Had a trip down the memory lane today. I was waiting downstairs with Saee waiting for her school bus, when a man with a milk can came by yelling “Cheek!” He wasn’t yelling out the name of any part of the face, he was selling what he had in his can. Cheek is the Marathi word for the colostrum laden milk that a cow yields after calving. We  add jaggery, sugar and cardamom powder and steam it to yield a lovely pudding, tasting similar to China grass, only much softer and yummier.

We had a cheek-wala who used to come deliver this milk at my mom’s place. Mom would make such lovely Kharwas with it, that whenever she made it, me and my brother would compete for who gets the bigger share. Without him, and without my mom’s love in it, kharwas just doesn’t taste the same. For the first time in my life, I didn’t enjoy having kharwas.

Yet, the recipe remains the same. So the next time you find “Cheek”, buy it and make this lovely recipe. Oh! And one more thing. Remember to ask the vendor, if the milk is from the first day or the second or third day. If the milk is from the first day after calving, you need to add the same quantity of plain milk, or the kharwas will go really hard, and won’t remain fit for consumption. If it is from the second or third day, you will need to add one fourth the quantity of milk. My recipe is for the second day cheek. If it is from the fourth day you may not need to add milk at all, or if you do, you may need very little.


  • 1 litre bovine colostrum (cheek)
  • 250 ml plain cow milk
  • about one and half cup grated jaggery
  • about one cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  1. Add the plain milk to the colostrum.
  2. Add the jaggery and sugar and stir till it all dissolves
  3. Add the cardamom powder and mix.
  4. Place a steamer with water, on heat. Place the mixture in the steamer, and steam on high power for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  5. Open once to check if the colostrum has set. If it has set, turn off the heat, and allow the kharwas to cool down to room temperature.
  6. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
  7. Once chilled, remove and cut into several pieces.
  8. Serve as a chilled dessert.

Happy Cooking!


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