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Posu (Ginnu, Junnu, Kharvas) – Without lactating cow’s milk

Posu(Konkani), Ginnu(Kannada), Junnu(Telugu), Kharvas(Marathi) is a sweet made from lactating cow’s milk. Usually it is prepared by the first 3 days milk from the cows who gave birth to calves. It’s one my favorite sweet. This was prepared only few times in a year when we could get the colostrum milk.

At my native place, almost everyone used to raise cows for milk. We had few cows till I was in 8th standard(grade). Though I never used to tend any of them, I consider them as my favorite pets. They are innocent, sweet to talk to (you know how we talk to pets), and very cute. My grand father used to take care of them. I still remember my favorites among the lot – Shaila, a very sweet cow which grew up with us . Yes, cows are as dear to us as dogs are to most of the population now. We had yearly Gopoojas when we worshiped them. We also have a separate ‘cow barn’ for them. Though we don’t have the cows now, we still have the barn. But often our neighbors share this milk and we make posu once in a while.

Few days ago, someone reminded me of this sweet. So I tried to find colostrum milk in all the regular groceries here, I think it’s hard to find it in stores. There is a possibility that it is available but I don’t know where to look. So I had to make this without this special milk. I started searching in Google and found many options – Arjuna’s version and Ramya’s version. I cannot describe how happy. I was not keen on trying the version with egg, but the version with yogurt caught my attention. Then I realized that I didn’t have condensed milk. So instead of going out and buying it, I decided to make it with regular milk. I was not sure if it would work out. But the results were amazing. It was a bit watery compared to the actual posu - because the lactating milk is very thick and the Vitamin D milk I used was comparatively thin. But it tasted great.

2 cups milk (do not use any low fat milks, I guess whole milk would work out best, I am yet to try)
1 cup yogurt
Jaggery or sugar
Cardamom powder

Boil the milk and add jaggery/sugar. I like the jaggery version more because it gives a very nice taste. Mix well. Let it cool to room temperature.
Now add the yogurt, cardamom powder and mix well. Pour it into small bowls and steam it (like idlis) for about 15mins.
Let the posu sit for about 4-5hrs before serving. You can serve this immediately but if it gets some standing time, it absorbs all the sweetness and tastes great.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 25mins

PS: This version is a bit watery than the traditional version. So use small bowls for steaming them. Serve the individual bowls.

Traditional version:
Mix 1 cup colostrum milk with 1 cup normal milk. Add jaggery or sugar and cardamom. Steam. This can be made in big bowl and while serving, cut into pieces and serve hot or cold.

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{ 27 comments… add one }

  • Maya March 8, 2008, 10:10 pm

    Wow Shilpa, yet another favourite of all in our family, and most people I know…Its so great that you could make it using milk and yogurt. You might be knowing already, but wanted to let u know about a version where it is made using ricotta cheese. I will try ur version tomm itself, since all ingredients at home. Thanx so much for sharing this..

    • Dan Sujan June 21, 2011, 2:53 pm

      Could you explain how to prepare this with cheese and not yogurt?

      Many thanks
      Dan Sujan

  • aruna March 8, 2008, 10:51 pm

    After speaking to you, i made it. It was satisfying indeed. Somewhere close to the original one. Just checked Ramya’s version. I guess her texture is more close to the original, due to use of eggs. Thanks shilpa.

  • Manisha March 8, 2008, 10:58 pm

    Shilpa, check out Evolving Tastes’ latest post on kharwas. She found colostrum milk in Whole Foods.

    Shilpa: Thanks Manisha. I will check out. I didn’t know it was called ‘colostrum’ milk, I have updated the post now.

  • Ramya March 8, 2008, 11:10 pm

    gr8 job, Shilpa!! I wonder how you come up with such different and wonderful recipes everytime

  • sailaja March 9, 2008, 12:17 am

    Shilpa, I can relate very closely to your memories of cows/gopujas. Junnu is my favorite sweet and we make it very regularly at our home. Powdered cow milk (lactating) is available commercially and it gives the same results as the fresh lactating milk. But I still prefer to use the fresh milk than powder.

    Very innovative recipe.:)

    Shilpa: Sailaja, I checked for that too, but no luck :(. I will keep an eye in Indian store. Can you tell me what is the brand you use and what is the powder called?

  • Purnima March 9, 2008, 1:23 am

    Shilpa, I used to have this from street hawkers in mumbai atleast twice a month, used to absolutely love it! My neighbour made it for me and that home-made kharvas tasted out of this world! Garnish with saffron strands, chopped nuts n give it standing time, it truly tastes great!
    To try here, the milk is very thin, maybe needs to be mixed with cream for thickeness! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful treat!

