Step by step recipe of bohra karma (kalamra) with photos of each step.
One signature dessert of Dawoodi Bohra Cuisine is Karma (also called kalamra). Basically, it is like kheer but with sour yogurt, it has an exotic flavor. A must try. It is delicious on its own when served plain without garnishing. But when accompanied with an array of bright garnishing like sliced almond, pistachio, cashew, soaked raisin, pomegranate arils, it’s a treat; a complete meal in itself.
Kalamra is made in every bohri home in the Islamic month of Rabi ul Awwal to celebrate the coming of Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa (S.A.W) to the world. The birth and death of Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) is on the same date of 12 Rabi ul Awal. This day is called ‘Milad Un Nabi’ meaning birth of prophet. This is like Christmas of Muslim world. So the month of Rabi ul Awwal is auspicious and of celebration. As today is 12th Rabi ul awaal, I’m particularly very happy writing this post. Do make this dessert ! And send as many durood-o-salaam on Huzoor (S.A.W) as possible while making it.
My non-Muslim foodies can enjoy it just like kheer puri; focus on the taste, forget the tradition.
This dish has endless variations. See, I don’t want to give you just my recipe. I wish to give you all possible choices. So you can create your own version with ingredients that are easily available to you. Remember the more yogurt you add, the more sugar will be added to balance tartness. And kalamra is basically a merry blend of boiled rice, yogurt and sugar. You need to add one agent to add richness. It could be milk powder, khoya, cream or sweetened condensed milk or lots of milk. ( I personally don’t like condensed milk as it gives taste of caramelized sugar.)
How to make Bohra Kalamra or Karma Recipe
A delicious dessert with simple ingredients. Serve chilled!
- 200 gram or 1 cup basmati rice, soaked for two hours
- 3 cups water
- 750 ml or 3 cups milk
- ½ cup milk powder, optional
- 275 gm or 1 ¼ cup sugar or to taste
- 500 ml or 2 ½ cups yogurt
- 150 gram Khoya (mava)
- ½ cup Pomegranate seed
- ½ cup mixed nuts (almond, pistachio, cashew)
- ¼ cup raisins, soaked
- few rose petals, washed
Wash rice and soak in 2 cups water for two hours in a thick bottomed skillet. Or overnight in fridge.
Boil rice for 10 minutes in soaked water until cooked, all water will dry. Then, add 1 more cup water , cover and cook on slow flame for another 10 minutes until rice are soft and mushy. (Rice grain should mesh fully upon pressing. So add more or less water as required.)
Add milk, sugar, milk powder and blend the rice with immersion blender. Do not make a smooth paste, just blend here and there so we have semi blended mixture.
Cook for few minutes until thick and then let it cool completely.
Meanwhile, blanch almond and slice them. Also chopped other nuts.
Now mix whipped yogurt to rice-milk mixture.( Rice should be cooled completely or yogurt will release water. )
Add half raisin and khoya in the karma and save rest for garnishing.
Garnish with nuts, khoya, raisin, pomegranate and rose petals.
All garnishing is optional because few like plain and smooth karma while other like loaded with nuts, pomegranates and raisins. So, when you make it, eat as you like best.
If the karma is too thick, you can thin it with more milk.
Khoya is like ricotta cheese and difficult to get in some places. It is optional as karma tastes great without it too. Kalamra taste best a day after as the milk in kalamra ferments in presence in yogurt.
Step by step recipe of bohra karma (kalamra)
Soak rice at least two hours ahead or overnight.
Cook rice after soaking in same water, until done and water dries.
I am adding more water and cooking further for 10 minutes on low flame so rice gets very soft and mushy.
Cover the pot.
So this is a key step and you can see rice grain can meshed easily by pressing.
Add sugar and milk. Cook on medium flame with stirring.
Add milk powder if using. You can more milk and cook a little longer too. Cook for 5 minutes.
Then blend with immersion blender. Just blend a little as we want to granular rice too. Do not make a smooth paste. (If using jug blender than blend just ½ rice and milk mixture. And use potato masher for more blending)
So now it is thickened. Let the rice – milk mixture cool completely before adding yogurt. (Yogurt can release water upon heating and kalamro will turn water.)
Now it is on room temperature and further thickened.
Add whipped yogurt.
Mix well and add half of khoya and soaked raisins. ( Khoya is optional as well) If kalamro is too thick you can thin it by adding little milk. Garnish with pomegranates, raisins, khoya and nuts. Serve chilled.