Ricotta Coconut Bars (Coconut Kalakhand)

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I bet this has also happened to you many a times where you just realize that tomorrow is the day when you need to be baking something or bringing a dessert for a school function. Why do all these events need to be on weeknights btw? That remains a mystery to me. This time it happened like this – An email on Tuesday evening  ‘gently reminds’ me that I am expected to be bringing in an Indian dessert for the ‘International Night’ the next day(Now when did I sign up for this!). Anyways I tell myself OK, I can do this !- I just need to think of a simple and quick dessert and I am golden.!  As I scratch my head for ‘Indian’ dessert recipes that could be made in a jiffy without having to stand near the stove , the quick version of the Indian sweet, ‘kalakhand’ comes to mind.  Kalakhand is traditionally made from milk solids or khoya and made by letting milk cook slowly for hours.  The easy modern day  (a.k.a cheat version) uses ricotta cheese and condensed milk to attain the same texture in comparatively very less time. In fact you could just make this dessert  using the microwave in under 15 minutes.  So then no brainer – Kalakhand it would be was what I decided (I had to do make a trip quickly to the grocers for the ricotta cheese and condensed milk though!) . Also, I did need to make a large quantity and so I decided to just use the regular oven and also decided last minute to add coconut (this should not surprise you if you have been following my blog…:)  ) too.  Another brainwave I had was to change the flavoring from the usual cardamom to a rose flavor – this had to do partly with me spotting a bottle of rose syrup in my pantry recently.! And coincidentally, coconut and rose go very well together too.!  I got to work and as I mixed the ricotta and the condensed milk together with the coconut, I had to try very hard to prevent myself from eating the whole stuff straight from the mixing bowl. gosh finger-licking delicious! And then i added the rose colored rose syrup and the emerging sweet pink made all my troubles of the day just vanish away. Oh it was just so beautiful and just delicious! (yes I guess a no bake pudding could be made easily as well…just serve the whole mixture in cute cups why bother baking! 🙂 ) By the way I am also bringing these to Fiesta Friday since these are so pink and perfect and all my fellow lady bloggers are sure to love them! 🙂

Ricotta Coconut Bars (Coconut Kalakhand)

  • Servings: about 50 1 inch squares
  • Time: 35 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

3 cups or 16 oz whole milk ricotta cheese

14 oz or 1 cup sweetened condensed milk 

3 tsp rose colored rose syrup (or 1 tsp rose essence and rose coloring)

1 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes(you could also use freshly grated coconut)

extra 1/4 cup coconut flakes and sliced almonds for garnish

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Take a large mixing bowl and add all the ingredients and mix with a hand mixer for about 2-3 minutes until you get a smooth mixture.

Pour mixture into a rectangular 6” by 9 ”pan. Bake at 400 for 20-25 mins total or until bubbly and thick.  For the initial 10 minutes, stir every 5 minutes by getting the pan out and putting it back(to prevent scum from forming otherwise the scum will burn).  Once the mixture changes texture and starts coming off the side of the pan a little bit, it is done.  It will still be a little soft and will not be set until it gets cold. Let cool for 1 hour at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator for at least two hours before cutting into squares and serving. Add shredded coconut and almonds on top.

Note: You can also try making this in the microwave – same procedure as above except place in a microwaveable pan and microwave for about 10-12 minutes stirring every 2-3 minutes.

Ricotta and coconut bars (Barfi)

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41 thoughts on “Ricotta Coconut Bars (Coconut Kalakhand)

  1. And male bloggers, too! I love the flavours you’ve chosen. In fact, I’ve resisted buying rose water? I’m not sure if it’s a syrup or not. It’s probably similar to orange-flower, that’s available in the International store where I buy all of my spices. So many great products to buy!

    1. ha ha. Sorry Johnny – hope you didn’t feel offended by my reference only to ‘female’ bloggers…I thought they might like the pink color better! 🙂 As for rose water – the rose syrup I used is a syrup with rose flavor and rose color- it is available in indian grocers. But the rose water available in International stores will be good too I am sure.! thanks for stopping by and for being such a kind host at Fiesta Friday! 🙂

  2. You are right Indu, we all love these bars!! 😀
    I’ve seen other recipes for this dessert, but love what you did by adding coconut and using rosewater! These look absolutely delicious, and I can’t wait to make them at home! What a gorgeous plate to bring to Fiesta Friday! 😀

  3. I do indeed, this is why I have amchur powder in my pantry, as well as Molokheyya powder from Egypt, various marsala spices mixes and sour grape juice….and various dried chilis from the US and a big tub of maple butter. Luckily most ingredients have a long shelf life. Happy weekend!

  4. looks very pretty indeed with the coconuts sprinkles on top and delicate pink colour. love the way you are inspired by what you find in your pantry, I am the same when I cook

    1. thanks so much! Yes aren’t they pretty? And yes I dislike wasting stuff plus I also love to buy diff stuff when I grocery shop (LOL) …and thus I am always thinking of how to use them! 🙂

      1. yes great creativity and buying of weird ingredients (and wonderful ones like rose syrup – where you likely dont have a recipe in mind but you buy it because you can imagine using it at some point) – mean great “sacrifices” aka – time spent in kitchen concocting recipes!

      1. I made these yesterday, but I did not have the correct amount of coconut, I added about 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. It is so yummy, just the right amount of sweetness, not too sugary, awesome!

        1. So nice to hear that Apsara. Thanks for letting me know! And you are right- this one is not too sweet and just like you that’s how I like my dessert so I can get to eat more😊 I should probably suggest that if folks wanted it more sweeter they should add more sugar. Thx again you are so sweet!

  5. Wow…the rose syrup really gave these bars a gorgeous color, Indu! They’re beautiful and sound positively delicious. 🙂 Thanks for bringing them along to Fiesta Friday!

  6. That’s right, why bake them at all?! Just eat it as a pudding! 🙂 Love the combination of rose syrup and coconut in these bars. I bet they were a huge hit with your son’s class. Happy Friday, Indu, and I hope you are well!

    1. Ngan yes everyone loved them. I could really just eat the whole thing just like that! Happy Friday to you too Ngan and I am doing well – just taken up a new job so I am very busy now so less time for visiting other blogs! I try to make up on the weekends for it but its hard.! 🙂 Hope you are doing well too!

      1. I know what you mean, Indu. Congrats on your new job and just remember to take some time to rest during the weekends. You know we will always be here when you have more time to party. 🙂

  7. Think fusion think Indu ;). So great that you made this using ricotta- they look so good. I guess our brains are at their creative best under pressure, Indu!

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