The Pumpkin Season

The beloved Indian holiday, Diwali, falls during the most colorful time of the year—autumn or fall season, as it’s more commonly known in the US. The highlight of the fall season is certainly the pumpkins! They’re everywhere, as it’s the time when they’re harvested, and you can find a ton of recipes, both savory and sweet, that feature pumpkin as the key ingredient. I’m doubling down on the flavor of the season, using both the pumpkin and the popular pumpkin spice to make a decadent dessert – Pumpkin Spice Kalakand!

Pumpkin Spice Kalakand

The Pumpkin Spice 

Along with the pumpkin, there’s also pumpkin spice, that’s quite popular. I mean, even before summer ends, many coffeehouse chains start offering the signature, Pumpkin Spice Latte and people go crazy over it! Pumpkin Spice is essentially a spice blend, just like the masalas as we refer to them in India, made with a combination of ground spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. I buy it from the local grocery stores but you can absolutely make your own by mixing the individual ground spices that you may have in your spice cabinet. 

Pumpkin Spice Kalakand

Inspirations from Fall Flavors

I definitely make the most of the season’s bounty and use up all different kinds in my Indian kitchen. Pumpkin is actually widely used in Indian cooking, mostly turned into curries and that’s how I tend to use pumpkin as well in some traditional Maharashtrian recipes. After living in the US for about 2 decades now, I’ve grown into some of the sweet ones too – like the pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving! Inspired by the classic flavors of fall – the pumpkin and the pumpkin spice, I created a fusion mithai for Diwali – the Pumpkin Spice Kalakand!

Pumpkin Spice Kalakand

Kalakand, the Indian Cheesecake

Kalakand is more commonly known as milk burfi or Indian cheesecake. It is made by reducing curdled milk that is then sweetened up with sugar, spiced with cardamom and topped with nuts. It’s decadent, rich, creamy, moist, slightly grainy but super soft in texture and just melts in your mouth! 

Pumpkin Spice Kalakand

My Game-changing Hack

You can find a variety of recipes, including the traditional method and then a few shortcut recipes using chenna (curdled milk solids) or crumbled paneer (Indian cottage cheese) mixed in with milk, sugar and spices. However, I have a game-changing hack – I use store-bought ricotta cheese,which simplifies the extensive process of making traditional Indian dessert like this one, a breeze!

Pumpkin Spice Kalakand

Indian Mithai with an American twist 

Besides the classic cardamom-scented Kalakand, there are flavored versions like mango and rose. For Diwali, I gave the traditional Indian Kalakand a classic American twist by incorporating the fall season’s highlights, the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. With all of these classic American flavors, this Indian cheesecake is not only a delightful treat for your Diwali festivities but can also be a great addition to your Thanksgiving spread!

Pumpkin Spice Kalakand

The result is a beautifully golden-orange festive dessert with a touch of natural sweetness from the pumpkin. The addition of pumpkin spice adds a delightful warmth to the flavor. To top it off, I used classic American pecans, which complement the pumpkin and spice perfectly. I have outlined step-by-step details below that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen. 

Pumpkin Spice Kalakand
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Pumpkin Spice Kalakand


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 12 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, approximately 1/2 of 14 oz / 397 g can
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, approximately 1/2 of 15 oz / 425 g tub (see Notes)
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée, approximately 1/2 of 15 oz / 425 g can (see Variations)
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice (see Variations)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 23 tbsp toasted pecan pieces, for topping (see Variations)
  • 12 tsp butter, for greasing

Special Equipment


Instructions

  • Place the sweetened condensed milk, ricotta cheese and pumpkin purée in a deep sauté non stick pan.
  • Stir to combine and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Let the mixture come to a boil. It will take about 4-5 minutes.
  • Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently.  
  • Continue stirring and cooking till the mixture starts to thicken.  
  • After about 10-12 minutes, the mixture will start coming together.
  • Once the mixture gets sufficiently thick and comes together, leaving the sides of the pan, turn the heat off.
  • Add in the pumpkin spice and the vanilla extract.
  • Mix well to combine.
  • Grease a 7×5 glass baking dish with the softened butter.  
  • Transfer to the greased baking dish and spread into an even layer, about ½-¾ inch thick.
  • Cut into even squares and then gently press toasted pecan pieces into each square.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving (see Notes for storage instructions).

Keywords: Store-bought Shortcuts, Creamy Desserts, Diwali Special

Step-by-Step Details

Step: 1

Place the sweetened condensed milk, ricotta cheese and pumpkin purée in a deep sauté non stick pan.

Step: 2

Stir to combine and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Step: 3

Let the mixture come to a boil. It will take about 4-5 minutes.

Step: 4

Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Step: 5

Continue stirring and cooking till the mixture starts to thicken.

Step: 6

After about 10-12 minutes, the mixture will start coming together.

Step: 7

Once the mixture gets sufficiently thick and comes together, leaving the sides of the pan, turn the heat off.

Step: 8

Add in the pumpkin spice and the vanilla extract.

Step: 9

Mix well to combine.

Step: 10

Grease a 7x5 glass baking dish with the softened butter.

Step: 11

Transfer to the greased baking dish and spread into an even layer, about ½-¾ inch thick.

Step: 12

Cut into even squares and then gently press toasted pecan pieces into each square. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Happy cooking
Vasanti

What did you think?

Rate + Review

Leave a Message

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



Cookbook

Classic and Innovative Recipes for the Homecook

It's a Signature Concoction!


Pumpkin Spice Kalakand

Ingredients

Instructions

FOLLOW ALONG ON INSTAGRAM @signatureconcoctions