My absolute favorite Indian sweet is the gulab jamun. Doodh (milk) pedas come a close second. I’ve always made gulab jamuns from a ready-made mix and bought pedas from the store. Never tried making them from scratch. I find that gulab jamuns made from ready-to-make dough mixes are actually pretty good. So I decided to tackle the pedas at home this time.
Maybe the fact that peda is the less time-consuming of the two might have had something to do with my decision. Doodh pedas are Indian milk fugde desserts or sweets. I personally like them to be of a very soft consistency. They simply melt in your mouth and are a real treat!
I was sure this was one sweet treat which the kiddo would love as well. What’s not to love? It is a simple sweet which packs a lot of punch and are absolutely addictive. And I was right! Once I made these, he just couldn’t stop popping them in his mouth and murmuring sounds of approval! I love that kid!!
Traditionally milk is simmered and reduced till you end up with thick caramelly cheesy milk solids known as khoya or khoa. Khoya is mostly used in Indian milk sweets. Some pedas are also made with flours of different kinds.
The easiest way for a home cook to make these milk sweets are by using a couple of short-cut pantry essentials. All you need are condensed milk and milk powder. I had only unsweetened milk powder, so I added some powdered sugar as well. I used cardamom to flavor the pedas, saffron or kesar is another favorite. A little bit of ghee mixed in towards the end is all that is needed to make these irresistible fudge treats. You can then top them with nuts and dried fruits to make these irresistible sweet nuggets.
You can also try rolling the dough out and cutting shapes from it. How cute are these peda hearts!
- Milk powder - 2 cups
- Sweetened condensed milk - 1 can, 400 g
- Powdered sugar - ¼ cup
- Salt - a pinch
- Cardamom powder - ¼ tsp
- Ghee - 4 tsp, plus extra for greasing
- Almond flakes - 20-24
- Whisk the milk powder, salt and cardamom powder so that there are no lumps. Take this in a large skillet or thick-bottomed pan. Add condensed milk and powdered sugar and whisk together to make a smooth mixture.
- Start cooking this mixture on low heat. Keep stirring to ensure the mixture does not lump up. When you see the mixture start to leave the sides of the pan (around 10-12 minutes), add the ghee and stir to combine.
- Cook further till the mixture becomes a thick mass. If you take some between your fingers, you should be able to form a small ball with it.
- Remove from heat and cool this milk dough for 5 minutes.
- Lightly grease your palms with ghee, pinch small lime-sized balls from the dough and roll into a smooth ball. Slightly flatten it with your fingers and make an indentation in the middle. Place an almond flake in the indentation and set the peda on a greased plate or a piece of parchment paper. Repeat till all the dough is used up.
- Pedas will be soft initially. Refrigerate them for a while to firm up a bit.
2. You can actually shape the pedas any way you want. You can also roll them out and use a cookie-cutter to cut out pedas in different shapes.
Enjoy some delicious homemade pedas this festive season. Milk pedas made properly actually keep well for a few days without refrigeration. But I am super careful and always refrigerate these sweets.
Sweets are such an integral part of any Indian’s life. We eat them always, with or without any cause for celebration. Because life in itself is reason to celebrate, don’t you think so?!
What is your favorite sweet? Have you tried making any at home? Do share your favorite recipe.
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