Khoya Recipe | Homemade Mawa

March 3, 2020 By Aneesha |

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An easy guide on How To Make Khoya (Homemade Mawa) in the microwave with two simple ingredients – ricotta cheese and ghee. Make this rich milk fudge in a fraction of the time! Use it as the base for Indian sweets for Holi, Diwali or any celebration!

homemade khoya or mawa in a bamboo bowl

Khoya Recipe – Homemade Mawa

I was at my local Indian market the other day and I happened to pass by Khoya in the frozen food section. And it occurred to me that many of my readers ask me about a homemade version of Khoya since it is so hard to find in most supermarkets. So I thought to give it a try.

The process of making Khoya, also known as Mawa, is actually very easy, but it is time-consuming.

This recipe is super quick! It is made at home in the microwave with two simple ingredients – ricotta cheese and ghee!

Since the Indian festival, Holi, is coming up next week, I thought this to be an appropriate time! This makes Mithai (sweets) even more enjoyable since the Khoya base is fresh and homemade. Checkout these Baked Gujiyas that I make with this Khoya.

Meaning Of Hindi Word Khoya In English

Khoya quite literally translates to Curd in English. It is also referred to as Khoa in some places.

What is Khoya

Khoya is dried evaporated milk solids commonly used in sweet Indian desserts, particularly in the Northern region of India. Khoya (or Mawa) is made of either dried whole milk or milk thickened by heating it in an open iron pan. But today, we are making it quick and easy in the microwave!

Is Paneer And Khoya The Same Thing?

Both Paneer and Khoya are milk derivatives, but they are produced by treating milk differently.

Paneer (or Chenna) is Indian cottage cheese that is made by curdling milk with an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar. The milk solids are then set to drain and firm up in a muslin cloth. The consistency can range from soft to firm depending on the length of time you allow it to drain. Paneer is traditionally used in savory Indian curries.

Khoya, on the other hand, is made by slowly simmering milk in a large iron Kadai (cast iron deep pan with steep sides) until all the moisture evaporates and reduces to solids. It can range from being hard to soft to granular and forms a base of almost all Indian sweets.

What Does Khoya Taste Like?

Since it is milk that is evaporated to a solid consistency by thickening it, it has a slightly oily and granular texture, and a rich, nutty flavor.

Ingredients For Khoya

homemade khoya or mawa in a bamboo bowl

All you need are two simple ingredients to make homemade Khoya in the microwave!

  • Ricotta Cheese: It is best to purchase a whole milk ricotta cheese to get the right consistency. This is milk fudge, after all, so we want full-fat! I sometimes like to take a trip to my local Italian market, since they have the freshest ricotta cheese available.
  • Ghee: A small teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter) is all you need to grease the bowl. Ghee can easily be found nowadays at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or even online.

How To Make Khoya From Ricotta Cheese

The step-by-step guide on making khoya from ricotta cheese takes a fraction of the time as compared to the traditional method. Simply follow the microwave directions below.

How To Make Khoya In Microwave

spoon pouring ghee into glass bowl, red spatula stirring ricotta in glass bowl, ricotta turning into khoya, red spatula spooning microwave cooked ricotta
  • Grease a large microwave-safe bowl with ghee (Pic 1).
  • Add ricotta cheese and stir. Microwave it at regular heat setting for 2 minutes. At this point, the ricotta mix looks like a wet batter (Pics 2-4).
cooked ricotta in glass bowl, ricotta in glass bowl with red spatula, homemade khoya in glass bowl, mawa in glass bowl with red spatula
  • Remove and give it a stir. Put it back in for another 2 minutes. Repeat 2 more times, microwaving it for a total of 8 minutes (Pics 5 & 6).
  • Stir and microwave this mix in 1-minute increments, stirring well in between (Pic 7).
  • Repeat this another 4-5 times, until all the moisture from the ricotta has evaporated and the ricotta curdles are semi-dry. This takes anywhere from 5-6 minutes (Pic 8).

