Kharvas, A Delicious Dairy Treat With A Debatable Past

Kharvas is a Maharashtrian delicacy that has been the subject of controversy for quite some time now. Also known as Colostrum Pudding, is a sweet dish that's made from the milk of a cow or buffalo that has recently given birth. Colostrum is the first milk that's produced by a mammal, including humans, immediately after giving birth. It's high in protein, antibodies, and other nutrients that are essential for a newborn's growth and development. And this is precisely what makes Kharvas so special.

The milk is collected from the animal within the first few days of giving birth and is mixed with jaggery or sugar to sweeten it. The mixture is then heated, and a coagulant like lemon juice or vinegar is added to curdle the milk. The mixture is then strained to remove any solids, and the liquid that's left is poured into small earthen pots or moulds to set. The end result is a smooth and creamy dessert that's similar in texture to a custard or pudding.

The earthen pots that Kharvas is traditionally served in add to the overall experience. There's something special about eating out of a small, rustic pot that adds to the charm of the dish. The controversy lies in the fact that Colostrum is considered to be a vital source of nutrition for newborns, and by consuming it, humans are depriving the calves of this essential nutrient. This has led to debates and arguments about whether or not Kharvas should be consumed.

However, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the milk that's used to make Kharvas is only collected after the calf has had its fill. The calf is allowed to drink its fill of Colostrum before the milk is collected, ensuring that it receives all the nutrients it needs. Secondly, the production of Kharvas is limited, and it's not something that's mass-produced on a large scale. This means that the impact on the overall Colostrum supply is minimal. It's a sweet treat that's steeped in tradition and history, and it's something that's sure to leave a lasting impression.

Video Credits: Maharashtrian Recipes/YouTube


  • 1 litre colostrum milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • A pinch of salt


  • In a large pot, pour the colostrum milk and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and let the milk simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the milk has cooled down to a lukewarm temperature, add sugar, cardamom powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix well until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve to remove any impurities or clumps.
  • Grease a round cake tin or any other mould with ghee. Pour the milk into the mould and cover it with aluminium foil.
  • Place the mould in a steamer and steam it for 20-25 minutes over medium heat until the kharvas is set and firm.
  • Remove the mould from the steamer and let it cool down to room temperature.
  • Once the kharvas has cooled down, use a knife to loosen the edges of the pudding. Then, place a plate over the mold and flip it over to remove the kharvas from the mould.
  • Cut the kharvas into small pieces and serve it chilled.