Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Pala Kova (Doodh Peda)

For Deepavali, I preprared ‘Pala Kova’ (Doodh Peda), one of the classic sweets from home.

Pala Kova , Paal Kova, Doodh Peda)


1 gallon of whole milk
1 1/2 cups of sugar
Cooking time : 3 hours

This is one of those recipes, which allows multitasking, at least for the first two hours. Also make it only when you have some good natured, dear friends or family nearby, so that they can give you moral support:) or help out, when you get frustrated with stirring and the slow way it takes for milk to thicken. Chit chat or clean up the kitchen, wash the dishes, cook up other recipes or fold the laundry and in between for every 2 to 3 minutes, stir the milk. This way you won’t notice the time.

Milk after half an hour of boiling Milk after two hours of simmering


In a big sturdy pan, bring the milk to a boil. Keep the heat on medium high and boil/simmer the milk for about 2 hours, stirring in between. By the end of two hours, the milk reduces in volume, becomes quite thick and turns from white to color of gandham(sandal wood) paste.

Milk and sugar simmering Pala Kova (Doodh Peda) - The final product of milk and sugar after 3 hours on the stove

Add sugar to the thickened milk. Continuously stirring on medium heat, cook for about 30 to 45 minutes. By the end of this time, the milk-sugar paste further thickens and when you think, you can almost make a ball with it, then only switch off the heat.

Ladle off the paste onto a clean plate or round dish. Let it cool completely. Cut it into squares or shape into rounds. If you want, decorate the sweets with toasted pistachios or almonds.
I used an ice cream scooper to make round balls of pala kova.

 Malai Ladoo,Pala Kova, Doodh Peda, Paal Kovah
Pala Kova (Doodh Peda) for Deepavali

Recipe Source: dear Vijay

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mitai, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Sugar, Jaggery and Honey, Molasses, Milk & Products, Indian Sweets 101 (Monday October 31, 2005 at 9:12 pm- permalink)

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53 comments for Pala Kova (Doodh Peda) »

  1. What a coincidence! I also made paal khoa this morning but using microwave. I bet your real version is more delicious. Indira- How much of kova did 1 gallon milk yield? Whenever I make, I get only 1.5 cups or less.

    BTW, your pan looks awesome. Is it from India or US? Happy diwali to you and your family!

    Comment by mika — October 31, 2005 @ 9:28 pm

  2. Mika..Thank you so much and Happy Deepavali to you and your family too.

    That is a sweet coincidence.:) Yep, same in my case too. 1.5 to 2 cups of sweet from 1 gallon of whole milk.
    I bought this aluminium pan(made in India) at Subji mandi, NJ for about 18 dollars.Wanted one for a long time. Quite useful for making this kind of sweets/dishes.

    Comment by Indira — October 31, 2005 @ 9:44 pm

  3. looks yummy… can you post some kara kara recipes like murukku .. thank u and i have taken mysore pak pics … how do i send it ?

    Comment by priya — October 31, 2005 @ 11:09 pm

  4. Hi Priya,

    Happy Deepavali.
    Sorry, I didn’t reply earlier(busy weekend). Please send me the photo as an attachment to the email. My email is - I will post the picture tomorrow(with your permission only). Thanks!

    Comment by Indira — October 31, 2005 @ 11:15 pm

  5. Indira, that is one yummy looking Paal Khova….I made a payasam called Pal Ada Pradhaman… it is a Kerala dluckily this time i just got it so rite that it was tasting so yummy…:)

    I too make Pal Khova in the microwave but not with milk…

    I use these:

    1 Cup of Riccotta Cheese
    1 (same cup measurement) of Sugar
    1 cup of Dry MIlk
    1 stick of butter

    Mix all these and in a microwavable bowl and micrwave it for 18-20 minutes constantly stirring..
    and there u go an easy recipe for Kova is ready :)

    I know u must have tried this but thot will share it with u! :)

    Comment by IBH — November 1, 2005 @ 9:14 am

  6. IBH… Happy Deepavali!

    I heard that people of Kerala go crazy about Palada Pradhaman. Ingredeints are coconut milk, rice, sugar and ghee, right?
    I’ve never tried the microwave version. But sounds good. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.
    Since yesterday, I am having problems with blogger. I can’t seem to open any site of(Blogspot)blogger. IBH..Do you also have the same problem?

