Pedhas / Sweet milk cakes

This recipe can yield many different kinds of pedhas. White, yellow, brown, whatever you like.
I have made dharwad pedha cause the craving kicked in, and it was Ganesha festival.
This brown pedha got its name, from its origin, Dharwad, in Karnataka, India. The trick with all pedhas is this. If you heat the mixture just a bit, it will yield white pedhas or doodh pedhas. When you add saffron, you will get saffron flavored pedhas. If you swap out the milk with mango puree and cook, it will turn into mango pedhas. In this case, we heat it until the mixture turn a warm brown. This is called Dharwad pedha :-)

What you need: Makes about 25-1 inch pedas
3 cups of milk powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
14 oz/396gms can of condensed milk
1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
Pinch of saffron strands
1/2 cup butter or ghee, melted
Finely crushed sugar to coat

In a non stick pan, combine the sugar, milk, milk powder, condensed milk and cardamom powder. Place it on low heat and stir to combine the ingredients into a smooth thick paste. 

If you combine the mixture for about 5 minutes on low heat with continuous stirring, and let it cool, you will get white pedhas. They taste delicious.  But we want brown ones, so we continue to cook it for about 12 to 15 minutes until it turn deep yellow, then a warm brown. Now add ghee and stir it one final time.

Turn off the heat and let it cool to a luke warm temperature. Knead it gently to fine dough without any dry cracked edges. Roll it into little lime sized balls.

Add crushed sugar on to a plate. In India the sugar crystals are bigger and will need to be crushed a bit. In the US, sugar is just the right texture. So use it directly. Mold the dough into little 1 inch diameter balls and roll it in the sugar.

You can store them for up to a week in an airtight box. It will taste good for over a month if its stored in the fridge. Warm the chilled pedhas for just a few seconds in the microwave before you eat. Yum!