Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Doodh Peda (Milk Fudge) : 6 Minute Guilty Pleasure

When it comes to enjoying Indian sweets, I find Milk Pedas absolutely *irresistible*. Next in the sweet hit list would be all kinds of milk based desserts - likes of Gulab Jamun, Ras Malai, Kala Jamun. At the tail end of the list are all dry fruit based sweets. Kaju Katli (Cashewnut fudge), in my humble opinion is nauseating. Just thinking of it makes my stomach churn uncomfortably. How some people I know (take Hubbie for instance) can down them 4-5 at a time is alarming.

But all good things in life are difficult to come by. Agree? Traditionally to make pedas you must painstakingly boil the milk for hours *without* burning it. However, with the magic of processed foods and invention of appliances for busy people you can enjoy pedas in not 9 minutes, not even 8 minutes, but just 7 minutes and 59 seconds. However, if you were to follow the recipe properly you can cut 2 full minutes of prep time. Hopefully I have made you googly eyed just like those attractive infomercials on TV this time of year :-)

All you need for this recipe is a nice big microwave safe glass bowl (with a wide mouth), a can of sweetened condensed milk, a stick of butter and 1/2 cup of non fat dry milk. I don't regularly endorse brands, but Carnation brand dry milk works best - other brands I have tried have given less than optimal results.

Doodh Peda
1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butterPlace butter in a large glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or more so as to melt it.
one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 cup of non-fat dry milk
Mix in the condensed milk and dry milk powder and microwave for a minute. Stir vigorously to combine. Repeat the microwaving for a minute and stirring 4-5 times until the texture and color of the mixture resembles cooked oatmeal.
2-3 cardamom pods
a healthy pinch of saffron
Grind the black seeds inside the cardamom pods and the saffron into a powder and mix in with the peda mixture. Let the mixture cool until it can be handled by hand. Shaped into small balls and flatten to form pedas. Alternatively spread on a greased sheet and cut into shapes when cooled completely. Decorate with slivered almond or pistachios

Only seriously insanely obsessive picky eaters will be able to tell you have not slaved over the stove for hours. For the rest of us - this tastes as authentic as it gets. There are many variations to this basic peda recipe - but this one has turned out perfectly multiple times and is what I call a keeper recipe. Thanks to my dear cousin who made these pedas specially on my birthday!