Rajkot Kesar Peda Saffron Milk Fudge is the “sweetmeat” that has put Rajkot on the national dessert map of India. Since I hail from this town, I have grown up seeing this dessert being made, with memory of the halwais, constantly stirring the milk, and huge quantity of kesar peda saffron milk fudge being shipped outside Rajkot. It is also one of must bought item for tourists visiting Rajkot. I had a constant order from my in-laws to get a Kesar Peda from Rajkot whenever I visited:)
Since this is a delicacy well beyond my talent, I had to do some research to find a recipe that looked closest to the ones from Rajkot, and to no surprise of mine, it came from Tarla Dalal. I am so glad they are continuing her webpage and tutorials with her assistant, as her legacy in cooking is truly timeless.
It was a labour of love, making these Kesar Peda Saffron Milk Fudge, more so as I was making for the first time, and so was more cautious than normal and I think the final result was definitely thumbs up on taste! Texture is yet to be determined, but the house was full of the saffron milk aroma, which was the aroma you got when you opened a box of fresh kesar pedas, specially those that were bought from the most popular vendor Jay Siyaram Pedas. In their pedas, they mark the pedas with their rubber stamp mark, which means a salutation to lord Ram and Sita.
In my own way, it was a celebration for me too, as for the first time I did Mandana style Rangoli, depicting and inspired originally from Lord Mahavir. Since Deepavali, Festival of Lights, is just round the corner, what better way to celebrate the Nirvana kalyanak,of Lord Mahavir and the returning of Lord Ram and Sita, both being the reasons Jains and Hindus celebrating Deepavali, than with this golden flame colored sweet that has the texture similar to fudge and totally melts in your mouth.
Enjoy the Kesar Peda Saffron Milk Fudge with your near and dear ones, as it is truly worth the time, as all ingredients are fresh, including khoya. I will try to make another batch with condensed milk too, and post that recipe soon too! But as they say, everything else is a copy, the original is always the best!! A step closer to home, after relishing this awesome golden color kesar pedas with a hint of cardamom The light of the lamp, mirrored in the color of the pedas, signifies the light of knowledge to me!!
Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali and wishing you a year of prosperity and knowledge!!
Recipe makes 15 Kesar Pedas
Time to cook: 1 hour
Prep time 5 min
- Half gallon whole milk
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tbsp milk
- 1 1/2 pinch of saffron
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Ghee for greasing
- Lemon juice 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp
- Cornflour – 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp
- Heat two tbsp of milk for 1 minute in microwave and immerse the saffron in it. Ensure that the color is nice bright golden color. Add more saffron if needed.
- Heat another two tbsp of milk and mix the cornflour in it.
- In a nonstick or thick bottom pan put the milk to boil
- Reduce the temperature once the milk boils over.
- Continue to simmer stirring once every few minutes, till the milk reduces to half its original quantity.
- Add sugar and stir a few minutes.
- Add the saffron milk and boil and stir for 7-8 minutes.
- Add dissolved cornflour and stir for 6-7 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and stir till the mixture thickens and starts leaving the edges.
- Remove from flame and let it cool completely.
- Add cardamom powder and mix in thoroughly.
- Using ghee to grease the palms, make round balls about 1 1/2 tbsp size.
- Reshape the balls once again to ensure that they are firm and holding shape.
- Use any shape to ident designs at the top or leave it plain.
- Brush some more saffron dipped with milk on the top for festive look
- Leave it aside for at least a few hours for the kesar peda to firm or you can refrigerate it for a couple of hours to firm it faster
- Enjoy this utterly delicious kesar peda saffron milk fudge.
Waiting for milk to boil and thicken over, I went on a medium low flame, as did not want it to burn. Hence the recipe took double the time needed. However if one wants to watch it over, the cooking time can be cut to half.
Ensure that the consistency is thick enough in the end like a khoya or mara or a thick paste to determine that it is well cooked. Next time, I will try to cook a bit more so that the mixture is more drier and maybe add a bit more of cornflour so that it thickens faster,
Grease the vessel in which you are boiling milk with ghee, prior to pouring milk in it, as this will ensure it does not stick at the base.
Patience and perseverance paid off while making the Kesar Peda Saffron Milk Fudge, as it does require a bit of watching over and since was doing this for the first time, had to ensure I do not mess it up!! A wooden spoon for stirring helps in the milk not boiling over! Kept going back to my childhood memories of strolling by the peda manufacturer’s open shop, where i recollected large trays of work in process pedas
Top it with pistachio or silvered almonds for a nutty topping, however I prefer the saffron and cardamom combination.
Golden looking Kesar Peda Saffron Milk Fudge on the DHANTERAS DAY of Diwali are akin to having gold coins on this day of wealth!! The texture was a bit softer and less grainy than the ones in the store, but it tasted better as that is how a fresh pedas tastes, and now I can have the fresh taste of the Kesar Pedas Saffron Milk Fudge much longer than usual! Achieving this level of success has made us so so very happy, for two reasons, as this is from my hometown, which is famous for its pedas and secondly as it is a favorite dessert of my husband! So definitely Diwali celebrations have started for us on the right note with rangoli mandana(inspired from Lord Mahavir and Non Violence)and perfect sweetness , shape, color, flavor and texture and freshness with this gold coin Kesar Peda Saffron Milk Fudge!!