    Comment by Indira — November 1, 2005 @ 9:52 am

  7. Yes Indira am having it too! yesterday had problem in opening my gmail too! Ur site is pretty fast at my end but blogger sites are not!

    Comment by IBH — November 1, 2005 @ 10:38 am

  8. Hello Indira,
    i’m a bit late, but i hope you spent a happy Deepavali.
    I couldn’t avoid thinking of dulce de leche when I saw the preparation of pala kova here. Dulce de leche is also made from milk and sugar put to boil for a long long time. Texture is different though.
    Is pala kova a typical Deepavali sweet?
    I’ve recently discovered your site, and I’m fascinated…
    Best wishes,

    Comment by Marcela — November 1, 2005 @ 7:08 pm

  9. IBH…finally blogger is working and the sites are opening up. Thanks for the reply.

    Marcela..Thanks for the wishes.
    It’s very traditional and typical to prepare this kind of rich sweets on Deepavali.
    Dulce de leche.. first time hearing about this sweet. Milk and sugar is a great combination and cooked for a long time, you can’t beat the final product.Very yummy:)

    Comment by Indira — November 1, 2005 @ 9:32 pm

  10. Dulce de leche is typical from my country (Argentina) and other countries in south America (it’s known with other names also). We use it everywhere, almost like peanut butter in the United States or Nutella in some european countries…
    I’ll try pala kova next time i feel in a “dulce de leche” mood for cooking. :)

    Comment by Marcela — November 1, 2005 @ 10:11 pm

  11. What is kova really?

    Comment by Mong yim — November 9, 2005 @ 3:57 pm

  12. Hello Mong Yim.. Kova is thickened milk.

    Comment by Indira — November 9, 2005 @ 6:29 pm

  13. This is great web page. Thanks for putting up.

    Can somebody post step by step instructions on how to make pala kova using milk, sugar and ghee in Microwave?

    Comment by chand — November 21, 2005 @ 1:52 am

  14. The pics look really very tempting!
    I love Kova very my hubby wanted to make some for me (not after seeing this recipe…i regret now that he wld have better seen this b4 preparing!!!)…for like his love it turned out to be tooo sweet….and also abundant and is like chocalate.(He prepared with a whole can)….We ended sharing it with our friends…but still a full box is left….
    Can someone pls provide any suggestions to reduce the sweetness or on how to use it for someother sweet dish!!!
    Thanks in advance

    Comment by Kala — November 21, 2005 @ 3:50 pm

  15. Hmmm…it looks delicious! I am a big “dulce de leche” fan and will be very happy to try your recipe as a variation. Will keep you posted. Hugs from Panama!

    Indira says…
    Hi Melissa, I saw the ‘dulce de leche post on ‘La Majuluta’ blog from Argetina. It is almost same as our Pala Kova. I didn’t know about that till now. Thanks for the comment and please let me know how it turns out.

    Comment by Melissa — November 22, 2005 @ 10:23 pm

  16. Indira, have you ever thought of making this using slow cooker?

    I was going to make yogurt tonight but totally forgot the milk on the stove. Finally when I realized, it already was getting yellowish as you showed in your pics. So I decided to go for your recipe. But now I wonder if it would be easier to make it in a slow cooker — for next time! :)

    Comment by fethiye — December 16, 2005 @ 1:35 am

  17. Hi Fethiye…
    Believe it or not, I don’t have a slow cooker.:)After reading your comment, I am very tempted to get one just so that I can make pala kova more often and easily.:)
    Thanks for the tip, I will keep that in mind.

