- Easy to make with only 5 ingredients
- Vegetarian Indian dessert
- Great gift for the holidays like Diwali
- Fasting / Vrat friendly sweet
Melt in your moth kesar pedas or saffron peda are an easy way to make traditional doodh peda or milk peda in under 30 minutes. Pedas are traditional and a very popular Indian mithai (sweet). They are often given for gift giving during holidays such as Diwali among other popular Indian sweets.
While the traditional method to make peda is using khoya or mawa (reduced milk solids) or paneer this recipe takes an easy approach and uses ricotta cheese in its place. It gives a delicious flavor for a moist creamy, sweet bite!
Often condensed milk is used in instant kesar peda, this version has no condensed milk.
Pedas are often referred to as milk fudge.
Kesar Peda Ingredient Notes
Only a few main ingredients are needed to make this easy recipe.
Ghee: The taste of ghee is delicious for this treat. If you are in a pinch, you can substitute butter.
Cardamom powder: Don’t skip this, it gives the peda a delicious hint of flavor.
Milk powder: No milk peda is complete without some milk! Use full fat milk powder else your peda may turn out dry.
Ricotta cheese: In the US, you will find these sold in 15 oz. size, so pick up one of those. Again, I used full fat.
Sugar: Adjust the sweetness level to your taste. I like it a little less sweet so you may want to add another tablespoon if you prefer ricotta cheese peda more sweet.
Saffron: Must have for this recipe. Saffron can easily be found online and in Indian grocery stores.
Milk or heavy cream: Blooming the saffron in milk is where all the flavor is! Don’t skip. Heavy cream can give a more lush taste.
Optional: Crushed pistachios for garnish. You may or may not want to use these depending on the shape of pedas you make.
How to Make Kesar Peda Recipe
Tools: Highly recommend using a nonstick pan.
Crush saffron strands and put into small bowl of warm milk, let sit a few minutes. Then, heat ghee in a pan on medium heat.
Add ricotta and mix. Let water burn out by cooking on medium flame for a few minutes. Then, add sugar.
Add milk powder, turn gas to low heat and mix well. Cook until mixture begins to form into a paste like mix, pulling away from the pan.
Add ground cardamom and mix. Turn off gas.
Turn out the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and let it cool. Once cooled, knead for 3-5 minutes to help smooth out the mixture which will result in a creamier bite and remove any clumps.
Tip: You will see the mixture pull away from the sides of the pan that’s when you know it is ready! Don’t leave it for a long time as the mixture can dry out, resulting in a dry peda.
Making Shapes and Decorating
There are two ways to make peda shapes
Traditional way: Roll pieces of the dough in between your hands to make a smooth ball shape. Lightly press the center of the peda to make a shallow hole. Place crushed pistachios as garnish.
Use a Milk Cake mold: Not traditional, but easy to use and makes beautiful shapes! Search online for milk cake molds. They are very easily available on Amazon.
To use the milk cake mold, simply take a ball of peda mixture, place the milk cake mold over it and press down on the top. It is like a stamp. Press firmly and release. Lift up the mold/stamp and you will have a beautiful design!
One time for Janmashtami, I decorated the pedas with the design of peacock feathers. So, you can definitely get creative with the shapes and decorations!
Storing Kesar Peda
Peda can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. Since it is a milk product, I recommend using within a week or so. Keep it refrigerated.
Yummy and Easy Kesar Peda
- 1 non-stick pot
- 1 Mixing spoon
- 1 Parchment paper
- molds optional, to make peda shapes
- 1½ tbsp Ghee
- 15 oz Ricotta cheese 425g, 2 cup
- ½ cup Sugar 118g
- ¾ cup Milk powder 55g, non-fat milk powder
- 1 pinch saffron strands
- 2 tbsp milk warm
- Melt ghee on medium
- Add ricotta, 2-3 minutes
- Add sugar
- Add milk powder, turn to medium low
- Pulls away, add cardamom. Turn off gas and mix.
- Let cool a little so it can be handled. Then turn out mixture on parchment paper. Use ends of parchment paper to knead the mixture to make it smooth.
- Make shapes and garnish with pistachio slivers.