It is Diwali today. The festival of lights. A day celebrating the victory of good over evil. A day of celebration and prayer. We celebrated at home with a small simple celebration.
As all holidays across the world, Diwali is also about the food. Home-made desserts and savory snacks (Pakwan) are shared with families and friends. My favorite foods, of course, are are the sweet desserts. Unfortunately almost all of them are made with lots of butter and milk and cheese. I also wanted to prepare something at home today to offer to the gods during my prayer (Prasad). Today, I decided to adapt one of my favorite desserts - Kalakand - into a no-added-fat, plant-based version. Here's the basic recipe I found online, which still uses milk.
Prep Time: 45 min
- 1 x 14oz pack of Extra-firm Tofu
- 2 tsp Cardamom powder
- 1-2 flakes of saffron
- 6-8 tbsp Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup Almond Milk
- 2-4 tbsp Slivered or Sliced Almonds
In a small clean saucepan, bring almond milk to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and boil down to about a 1/3 of a cup. Meanwhile, press the block of tofu between kitchen towels for 15-20 minutes to drain all liquids. It helps to weigh down the top with a couple cans of beans to hasten the process. Once the tofu is drained, transfer the dry block to a mixing bowl and crumble with your hands.
Add sugar and almonds to the tofu and again, using your hands, mix until well combined. When the almond milk is boiled down to a thick liquid, add cardamom powder and safron to it, mix well and pour that liquid onto the tofu. Mix using a wooden spatula (the milk will be hot so don't use your hands).
Once well mixed, taste test for sugar and add more than you would normally consider sweet (things taste less sweet once cooled). Mix any additional sugar well. Transfer everything to a rimmed plate and press down evenly.
Place in a fridge for 30 min to allow it to set. Once set, cut into squares or diamonds, garnish with some more cardamom powder and enjoy!!
My Assessment: I think this recipe captured the taste really well. However, I didn't have any powdered non-dairy milk available and so it tasted just a tad bit watery. A couple of tablespoon fulls of powdered non-diary milk would definitely help it bind better and the taste inside would not be watery. I think the tofu crumbles definitely capture the texture and gooey goody flavor of kalakand. Yum! Happy Diwali everyone!!!