How To Make Mawa From Milk Powder

Another short-cut to this sweet Indian filling is mawa made from milk powder. I like to think of this method as an Instant Mawa recipe. Simply:

  • Place 2 cups of full-fat milk powder in a bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, add 1 Tablespoon ghee and 1/2 cup whole milk. Heat the mixture until it just comes to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from burning.
  • Add the hot ghee-milk mixture to the milk powder and mix it with a spoon. It should start to come together after a few strokes. If it seems dry, add 1 teaspoon milk at a time. If the mixture becomes too sticky, add 1 Tablespoon milk powder at a time.
  • Shape the Instant mawa into whatever shape you prefer (I like a circular shape) while it is still warm and let it cool. It will harden after cooling. Grate or crumble it as needed.

Different Kinds Of Mawa or Khoya:

  1. Hard Khoya – Also known as Batti (meaning brick), is very firm and solid, which is great for crumbling or grating. It is made by reducing the ricotta cheese to 1/5th of its original volume. The frozen Khoya at the Indian Store falls in this category.
  2. Soft Khoya – also known as Chikna Mawa. Stop reducing the ricotta cheese 1-2 minutes earlier than mentioned in the recipe card. Soft mawa is typically added to royal curries, like Khoya paneer, Shahi Kofta.
  3. Granular Khoya – also known as Danedar Mawa. This has moderate moisture content, which makes it ideal for making sweets like Burfi, Kalakand etc.

How To Store

If you’re not planning on using your khoya right away, allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, knead the crumbles into a smooth dough and place in an airtight container.

The homemade mawa will keep best in the fridge for 3-4 days or stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To Thaw And Use

If frozen, thaw the khoya overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to use, remove from the fridge and crumble it with a fork while still cold. The khoya is now ready to use in all your Mithai recipes!

homemade khoya or mawa in a bamboo bowl

Recipe Tips For Homemade Mawa/Khoya:

  • The key to a perfect mawa is to keep stirring. This prevents the milk solids from burning in the microwave.
  • If you decide to half, double or triple the recipe, cooking time may vary. Follow the visual in the photos above to ensure you are evaporating the milk to the right texture.

Indian Sweet Dishes with Khoya

Khoya is the base of many North Indian sweets, especially those made around the time of Indian festivals such as Holi and Diwali. A few of my family’s favorites include: Gujiya, Rabri, Carrot Halwa, Kala Jamuns, Peda, Gulab Jamuns, just to name a few.

Occasionally, Khoya can also be used to make savory dishes such as gravies or curries.

Indian Recipes From My Kitchen

More Indian Desserts From My Kitchen

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homemade khoya or mawa in a bamboo bowl

Khoya Recipe | Homemade Mawa

An easy guide on How To Make Khoya (Homemade Mawa) in the microwave with two simple ingredients – ricotta cheese and ghee.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 104kcal
Author: Aneesha Gupta

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Ricotta Cheese whole milk
  • 1 tsp Ghee

Instructions

  • Grease a large microwave safe bowl with ghee.
  • Add ricotta cheese and stir. Microwave it at regular heat setting for 2 minutes. At this point the ricotta mix looks like a wet batter.
  • Remove and give it a stir. Put it back in for another 2 minutes. Repeat 2 more times, microwaving it for a total of 8 minutes.
  • Stir and microwave this mix in 1-minute increments now, stirring well in between.
  • Repeat this another 4-5 times, till all the moisture from ricotta has evaporated and the ricotta curdles are semi-dry. This takes anywhere from 5-6 minutes. Khoya/Mawa is ready for use.

Storing

  • If storing Mawa for later, wait for it to cool down. Knead the crumbles into a smooth dough. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Thaw and Use

  • Thaw the Khoya overnight in the refrigerator. Crumble it using a fork and it's ready to use.

Notes & Recipe Tips

Recipe Tips For Khoya:
  • The key to a perfect Khoya/Mawa is to keep stirring. This prevents the milk solids from burning in the microwave.
  • If you decide to half, double or triple the recipe, cooking time may vary. Follow the visual in the photos above to ensure you are evaporating the milk to the right texture.
 
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates for 1/8th of the recipe.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 60mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 252IU | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: how to make khoya, khoya, khoya recipe, mawa
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HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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