    Comment by Indira — December 16, 2005 @ 10:22 am

  18. hey indira, i tried pal kova and came out tasty. So about the storing, is it ok to keep in outside or should i keep in the frige.Let me know:)

    Comment by Priya — December 22, 2005 @ 7:10 pm

  19. Hello Indira,

    1.Can you give me the recipe to make kova from milk maid. make kova using microwave.


    Comment by Beena Oommen — February 19, 2006 @ 4:40 am

  20. Hi Indira,

    Your Pala Kova looks delicious!!

    I was wondering how to make ‘therettu paal’…please post it if you know that!

    Thanks in advance,

    Comment by Lakshmi — March 9, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

  21. hi indira…kova lovely..looks delicious..i’l try t very soon….nice simple recipe thankx———-srikanth

    Comment by srikanth — March 12, 2006 @ 8:09 pm

  22. For preparing paal kova on microwave, the ingredients required are: 1 small can of condensed milk,1 tsp of yogurt, 2 tbsp of milk powder, little ghee(optional)
    Pour the condensed milk on to a microwave safe dish, add milk powder, and yoghurt and stir well. Now keep it in microwave high for 3 mins.
    Remove stir. again microwave for 3 mins… the mixture would have come to a semi solid texture.. if you feel it is watery, then microwave it for 2 more minutes. Add the ghee now if required. Be cautious that the mixture will get solidified as it comes to normal temperature.

    Comment by Gayathri Ragu — March 31, 2006 @ 12:02 am

  23. Hi,
    Thanks for all the informative food recipes you have added in this blog. Its an answer to all my search for food recipes again and again over the website.

    It would be nice if u add something about how to prepare a eggless cake in microwave.

    Comment by Indu — April 19, 2006 @ 6:18 am

  24. Indira,
    Would a 5 qt non stick saucepan work instead of the kadai?

    Comment by Shrilatha — May 1, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

  25. Also same as dulce de leche- by steaming (boiling) an unopened can of condensed milk for 2-3 hours. The contents on cooling and opening the can- is similar to caramel.

    Comment by Maya — July 5, 2006 @ 8:25 pm

  26. Thanks a lot… this evening i came from office thinking that i need to eat this… and came out perfect… :)

    Comment by Rajesh — July 21, 2006 @ 11:40 pm

  27. I am vegan! So can I do this with soy milk? or silken tofu perhaps? Thanks in advance!

    Comment by Bindu — September 14, 2006 @ 12:28 am

  28. Hey, I tried your recipe. It came out yummy..but then after some time , it became hard..!!! :-( I have to heat it every time to make it soft enough to be eaten..what should I do ?

    Comment by dhivya — October 31, 2006 @ 6:55 pm

  29. Hi, could someone there let me know how to make coconut barfi/laddu in a microwave? thank you, Prabha

    Comment by Prabha — November 19, 2006 @ 6:37 pm

  30. Hi Indira;

    I just stumbled on your foodblog, discovered foodblogs in general just a few day ago. I adore the pictures, the dedication of the site to temples, maybe photography is your calling, no? I wanted to add that in Tamil, paal kova is probably “theratipaal”. I’ve made it with half and half… more fat…but since this is a very occasional sweet, I thought it was OK. Also, I add a touch of ghee at the end which compliments the caramelised milk-sugar flavors. Please send an email address to communicate offline.
    regards, shyamala

    Comment by shyamala — December 21, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

  31. hi Indira
    I have tried many recipes from your website. They are really good. Keep up the good word.

    Comment by Sheela — March 5, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  32. Indira Garu,

    I used your Pala Kova recipe and the result was an utterly tempting and sinful indulgence. It turned out so nice that my North Indian wife shamelessly cleaned off a major chunk of it. What’s with this North Indian wife, you ask? Well, you see I am from South India (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh) and my wife is from Rajasthan. She has always bragged that North Indians are better at making sweets than the South Indians. A few years back she changed her mind a tad bit after she ate Pulla Reddy sweets, but today, thanks to you, the process is complete. I think.

