Ramadhan Mubarak! Hope everyone who is observing the month is having a jolly spiritual time! In Canada the fasts are about 16-17 hours in the major cities, longer in the Northern parts, but Alhamdullilah, not going to bad. I just learnt to make pera, my favorite indian sweetmeat, so I thought of sharing. Enjoy!
Also known as: Penda/Doodh Pera/Peda
Servings: Makes 30-35
- 3 ounces unsalted butter (plus lots more for greasing)
- 8 ounces milk powder, preferably a good brand such as Carnation
- 8 ounces evaporated/condensed milk (not sweetened) (yes, weigh the milk)
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder (elchi)
- saffron, heavy pinch
- nutmeg powder, heavy pinch
- Metal sieve
- Parchment/wax paper
- Prepare all the ingredients
- Sieve the milk powder to remove any large lumps
- Grease a tray and prepare a large sheet of parchment paper/wax paper
- In a heavy bottom pot, melt butter on low heat, do not let it boil
- Add condensed milk, do not stir. When the mixture bubbles at the edges of the pot, add sugar (after about 4 minutes)
- After adding the sugar, mix and stir for 6-7 minutes, still on low heat
- Add the cardamom, saffron and nutmeg
- Add milk powder gradually, all while stirring vigorously to remove lumps. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Take the mixture off the heat and pour onto the greased tray. However, if there are still lumps in the mixture, pass through a metal sieve
- Pour on greased tray and start portioning by pouring a tablespoon worth of mixture onto the parchment paper
- Grease your hands well using butter. Pick one of the portions and form into the pera shape. When you shape them for the first time, they will not be perfect. So after the first rolling, put the semi-shaped mixture back onto the parchment paper. Come back to that piece later to shape again. Therefore, the mixture needs to be shaped at least 2-3 times to achieve the right shape. Be patient!
- Grease your hands between every pera.
- If you have an empty thread spool, imprint the flower pattern using the spool
- The peras can be frozen and enjoyed later on. If not consuming within 2-3 days, place in fridge.
If you are not successful in shaping the peras, pour into a greased tray and let it set. Then cut up into squares. They are still tasty! It takes some practice for the shape to come out right.
If the peras crack, that means you cooked the mixture too much after you added the sugar.