Feel very fortunate and blessed that I was able to make and offer Kesar peda for the Diwali Govardhan Puja Annakut, at the Bay Area Vaishnav Parivar Temple. Thanks to Mom and BayVP for the opportunity (:
The recipe is the same as the one posted previously. Only difference this time is that, I experimented with slight change in cooking time. Have reduced the cooking time by a total of 5-10 minutes. And I like this version better.
Ricotta cheese – 32 Oz.
Milk powder (also called Dry milk) – 2 cups
Condensed milk – 4 tablespoons
Ghee – 4 tablespoons
Sugar – 1 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon
Pistachio – 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
Rose water (optional) – 3-4 drops
Milk – 2 tablespoons
Saffron (Kesar): A pinch
- Warm 2 tablespoons of milk, and soak a pinch of saffron, keeping some aside for garnish later. Keep aside. Please note that the saffron needs to be soaked for at least an hour. In case it has not been done, the Peda wouldn’t have the desired yellow/saffron color.
- Heat ghee in a in a vessel. Non-stick vessel is highly preferred. Keep the flame on medium throughout the cooking process.
- Add ricotta cheese and stir. Make sure you constantly stir the cheese, such as it doesn’t stick to the vessel. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the moisture evaporates.
- Add sugar. The quantity of sugar I have mentioned gives medium sweetness. If you want it more on the sweeter side, use more sugar, as desired.
- Make sure you are continuously stirring the ingredients.
- Add the condensed milk as well as milk powder and cook until the moisture starts leaving the sides of the vessel. Also, add the soaked saffron, along with the milk. This should take about 20 minutes. Do not overcook, or it might become dry. The mixture will become bit stiffer once it cools down. So make a judgement call as to when to stop cooking it further. Turn off the heat.
- Add cardamom powder and rose water, mix well.
- Let the mixture cool down a bit, and start making the pedas when you can handle the mixture with your bare palms. The way you make pedas is, apply ghee to your palms, and knead the mixture like a dough to make it really smooth. Make it into desired sized balls, flatten the balls a bit and apply chopped pistachio on top of each. Press it a bit, for the pistachio powder to set. Garnish with the remaining saffron.
- Enjoy it warm, or put it in refrigerator for a bit before eating to enjoy it cold.