    Seriously though, one thing I noticed was the salty taste to this sweet. I checked the ingredients of the milk and found that it had about 120 mg of Sodium per glass! It so happens that just yesterday someone got us Alvar Pak from India and a comparison of my sweet with this showed a clear difference in saltiness. Do you have any ideas or comments on this? Next time I’ll try organic milk that has, I’m hoping, lesser salt.

    Please accept my hearty congratulations for the wonderful way you have put together the whole website. Your pictures are invaluable. I think, pictures are to a recipe what a map is to directions.

    Comment by Satya — May 17, 2007 @ 2:14 am

  33. Hi Indira,

    Hats off for such a wonderful work, putting together this website.

    Reg. palkhova, recently I tried a new version, which is simple and less time consuming.

    I took 3 cups of milk (combination of whole milk and 2%) Kept on stirring it until it reduced in quantity and added 3/4 cup of fat free ricotta cheese to the milk. Again this mixture has to also become thick and then added 1/2-3/4 cup of sugar and a little ghee. Then transferred it to a stainless steel plate and left it for 3 hours and then cut into bite size squares. I got nearly 20 pieces. Initially it was a bit sticky so I put it in a stainless steel plate garnished with slivered almonds and covered with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for 20 min. After that it was very good.

    Comment by Madhuram — June 15, 2007 @ 8:32 pm

  34. Hi Indira,

    My husband likes pala kova. hence i refered your recipe it came out very well. thank you.

    Comment by shweta — September 13, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

  35. hi,
    I was so impressed by pal khova pictures.
    I am having a doubt in tht.I tried with 3.25% fat milk which is whole milk here(Detroit) but it took 4.5 hrs for me to reach ur thick state.i am doubting whether the prob is due to the milk or something

    Comment by Sathya — October 25, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  36. […] Re: Sweet Dish Game Khilaoge Ki Nahi walnut laddu Recipe: (makes about 6 medium sized laddus)2 cups of walnuts (Akhrots) 2 cups of whole milk 3/4 cup of sugar Lightly roast walnuts in an iron skillet and let them cool down. Keep one fistful of nuts aside and grind the remaining walnuts into powder. Boil milk and sugar until they come together into very thick mass almost like the final stages of pala kova. It takes about 30 minutes. At this stage, stir in powdered walnuts. Mix thoroughly and keep stirring until, the walnut-kova mixture leaves the sides of the pan and comes together into one big lump. Takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle the whole walnuts and mix once and remove the mixture into a pan. Allow it to cool and make small laddus with it or press the whole mixture evenly and tightly in a greased pan to cut squares. Walnut burfi (Akhrot laddu) - Old fashioned […]

    Pingback by Sweet Dish Game Khilaoge Ki Nahi - Page 8 - IndusLadies — November 2, 2007 @ 3:28 am

  37. This is a very tough sweet to make, please avoid it if you have kids. I lost beautiful vessel making this sweet and it is better to buy and eat it.

    Comment by pri — August 23, 2008 @ 6:26 pm

  38. Hello Indira,
    Tried out this sweet today and it turned out delicious.Thank you so much.

    Comment by shalini — October 13, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

  39. I have an easy recipe for kova using ricotta cheese and sugar. It’s not as authentic, but it’s pretty close, and much simpler!

    Fill the tub of ricotta with sugar (i.e., they must be in proportion by volume, not weight). Mix the ricotta and sugar, and bake at 400′F until it firms up. This usually takes 30 minutes if the dish is shallow–it’s important not to let it brown as it’ll harden too much after it cools.

    Let the kova cool, refrigerate. Cut in squares when ready to serve.

    For a rasmalai-like juice, dilute condensed milk with regular milk to desired consistency. Pour over kova squares, and top with lightly roasted pistachios or almonds.

