Khoya Recipe | Mawa Recipe

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Khoya, also known as Mawa or Khoa, is a key ingredient for making most Indian sweets, especially in the Northern parts of the country. These dried, evaporated milk solids are made using just one ingredient: milk. Learn how to make this simple ingredient for yourself at home using the traditional Khoya recipe!

khoya in a white plate with a spoon on a white napkin with text layovers.

What is Khoya?

Khoya, also known as mawa or khoa, is dried evaporated milk solids. Milk is slowly simmered in a large iron kadai (wok) till all its moisture evaporates and it reduces to solids.

As I have mentioned above, Khoya is traditionally made by slow cooking, simmering and thickening milk in a large kadai.

As a result most of the water gets evaporated from the milk and what remains is milk solids. This process of making mawa recipe takes time and needs patience as constant stirring is required.

In Indian cooking, especially in the northern parts of India, khoya forms a base of almost all sweets. Khoya is also added to curry recipes and unique cake is also made from it, the Mawa Cake.

There are several types of khoya (read on below), which can range from being hard to soft to granular.

A few of the Indian sweets recipes where khoya is used are:

  1. Gulab Jamun
  2. Barfi Recipe
  3. Gujiya Recipe
  4. Kala Jamun
  5. Peda Recipe

Variants

Depending on the duration of cooking milk and the moisture content, there are three types or variants of khoya that are made and are used specifically to make some sweets or curry dishes.

  1. Chikna Khoya: In Hindi, as the name suggests the word ‘chikna’ means soft and smooth. This khoya variant has a smooth, soft texture and hence the name. Chikna Khoya can be easily made in homes. It has more moisture content as compared with the other two mawa variants.

    It can be used to make Indian sweets like gujiya, kheer, halwa, rabri, carrot halwa, pantua, kala jamun and gulab jamun. Chikna khoya is also used in making rich and creamy, gravies or curries that may or may not include kofta.

    A similar variant with more moisture is the Dhaap Khoya which is used to make sweets like various jamuns and halwas.
  2. Danedar Khoya – The word ‘danedar’ in Hindi means granular. So as the name implies, this khoya variant is granular. While making danedar khoya the milk is curdled slightly by using alum or an acidic ingredient like citric acid or lemon juice.

    This slight curdling results in a more grainy and granular texture. Danedar khoya is used to make sweets like kalakand, milk cake and various peda or barfi where a granular texture is needed.
  3. Batti Khoya or Pindi Khoya – This variant is dry, hard and has a smooth even appearance. It is sold in in the form of moulds or balls. Since Batti Khoya is hard, it is grated/shredded and then used.

    It has the least moisture as compared to the other two variants. It is also used to make various barfi, peda and ladoo that need a dry texture.
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About Khoya Recipe

If I’m being honest, I usually buy khoya from the store. It saves time and prevents me from having to go through the long process of cooking.

However, if you prepare the khoya as a side task while you are doing something else in the kitchen, then it is a simple task.

The milk gets reduced over a low heat and all you have to do is stir and scrape it at intervals. It is not tedious.

I do suggest preparing khoya simultaneously when you are cooking or doing some other chore in the kitchen. This is multi-tasking and you have to be attentive, but it’ll make the process feel like it’s going much more quickly. 🙂

This is not a recipe as such, but more of a method of how to make khoya. You can use any amount of milk to prepare khoya depending on your needs.

Like all homemade stuff, homemade khoya is also 100 times better than the store-bought kind. There is only the richness & goodness of milk in this homemade khoya, with no additives or preservatives.

Tips To Remember

1. Milk: The milk has to be fresh. Whole milk gives better results. 1.25 litres of milk yielded 250 gms of khoya. Depending on the quality and fat content, the khoya yield can vary. I suggest making khoya recipe with 1 litre to 2 litres of milk.

2. Pan: The pan for making mawa recipe should be thick bottomed. This is so that the milk does not get burned or browned from the bottom. If the milk gets scorched, whatever effort you have put out goes waste.

The pan has to be deep too, so that the milk does not overflow while simmering. I used my large non-stick kadai to make the khoya. Non-stick works very well when making products like khoya.

You could also use a sauté pan or a wok. The size of these cooking pans will vary with the amount of milk you use.

3. Stirring Often: It is important to stir the milk often as it simmers, cooks and thickens. So make sure to stir and scrape at intervals so the milk or the khoya doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.

4. Storage: This khoya stays good for about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or 6 to 8 days in the freezer.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Khoya or Mawa

1. Pour milk in a large, thick-bottomed pan and place the pan on the stove top.

milk in a large saucepan.

2. Bring milk to a gentle boil on a low to medium heat.

boil milk first to make khoya mawa recipe.

3. Then lower the heat and simmer the milk. Stir at intervals whilst the milk is simmering.

reduce flame and simmer milk.

4. This is the consistency of the milk after 23 minutes right from the beginning. You can see it is getting thicker and there is a skin on the top.

simmering milk for making mawa or khoya recipe is starting to get a skin over the top.

5. The milk will froth many times, while its being simmered.

milk frothing and making the skin bubble up.

6. So when you see this happening, stir the milk with a spatula.

stir milk and add the solids back to the pan.

7. Scrape the milk solids from the sides and add them back to the milk. The consistency after 1 hour 40 minutes. The milk has reduced considerably.

preparing khoya or mawa recipe — the milk looks thick and curdled at this point.

