Therattipal (Palkova)


No festive occasion or social function among Tamilians is complete without therattipal as one of the dishes in the cuisine. A very laboriously prepared dish by simmering huge quantities of milk over low flame to reduce the bulk with constant stirring to ensure that the milk does not get burnt, this dish is quite time- consuming too. Once “Aavin” started selling this sweet it became an easily accessible sweet in our family and the effort one needs to invest was forgotten.  At one point in one of my family member’s place I happened to taste microwaved therattipal and it was quite like the traditional dish and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it takes principally just two ingredients and less than 15 minutes to prepare the sweet. In a family that loves this sweet, there couldn’t have been a better treat!

It saved the bother of full-cream milk and sweat over the steady stirring The caramelization is so perfect that it gives you the color as in traditional preparation.

The best part is that we do not have to worry about sugar proportion and the texture that depends on the milk quality. Yogurt added ensures on the grainy texture and gives a lovely feel.


Condensed milk  1 can (400 ml)

Thick yogurt  2  tsp

Ghee ½ tsp

Almonds (slivered)  2 tsp

Saffron strands 1 pinch (optional)  but I prefer to add them


  • Grease a large glass bowl (1 liter or bigger) with ghee and pour the condensed milk into the bowl. Add the yogurt to the milk and mix well to blend the curd and milk.


  • Place in the microwave at 900 W (high) for 5 minutes  and make sure to track the cooking.  Stir every 2 minutes to ensure a smooth texture. You will see the granular texture and caramelized color appearing after about 3 minutes or so.


  • Reduce the wattage to 600 W and micro for another  minute or two until the mix looks solid and all fluid is vaporized. Add saffron strands and mix well.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Garnish with almond slivers.


Chef’s Note

  • Clarified butter (ghee) is not part of the dish but used to grease the bowl to avoid the grains from coating the wall.
  • Ensure the bowl is twice the size of the quantity made to avoid spill-over while cooking.
  • As the milk has a lovely taste and flavor I do not use cardamom although some may prefer to add the same.
  • Do not transfer immediately after removing from the oven as the color may be lighter. let it wait to cool to get the color.
  • For those who prefer to avoid microwave oven, the same can be done on gas flame in a heavy-bottomed wok over low flame and it may take about 15 to 20 minutes.