    Comment by AF — November 24, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

  40. Dear Indira,

    namasthe, and noothana samvathsara shubhakankshalu.

    thanks for your service.
    we are all grateful for your extraordinary efforts and service.

    i wanted to know how to make pootha rekulu.

    i didnot find this from your site, and i didnot find anywhere and i don’t know how to make it.

    i am from adoni, kurnool district.

    i am happy that you are making our place proud.

    please tell me or update how to make pootha rekulu in your site.

    hope you will help me.



    Comment by SAVITHA JAYADEV — January 1, 2009 @ 1:27 am

  41. hello Indira Garu….im feeling bore so im looking all ur recipes in ur site i found one of my favourite PALAKOVA…i tried it it came out very gud…thanks alot…n i tried ur way of MYSOREPAK..dat is also came out very gud…i dont know how u give da xact measurements…i asked u dat how to post recipes in ur blog..u didnt give any reply..

    waiting for ur Reply…thanks for all ur nice n easy recipes…::))

    Comment by sudha — February 9, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

  42. Hi Indira,

    I have searched for coconut burfi and finally i landed in your site. What a great work, I love all the 101 sweets you have posted.

    Congratulations and all the very best for your future works.

    Comment by Sumithra — March 24, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

  43. hi Indira!..

    i love visiting your blog and really commend the fact that you trying to revive the traditional recipes..and ways of cooking..honestly..hats off to your patience for that!..the photographs are also amazing as the food!..
    One thing I would like to add this recipe above,you have used an aluminium pan..i have read a couple of articles..and they all are against the usage of aluminium for cooking,as the food becomes toxic..i guess there are lot of debates on this..but just thought of writing about it

    Comment by clay — June 15, 2009 @ 6:10 am

  44. Hi Indra!
    I tried this n it tastes really good. But the color is like jaggery (dark brown) which I’m not happy about. Pls suggest me what I should have done. Also u have to mention how to clean the vessel.(LOL). I can’t still scrub it even after soaking it for 2 hours.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Comment by Nithu — June 25, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

  45. Hey Indira…
    My Hubby loves palkova sooo much and I tried this at home…This was delicious…….
    Thank you soo much for this wonderful recipe….

    Comment by Theja — July 17, 2009 @ 3:29 pm

  46. Aluminium is not a good cookware material for acidic contents like tomatoes etc., Aluminium leaches into the food, when the food is acidic. And milk is acidic (lactic acid). Use Al if you know you are not cooking in it for long time and if the contents are not acidic.

    Comment by gs — July 20, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  47. we want to know abt masala dosa and set dosa

    Comment by rajesh — November 7, 2009 @ 7:11 am

  48. Hi Indira…

    Am making palkova now.. but after finishing, should i store it in fridge or keep in room temp itself?

    Comment by Nithya — December 11, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

  49. Hi,

    I tried making this paal kova on Saturday… and I have a few questions… the one I did… the taste was good but it was chewy… the ones that we usually buy from shops wont be chewy… do you know why it turns out like that. I stirred until it thickens and I could no longer stir it anymore… and why is it when we put it in a plate and press it it doesnt have smooth surface, the store bought have smooth surface.

    Comment by selvi — January 24, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  50. Hello, will try the recipe today. It looks authentic. I have seen many recipes, but this is simple and traditional and classic.

    Thanks for the recipe. Will post the comments later again. And i am gonna try the walnut burfi too.

    Comment by kalyani — July 25, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

  51. I tried this recipe today. It’s very very good. Thank you

    Comment by Sweety — September 25, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  52. Hi,
    I tried this recipe yesterday. It came out very good. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

    Comment by Deepthi — May 5, 2011 @ 5:30 am

  53. Hi everyone, This is amazing 55 comments. Anyway, One important advice for every one. Please never ever use microwave for anything. it kills the bacteria and also nice vitamins. Microwave it self kills the water molecules imagine what happen to you food when u use it. So if you wanna healthy stop use the microwave for food. Hop this will helped some one. Cheers

    Comment by Mahesh — July 27, 2013 @ 3:42 am

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