8. Stir and continue simmering.

continue to simmer milk.

9. You can see below the consistency like that of Rabdi.

rabri consistency of milk has some large curds.

10. This is what we get after 2 hours of simmering. Just few minutes more 🙂

simmering milk is becoming very thick.

11. After 3 more minutes this how the consistency appears.

mawa khoya recipe after 2 hours shows very thick and curdled appearance.

12. Towards the last 7 to 8 minutes, you will see bubbles bursting in the reduced and condensed milk. At this stage, continuously stir the reduced milk.

If you don’t then the bottom will get browned or burnt. The bubbles signify the presence of moisture in the reduced milk.

Stir and simmer till you see no bubbles in the milk solids. You will also see some granular texture in the reduced and thickened milk.

very small bubbles are still popping, so we must continue cooking to remove all moisture.

13. When you see no bubbles bursting, it’s time to turn off the heat. It took me 2 hours and 8 minutes overall on a low heat.

While the mawa was reducing, I was prepping and cooking veg fried rice along with mushroom manchurian.

mawa or khoya after cooking; it is thick and solid and looks like a batter.

14. Once done, collect the khoya or mawa in a bowl. With a spatula, scrape the milk solids from the sides and add these to the bowl.

Cover the bowl and let the khoya cool at room temperature. Then you can refrigerate it in an air-tight container.

cooked khoya in a silver bowl.

15. Add this homemade khoya or mawa to various Indian sweets or Indian curries. Remember to store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze it.

khoya or mawa shaped in a disk and placed on a white plate.

FAQs

How long does homemade khoya last?

It will keep in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator, or 6 to 8 days in the freezer.

How much mawa will 1 liter of milk yield?

About 180 to 200 grams, depending on the quality of milk.

I used collected malai (cream) to make the khoya and it turned a little brown. Is this okay?

If there is no off smell or aroma from the khoya, then it’s fine to use. In fact, the batti variety of khoya is sometimes aged for months or up to a year and has mouldy surface.

Is there a way to make the process of making khova go faster?

If you use a wider heavy-bottomed pan with more surface area, the liquid will evaporate more quickly. I suggest doing this if you are making a large batch.

Can I make mawa recipe using unsweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk?

I haven’t tried it myself, but I have seen some other recipes that have used this method. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out in the comments below!

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homemade khoya mawa served on a white plate with some in the spoon kept on the left side.

Khoya Recipe | Mawa Recipe

Homemade Khoya Recipe or Mawa Recipe made with the traditional method of slow cooking and simmering milk in a kadai (wok) until it thickens, reduces and becomes slightly granular. Khoya is also known as Mawa or Khoa and is a key ingredient for making many Indian sweets.
4.87 from 23 votes
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Cuisine North Indian
Course Sweets
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 250 grams
Units

Ingredients

  • 1.25 litres whole milk or 1250 ml

Instructions
 

  • Pour the milk in a large thick bottomed pan and place the pan on the stove top.
  • Bring milk to gentle boil first on a low to medium heat.
  • Then lower the heat and simmer the milk. Stir at intervals whilst the milk is simmering.
  • The milk will froth many times, while its being simmered. So when you see this happening, with a spatula stir the milk.
  • Scrape the milk solids from the sides and add to the milk.
  • The milk will continue to reduce and thicken as its being simmered on a low flame.
  • A stage will reach when the reduced milk will resemble rabdi (an indian sweet).
  • Continue to simmer and stir.
  • Towards the end when the milk has reduced much, you will see bubbles bursting in the reduced milk.
    At this point continuously stir. If you don't then the reduced milk will get browned or burnt. The bubbles are due to moisture in the milk.
  • When you see no bubbles in the reduced milk, its time to switch off the flame. It took me 2 hours and 8 minutes overall on a low flame.
  • With a spatula, scrape the milk solids from the sides and add these to the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the khoya cool at room temperature. Then you can refrigerate it.
  • Add this homemade khoya or mawa as needed while making various indian sweets or Indian curries.
  • When cooled, store khoya in an air-tight container. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 days or freeze for 6 to 8 days.

Notes

  • Use a thick bottomed and heavy kadai (wok) or sauté pan. 
  • Ensure to stir the milk often as it simmers and slow cooks. 
  • Patience is a key when making homemade khoya from scratch with the traditional technique. You also need to be attentive so that the milk does not burn or get browned. 
  • Remember to use whole milk which is within its shelf period. 
  • Pair the task of making khoya with your other kitchen chores that need you to be in the kitchen. 

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Khoya Recipe | Mawa Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3 Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.2g0%
Saturated Fat 0.1g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.01g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.04g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 8mg0%
Carbohydrates 0.2g0%
Sugar 0.2g0%
Protein 0.2g0%
Vitamin A 8IU0%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.003mg0%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.01mg1%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.01mg0%
Vitamin B6 0.003mg0%
Vitamin B12 0.03µg1%
Vitamin D 0.1µg1%
Vitamin E 0.003mg0%
Vitamin K 0.02µg0%
Calcium 6mg1%
Magnesium 1mg0%
Phosphorus 5mg1%
Zinc 0.02mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Khoya recipe from the archives first published in October 2014 has been updated and republished on August 2023.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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