautifully made fudges!

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  13. Happy Diwali!! Love this pumpkin sweet. Great treat to celebrate with. :)

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  14. Wow, that looks yumm!!! I loved how you incorporated the seasonal ingredient the pretty pumpkin into the classic Kalakand. Nice combination, I should give it a try as I have a bottle of homemade pumpkin puree sitting in my refrigerator!!!!

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    1. Thanks Shibi...Would love to hear how it turned out for you.

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  15. So tempting and inviting...i m totally sold over this :)
    www.merrytummy.blogspot.com

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  16. Cant ask more, wat an irresistible kalakand that too with pumpking..Well done.

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  17. Hope you had a wonderful diwali, pumpkin kalakand looks delicious love it.

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  18. Happy belated Diwali, Taruna! I hope you had fun. These pumpkin kalaknd looks delightful.

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    1. Thanks Balvinder...hoping you had a great time on Diwali. :-)

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  19. Oh pumpkin cheese fudge sounds delightful and delicious! Happy belated Diwali!

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  20. Very much tempting and inviting. Loved the idea of using pumpkin. First time here. Glad to follow you via GFC.

    On-going event: Dish it out: coconut and sugar/salt

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    1. Thanks for visiting and I am glad you liked it :-)

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  21. This is totally new to me and I'm trying to imagine the texture. I'll just have to make it and find out. :)

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    1. You won't regret making it though I must warn you that it will take a long time to cook!

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  22. Very unusual! Love the color and it sounds delicious. Happy belated Diwali!

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    1. Thanks for your warm wishes Barbara.

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  23. Awesome clicks .kalakand with pumpkin is very new to me. innovative !

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    1. Thanks Chitra and thanks for visiting my blog :)

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  24. Oh, that is something I'd love to taste! Very original and surely incredibly addictive.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Of course Rosa! These are addictive and nearly melt in your mouth.

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  25. I love this idea, thank you for sharing!! Long live pumpkin recipes!!

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  26. Happy Diwali! This looks SO good - what a perfect fall treat.

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  27. I did not know that you can puree pumpkin and keep it for a month! I love the idea. The color on the kalakand is beautiful. Happy Diwali to you too!

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    1. I am glad you could find something of help.
      Thanks and belated greetings to you too :)

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  28. Realmente una delicia me gustaría probar está de lujo soy fan de la calabaza,abrazos.

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  29. Gorgeous pictures! Love pumpkin and pistachios but don't think I've ever added them together in the same dish.

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  30. What a gorgeous treat! I'll add my belated Happy Diwali wishes, too :)

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  31. I love the flavors of saffron, cardamom, and pistachio. I'm sure those flavors pair lovely with the pumpkin. This sweet treat sounds delicious!

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  32. Happy Diwali, my friend. Love kalakand and your delicious twist using pumpkin!!

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  33. I am drooling over these!!

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  34. Sounds super! Hope you had a nice celebration.

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  35. How interesting, this looks super yummy!

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  36. It's an amazing recipe, looks very beautiful. Fudge+pumpkin is a mouthwatering idea!

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    1. Thanks Daniela! They indeed pair beautifully :-)

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  37. Belated Happy Diwali! Your Pumpkin twist to the Kalakand sounds amazing :) A must try for sure!

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  38. I love this.. the pictures. I have to ask though, did you use canned pumpkin or real pumpkin? what do you mean by sugar pumpkin? Looks so delicious!

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    1. Thanks Honey. I used fresh pumpkin and pureed it by roasting it in the oven. Sugar pumpkin is a sweeter variety of pumpkin and much smaller in size (as shown in one of the pic in the post)

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  39. Belated happy diwali my friend :D
    This sounds like a super delicious treat!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  40. Wishing you a very Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year! This looks amazing!

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  41. Looks delicious... beautiful clicks .. :)

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  42. I have been enjoying all kinds of pumpkin recipes and this one is a brand new one. Very interesting to use cottage cheese, and I'd love to taste it! Happy belated Diwali to you!

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  43. beautifully done and presented looks awesome

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  44. Very first time I have seen a pumpkin fudge. Really like the way you have you it ! Where do you buy sugar pumpkin? Is there another name for it?

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    1. They are easily available here, in Mumbai (India), and they are sold under the name 'Disco Pumpkin' - they are smaller in size and sweeter than regular pumpkins; therefore ideal for making cookies, cakes, breads, desserts, etc.

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  45. gorgeous! these sound absolutely delicious!

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  46. So interesting this pumpkin and homemade cottage cheese. Looks delicious!
    Have a great week and yes, I am back :D

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    1. Hi Juliana! Thanks so much.

      So good to hear from you and so glad to know that you are back. I am heading over to your space... :D

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  47. Nice post, I bookmark your blog because I found very good information on your blog, Thanks for sharing more informatiom
    http://goo.gl/tGqfRs

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    1. Thanks for your visit and I am glad you found it helpful.

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  48. These fudgy pumpkin bites sound absolutely delightful to me!

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  49. This looks superb and the pictures are awesome!!

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  50. Gorgeous ! And very interesting too.

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  51. looks real yumm...lovely clicks too...do visit my blog when you are free...

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  52. Thx to you i won't buy the insanely pricey cottage cheese no more......
    this cottage cheese pumpkin is looks devine, always well photographed!

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  53. Oh my. what a delicious treat! I love the gorgeous color from the pumpkins too. :) Thanks for sharing.

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  54. Cottage cheese and pumkin combination sounds awesome, wonderful twist to kalakand.

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  55. Looks so delicious! Adding pumpkin sounds lovely, and the pistachios on top are so pretty.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. The pistachios are omnipresent as a garnish in most in Indian desserts.

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  56. Wowwww kalakand with pumpkin!! I should tell u ur presentations always amazes me!!!

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    1. Awww...thanks so much dear. You made my day :D

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  57. These sound wonderful! I love all the ingredients in them and the saffron gives it such a beautiful color especially against that hot pink napkin. Very nice recipe.

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    1. Thanks Vicki. It is somewhat time consuming but very easy to dish out. I hope you try it.

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  58. Hey, even I make kalakhand recently, well it can be called almost a kalakhand, coz I just used easy and quick cooking ingredients and modified it all a bunch. Made it with Mango pulp. Yours looks absolutely gorgeous. Loved all the pics as well.

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    1. I too wanted to make the short-cut way but then I thought festivals come only once a year so I decided to make it the traditional way and it was really worth the effort!

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  59. excellent take on the traditional recipe. This is my all time fav sweet :)

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  60. Both recipes and Photographs are really gr8
    Happy to follow you

    kitchenrhythms.blogspot.com

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