Khoa is a milk food widely used in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, made of either dried whole milk or milk thickened by heating in an open iron pan.
It is similar to ricotta cheese, but lower in moisture and made from whole milk instead of whey.
There are three types of khoya - batti, chickna, and daanedaar. Batti, meaning"rock,” has 50% moisture by weight and is the hardest of the three types; it can be grated like cheese. It can be aged for up to a year, during which it develops a unique aroma and a mouldy outer surface. Chickna ("slippery” or"squishy”) khoya has 80% moisture. For daanedaar, the milk is coagulated with an acid during the simmering; it has a moderate moisture content. Different types of khoya are used for different preparations.
Khoais used in various types of sweets:
- Pedha (penda in Gujarati) is sweetened khoa formed into balls or thick disks (like patties) with flavorings such as saffron and/or cardamom added.
- Gulab Jamun Also a round ball sweet made from khoya and then deep fried and soaked in rose water flavoured sugar or honey syrup. A very popular South Asian sweet.
- Barfi (or burfi) is also flavoured, but khoa is not the only ingredient. Typically, another ingredient, such as thickened fruit pulp or coconut shavings, is added to khoya and slow cooked until the moisture evaporates sufficiently to give the consistency of fudge, so it can be flattened and cut into rectangles, parallelograms or diamond shapes.
- Gujia, a sweet dumpling stuffed with khoa
- Halwa is essentially a fudge made by adding khoa to give a dairy-like taste and texture and as a thickening agent.