Kalakand might just be one of the most popular Indian desserts. It’s a creamy, cardamom-spiced milk cake that melts in your mouth! Well, we’re combining everyone’s favorite dessert with everyone’s favorite fruit. Introducing… Mango Kalakand!
What is Mango Kalakand?
When I first shared my recipe for Instant Pot Kalakand, it was a HUGE hit – so many of you made and loved it! It’s the easiest recipe out there, I’m sure of it. Since then, I’ve been wondering how to make a mango version. Coming up with a recipe for mango kalakand isn’t quite as easy as you might think. Nope, you can’t just mix in mango puree or mango pulp – not if you want it to be perfect. So, after a lot of trial and testing, here we are with the best mango kalakand recipe out there, and it just so happens to be a cinch to make.
This mango-flavored kalakand is a fun twist on the traditional version. It has everything you love about kalakand, plus a burst of mango flavor. It’s the perfect celebratory dessert for this festive season!
The best part? You can make it easily in an Instant Pot!
What Does Mango Kalakand Taste Like?
If you’ve never tried kalakand, it tastes kind of like a mix between a cake and soft fudge. I like to describe it as an Indian tres leches. Think: a soft, and moist yet still firm cake that’s slightly crumbly and melts in your mouth. I’m sure there are many varieties of kalakand out there – this version is mango flavored.
How is this a Shortcut Recipe?
If you make this dessert the traditional way, you’ll be spending hours in the kitchen. It’s made by reducing milk and sugar until it forms a crumbly, soft fudge. You’re supposed to watch a pot of milk boil until it reduces to basically nothing.
That’s why most of the time, people prefer to buy kalakand from stores rather than make it at home. But, if you’ve been following my blog, then you know I’m all about quick and easy recipes. My original Kalakand Recipe doesn’t sacrifice flavor one bit. My mithai tastes just like store-bought. This mango kalakand is no exception – just as good as what you’ll find at any store!
Ingredients for Making Mango Kalakand
- Ricotta Cheese: use whole milk ricotta!
- Mango Pulp: use sweetened canned mango pulp
- Ghee: room temperature
- Dry Milk Powder: you can use whole dry milk powder or reduced fat – both work just fine. You can find this ingredient at most local grocery stores – I get mine from the Indian Grocery Store, Giant Eagle, or Wegmans.
- Cardamom: freshly ground is essential when it comes to desserts.
- Pistachios: use raw pistachios, they are a pretty bright green color versus roasted, which look dull/brownish.
- Dried Rose Petals: optional for garnish
Canned Mango Pulp vs. Fresh Mango
I have only tried this recipe with canned mango pulp, and there are a couple of reasons why.
- To ensure consistent results. There’s too much variability with fresh mangoes – some are sweet, and some are not. Some are juicy, and some are firm. Sweetened canned mango pulp always tastes the same. I use the Deep brand, but I’m sure any brand will work as long as it’s sweetened. It’s also important to use canned mango because we rely on the sugar in the canned pulp. You’ll notice that the recipe calls for very little added sugar since the pulp already calls for it.
- So you can enjoy this sweet year-round, even when mangoes are out of season.
Kalakand vs Burfi
There are many types of milk-based Indian desserts. Kalakand is like a soft and creamy cake, whereas burfi is more like a firm fudge. The main difference is in texture. Again, kalakand is much softer than burfi. If you’re looking for a burfi recipe, then give my Milk Burfi a try. And for those of you who read my blog posts closely, I’ll let you in on a secret – I’ll be sharing a recipe for mango burfi very soon! 😉
I hope you love this recipe as much as my original kalakand! Let me know what you think!
More Festive Indian Sweets:
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 100 grams sugar ½ cup
- 10 ounces sweetened canned mango pulp 1 cup
- 4 ounces room temperature ghee ½ cup
- 300 grams dry milk powder 3 cups
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon chopped raw pistachios
- Dried rose petals optional, garnish
- Add the ricotta cheese, sugar, and mango pulp to the pot and mix well.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure. (This is a good time to grind cardamom if you don’t have some on hand).
- Quick-release pressure.
- Press saute and adjust the heat to the highest setting. Add ghee, milk powder, and cardamom to the pot and stir continuously for 5 minutes (you may want to wear a glove to hold onto the hot pot as you stir). If the mixture still looks a bit liquidy, you can stir for another minute or so if needed.
- Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined 8×8 pan and even out the top with a spatula if needed. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top, then gently shake the pan to help level the fudge and help the pistachios stick.
- Let the milk cake cool down (takes about an hour), then put it in the fridge for 4 hours to set. You can also leave it overnight.
- Once chilled, lift from the pan using parchment, then cut into 5 rows by 5 rows (approx. 1.5-inch x 1.5-inch squares). Trim off any uneven edges.
- You can store this mithai in an air-tight container in the fridge for about a week.
- You can use non-fat or full-fat dry milk powder in this recipe. You can find dry milk powder at your local Indian grocery store – my store carries the Nido brand, which I use often. I have also used this brand as well as this brand. I’ve also used the brand Village Farms from Wegmans.
- If for some reason the mixture looks runny, feel free to saute for an additional minute or so if needed.
- Freshly ground cardamom powder is much more aromatic and flavorful than store-bought. I highly suggest grinding your own for this recipe (and for any Indian dessert recipe). Grind your own by removing the green shell and grinding the black seeds inside. I have and love this electric spice grinder if you’re looking for a recommendation.
- I prefer using raw pistachios because they’re brighter green than roasted.
- You can also decorate with rose petals if you’d like.
- Important! All of the recipes on my blog are tested using a 6-quart instant pot – I have not tested this recipe in a different-sized pot. I don’t know if this recipe will work in a 3 quart or 8 quart as the surface area is different and will affect the temperature of the sugar syrup. I suggest only using a 6 quart for this recipe.
- Do Not Double Recipe: Please do not double/triple this recipe or any other Instant Pot dessert recipe on my blog. A dessert or anything made with sugar syrup can be finicky in an Instant Pot. I have only tested this recipe as written.