Dharwad pedhas are one of the favourites amongst all the pedhas, sold only by the Thakurs sweet shop at Dharwad in Karnataka and the preparation technique is a family secret. The availability of this sweet is limited to very few shops across the country, so getting hold of them here in this region where I stay was next to impossible. That made me think if only I could replicate this sweet at home.
I messaged my SIL who is from Dharwad and pat came her reply about the process being lengthy where milk is reduced to khoya [milk solids] with added sugar and cardamom powder. My search on net produced results of recipes who have tried to replicate this sweet at home using Khoya or ricotta cheese as main ingredient. I did have ricotta cheese tub which was nearing its expiry date and a tin of Dulce de leche. Now why DDL? as I mentioned before in my post here, taste of dulce de leche was so much similar to Dharwad pedhas, I decided to give a try with this ingredient and began my trial with them. Assembled both ingredients in microwave safe dish and cooked it. I followed microwave method from here except for different timings. Took me about 32-35 mins to finish the preparation [excluding the time required to prepare DDL]. Spooned out the mixture and served it in each plate placed on dinner table. One of my friend who had visited us got a chance to taste small portion and instantly he said "so much like Dharwad pedhas" Hurray!!! The final product tasted like those famous pedhas
After that I experimented few more times just to be sure about the microwave timings and each time, they came out close to shop bought ones. Please note this is not traditional method. If you love Dharwad pedhas and are unable to get it in nearby sweet shops, then you may give a try for this recipe whenever the cravings strike and satisfy your sweet tooth.
396 gms dulce de leche [1 tin ] . Check here for recipe
500 gms of ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Castor sugar for coating the pedhas.
Pour the ricotta cheese in microwave safe vessel [please see to it that its a deep vessel with a lid]. Use a wire whisk to remove any lumps. Add condensed milk and with wire whisk itself blend both the ingredients.
Cook for 5 mins uncovered. Take the vessel out, stir in well.
MW for 5 mins uncovered. Take the vessel out, give a stir scraping the edges.
MW for 2 mins uncovered. Give a stir.
MW for 2 mins covered. Give a stir. Wipe the moisture from the lid
MW for 2 mins cross covered [watch the video link to know how to cross cover the vessel]. Give a stir.
Take the vessel out and mix it well
Microwave for 15-17 mins uncovered, taking the vessel out and stirring the mixture every 2 mins. [Please be careful as the mixture will bubble up initially and wear oven mitts so that you don't get burned]. You will get nice brown color mixture. Add cardamom powder and give it a stir.
Allow the mixture to cool down and when the mixture is warm enough to handle, shape them into round pedhas or any shapes you prefer. Keep it aside on a plate. Once the whole mixture is utilized, roll each pedha in castor sugar so that it gets coated from all sides.
Delicious pedhas are ready, serve them and enjoy!
-You may choose to keep those pedhas simple without rolling them in castor sugar.
-For the last 15-17 mins of microwave cooking, you can adjust the timings as per your microwave cooking options.
-For those who cant find ricotta cheese try it with khoya/mawa. I also tried pan method and made these pedhas with DDL and khoya, Cook the mixture till it starts to leave the sides of the pan [see the below pic for pan method pedhas].
Taste wise I preferred ricotta cheese + DDL combination.