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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dharwadi Pedha/Kandi Pedha

This is possibly my most favorite pedha. I have eaten it very few times while growing up. It was mainly offered in weddings as a sweet. I rarely ever found it in a shop and when I did, it wasn't necessarily chosen by the others. I guess the rarity made it even more irresistable. I have heard that this is a speciality of the Dharwad region which is at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka. It is also famous by the name "Kandi Pedha".

I was thinking about this sweet quite frequently for the last few weeks and lamenting on the fact that it is so rare to find it in shops in India, that it would be impossible to find it here. Then I thought, why not make it? I searched the internet and while I found references to this delicacy, I couldn't find a recipe. So, of course I called up my Mom and as usual she knew the recipe and gave me guidelines and offered a warning that this would take a long long time to make. So for those of you about to embark on the path to this recipe, I am duty bound to pass on this warning. This recipe can take a couple of hours to about 3 hours to make and you must pay close attention while its cooking. You don't want it to get spoilt at the end of 3 hours! If you make it, I am sure you will agree with me that it was well worth the effort.

1/2 cup clarified butter/ ghee
2 cups ricotta cheese (use the one with the maximum amount of fat content that you can find)
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp sugar (for garnish)
5 green cardamom pods, ground into a powder
couple of teaspoons of milk

Process the ricotta cheese  in a food processor or blender, till it has a paste like consistency. Ricotta cheese is granular and we want it to be fine before heating it. In a pan, add the ghee and the processed ricotta cheese and heat it. Cook this for the next hour or more till the ricotta cheese slowly loses the watery consistency and takes on the mawa consistency. It is very important to keep a close eye on the cheese to make sure that it does not get stuck at the bottom of the pan or burn. Keep stirring it frequently. Once it is close to mawa consistency, you will also notice that the smell and the taste of the cheese changes significantly. At this point, you are half way through the cooking process.

Continue to reduce this mawa till it takes on a pink color and then keep roasting it till it turns light brown. Be very careful at this point and do not let it burn. You will notice that the mawa will become very granular and start separating out. Once you have a nice brown color, turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. The color and consistency should be similar to the picture above.

Then add the cardamom powder and 3/4 cup sugar to this. Process it in a food processor, till the sugar mixes well into the roasted mawa. If you have browned your mawa really well, the sugar will not blend into the mawa completely. At this stage, sprinkle a few drops of milk. It is important that you do not pour too much milk into the mawa-sugar mixture. Process this again. Keep adding the milk as required till it all comes together in a dough form.

Then move it back to the pan and heat it again for a few minutes. The mixture will come together in a ball. It will be the right consistency to roll into pedhas at this stage. Turn off the heat and then knead the mixture really well. Then roll out small balls, about 3/4th inch in diameter. The mixture should still be a little warm at this stage. In another plate spread out a layer of sugar kept aside for garnish. Flatten the ball onto this sugar and make sure both the sides are coated with sugar. Keep aside. Use the entire mixture till all the pedhas are ready.

Enjoy your hardwork!!!

For the pedha to taste like kandi pedha, the mawa must be well browned. It is a key requirement. Cook this throughout on a low heat, else there are chances of burning. If you burn the mixture, you will need to start from the beginning. Do not use powdered sugar. You can feel the sugar texture in kandi pedha, so you must use granulated sugar.


  1. I tried these pedhas & they were authentic!
    One more awesome treat from PD, thanks :)

  2. I eat these pedas but never made them do u have a video of the recipe please share it here.

  3. I have not made a video of the process, however have tried to provide very detailed instructions in the recipe above. If you have questions, I am more than happy to provide clarifications. If in the future I make a video of the process, I will definitely upload it. Thank you.

  4. I am from Dharwad and your pedha are delicious. Sorry these are not called Kandi peda. Kand pedha are creamish in colour. Oherwise this s a fantastic recipe. Do you know its a closely guarded secret. I plan to make these but will need your advise on a substitute for ricotta cheese. Do you think homemade paneer will be okay?

    1. @Archana Potdar - Thank you for the correction. I didn't know these were two different kinds of pedhas. I have used ricotta cheese to make the khoya/mava. If you have access to mava, then you can try using paneer. I haven't made it using paneer, but it is quite close to ricotta cheese. Make sure to use whole milk (not skim milk) to make the paneer

  5. I tried the recipe. It turned out very good. Although it still had that ricotta cheese taste in it. Tasted the same as the white pedas I make with ricotta cheese. Would you know how to make it from scratch with milk?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks. I am glad you liked the recipe. You must roast the ricotta cheese on very low heat (takes a long time), till it is uniformly brown and granular. The ricotta cheese must be evenly cooked out to remove the ricotta cheese taste. You can make it from milk, however you will need to boil the milk on low heat for a long time to reduce it to mava/khoya and then proceed with browning it.


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