Kalkandu sadam (rice cooked with rock sugar) is a yummy dessert, especially if it is from the temple. I love the temple prasadams. The taste is matchless in any temple prasadam. There are many times, when we were young, the prime reason we go to temples is just for the prasadam. And for sure, even now we enjoy the prasadam. Also, we can recollect the taste of each and every prasadam that we had in different temples in our childhood. There are some prasadams that are extremely special to a particular temple. Last month in one of the Tamil monthly magazine, there was a supplement with different temple prasadams. I prepared following that recipe but with a couple of slight modifications - adding edible camphor and altered amount of cashews and raisins. This is a special in Vishnu temples, especially in Narasimhar Temple, Ahobilam. There are a couple of ways to make this kalkandu sadam but this is just divine though it takes time. This recipe is close enough to the temple version (remember, nothing is the same as given in temple. That one is extra special).
Wash the rice and add to the milk and cook with stirring now and then. In about 15 or 20 mins, the rice would have absorbed the liquids.
Add another 500 ml of milk and continue to cook till the milk is all absorbed. Add about 1/2 cup ghee to prevent scalding at the bottom. Add the remaining milk, 1/4 cup ghee, and powdered cardamom and cook with stirring well now and then.
The mixture would become a little thick and the texture of the rice would have changed from whole grain to mushy.
Add the hard rock sugar. It will melt slowly in about 5 mins during which the whole mixture may become thin. Continue to cook till it thickens.
In the meantime, heat 1/2 cup ghee in a pan. fry the cashews and raisins till golden brown and keep aside.
When the whole mixture thickens (it thickens further when cooling), add the fried cashews and raisins, the remaining ghee and edible camphor. Stir and mix well, cook for a minute or two and take it off the flame.
It takes almost 2 hours to make this (for the above-mentioned measure of ingredients). Yummy temple style kalkandu sadam is all ready to enjoy with everyone.
Instead of the big size kalkandu or rock sugar, the smaller version called diamond kalkandu can be used too.
Rock sugar can also be powdered and added.
If you want you can use a little reduced amount of ghee, but you need to compromise on taste.