3tablespoonspistachiosthinly sliced (optional for nut free, or use nuts of your choice)
Line small baking tray or dish with 7" X 7" parchment paper
In a wide non stick pan (10 to 11 inches wide) add ricotta cheese and condensed milk. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently for 20 to 25 mins. Keep scraping the sides frequently. In the first 5 minutes the mixture will be very liquidy and it will continue to thicken up. After about 20 minutes the mixture will start to seperate from the sides and will start to come together as a thickish batter. Add cardamom powder and mix well. For me the batter comes togther in 22 minutes, but depending on the thickness of your pan and heat level, it may take a few mins more or less. Please see notes below.
Pour the mix in on the parchment paper lined dish and using a silicone spatula, press down evenly making a 6" X 6" square evening out the top and sides. Allow to cool down completely, about an hour. You can cut the Kalakand into small 1 inch cubes (around 36 square pieces) or cut into bigger 2" x 2" squares ( 9 pieces) which will look more like the traditional version. I like to cut them into small bite sized pieces which are easier to eat.
Kalakand will stay good at room temperature for a day. It also tastes best at room tempterature. You can refrigerate for up to 5 days. Be sure to bring it to a room temperature before serving. Kalakand freezes well, but again make sure to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, and serve at room temperature.
Use full fat ricotta for the best and creamiest Kalakand (also called milk cake by some)
Always use good quality condensed milk brands like Eagle, Carnation or Magnolia. The consistency of some of the store brands is more watery, and that can affect the texture of the final dish
Use a non-stick pan to make this recipe for easy cleanup and perfect texture
If you cook for a longer time, the kalakand may get a more chewy, fudgy, Peda-like texture. For best results, cook just until the mix starts to come together and enjoy at room temperature