Make some apple kalakand. All sorts of milky burfis, pedas, milk cakes and kalakands are gifted and consumed during diwali along with more sweets made of refined flour, lentil flours and loads of sugar. Sugar is the bonding factor it seems. Is there a way to skip sugar this diwali? Make an instant apple kalakand that gets ready in 20 minutes flat. Including the time you take to get your apple from the fruit basket, grate it and cook it. Read on if you don't believe me. It is a microwave recipe but one can cook the mixture in a pan for just about 5 minutes to get the same result.
This apple kalakand is one of those sweets that would taste as granular as the 'bikanerwala' kalakand and almost as sweet. Kalakand is normally a mildly sugared sweet so apple works really well. There is a hint of apples in it if you know as you may miss that apple sweetness if you eat this kalakand in one go. I used Golden Delicious apples from our own land. Local and seasonal apples taste way better than those shiny Red Delicious and Fuji.
And there are only 2 ingredients in this kalakand, apple and milk powder. You can use skim milk powder or low fat, the result wouldn't change much. Pistachios are used for garnish that you can skip if you wish. I used cinnamon for flavoring, use cardamom if you wish or just skip that too.
What more to ask for if you got just the weekend to celebrate diwali. Light up your home with candles and diyas, you would still have enough time to cook apple kalakand. Make a larger batch and gift them too if you wish.
( I made just for the two of us, this recipe made 9 regular sized kalakand)
one large apple or 2 small apples (Golden Delicious would be better) weighing about 200 gm
milk powder 150 gm
cinnamon powder 2 pinches (optional)
pistachios for garnish (optional)
Peel and grate the apple. The grated apples should weigh about 180 gm. Place it into a microwave safe bowl which has about 2 inches margin from the mixture. The mil mixture fluffs up while microwaving and can spill inside the microwave if the bowl is smaller.
Now add the milk powder and mix the two. The juice in the grated apple is enough to make a slurry when mixed with milk powder. Add cinnamon powder if using.
Further cooking will be almost like making khoya in microwave using milk powder.
Microwave the mixture for a minute on high. It will fluff up and will be about to spill when you take out the bowl and stir the mixture with a spoon. Microwave again for 30 seconds, stir again and repeat the process for 3-4 times till it looks granular and comes together like a sticky mass. Just about 3 minutes of cooking time total.
Spread the mixture quickly into a shallow plate of suitable size keeping the margins straight. Sprinkle chopped pistachios and press them into the spread mixture. Let it cool for an hour or so. Cut in squares and place the kalakands on a butter paper sheet for convenience. I have cut the butter paper sheet in small squares so one can lift the apple kalakand easily.
It gets firm when cold. The taste is perfectly sweet for us and I got good feedback from others as well. So do not add any sugar to this kalakand as this would make it too sweet for your own comfort.
Perfectly granular, the mild acidity in the apple helps in bringing a nice granular texture in this kalakand. Cinnamon is not too prominent and I use it just to make the milky aroma get a bit lighter. I don't like reduced milk sweets too much myself so this bit of spicing up the kalakand is good for me. Skip cinnamon if you wish and add cardamom instead.
Let diwali be stress free for your system, don't worry about the kilo you pile on every festive season that comes by. Eat smarter, do not compromise on taste.
Do let me know if you make this apple kalakand for yourself. I know a few of you were already waiting for it, happy diwali to you all :-)
Say NO to firecrackers. Natural living is healthier for the planet as well.