  • Meera March 9, 2008, 7:25 am

    After reading Evolving Taste’s post about availability of colstrum milk in whole foods, I went there and scanned every corner in the dairy section. but couldn’t find it. Maybe I wasnt looking at the right place, or it may be available in particular season or only in certain region. don’t know.
    I make similar version using condensed milk, yogurt, but i was calling it bengali “bhappa dhoi” so far! :-)

  • Jyothsna March 9, 2008, 9:15 am

    I remember having kharvas in Mumbai from a Maharashtrian friend….it was really yummy!

  • sailaja March 9, 2008, 10:25 am

    I think its Kamadhenu brand. I rarely buy it. I will find out and email you the details, Shilpa.

  • evolvingtastes March 9, 2008, 3:11 pm

    Shilpa, as Meera says, this is very similar to the Bengali Bhapa Doi, a steamed milk and yogurt sweet, which has a taste and texture very similar to that of Colostrum Milk pudding. In fact, when I first made Bhapa Doi (recipe was without cardamom) I was reminded so much of Kharwas that I started using cardamom powder in it.
    I found it in Whole Foods, but looks like Meera didn’t. If you have one in your area you could find out.
    You can check my post for details (http://evolvingtastes.blogspot.com/2008/03/kharwas-real-thing.html) if you are interested.

    Shilpa: Thanks ET. I will check out in Whole foods here.

  • Nalini March 10, 2008, 6:08 am

    Hello Shilpa,
    I use a can of condensed milk, equal proportion of yoghurt, just 1/2 tsp of jaggery (color of Ginnu) and other ingredients you mention and steamed like we do for idlis.
    Worked perfectly and great texture.
    I found it a tad too sweet for my liking so the next time I make this I will reduce the condensed milk further.
    Have a safe and fun trip to India.

  • Deepa March 10, 2008, 10:02 am

    Posu is my favourite Shilpa…I was missing this dish so much..thanks for posting this version shall try it soon

  • kanchan gharse March 10, 2008, 11:04 am

    Hi Shilpa, my friend makes it with condensed milk and calls it as milk pudding.

  • rekha March 10, 2008, 11:14 am


    Thanks for sharing the recipe…
    May be it is a good recipe, but very depressed to see that the milk that the calves were supposed to drink is being taken away. Anyway after 10-12 days of giving birth the cows milk is taken by us, atleast colostrum can be left for the baby cow…hmm


  • smitha March 10, 2008, 10:34 pm

    Dear Shilpa,
    Thankyou for all the yummy recipes. My day to day cooking is based mostly on your recipes. I am hearing about posu for the first time. Will make it today itself. (without the lactating milk, of course)

  • Divya March 11, 2008, 11:52 pm

    hi shilpa,

    i’ve never heard of this dish before.anyway its nice that you prepared it without lactating milk.somehow i too share rekha’s(14) view abt coloustrum milk…

  • Ketaki March 12, 2008, 9:04 am

    hi shilpa,
    its been 1 and half years i am here in us. and i am visiting india (first time after coming to US) in april.
    kharvas was on the top of the list of my food demand list…
    thankksss alot for posting this! i made it immediately but with egg version! it turned out too good.
    thanks again!

  • gowri March 13, 2008, 7:11 pm

    Hey Shilpa,
    I tried Arjuna’s version of Posu today. Wow it was just like posu… loved it.
    Adding jaggery make lots of difference. All these days i use to bake this using 1:1:1 (evaporated milk, condense milk and youurt.)
    It tastes like bapa doi. Thanks for posting Shilpa.

  • ramya April 10, 2008, 6:41 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    I will try ur version for sure. And the version of is egg is also good and no one can say there is egg in it and it’s not watery like the curd one. because so many are thinkking this egg version will smell or taste different but it’s perfect too.

  • Ravi D May 4, 2008, 11:54 pm

    Couldn’t you use heavy cream or heavy cream mixed with whole milk instead of using yogurt (which is sour)?

  • madhu October 23, 2008, 2:17 pm

    Shilpa thanks for beautiful recepies….
    for this ginnu I was wandering if I can bake it for 30 mins @ 325 degree, instead of pressure cooker??

  • Minu February 20, 2009, 1:36 pm

    how should I do the same (Kharvas) thing if I have condense milk?

  • Pratiksha July 7, 2009, 4:09 am

    Kharvas is my favrite sweet dish but i stopped eating it when i came to know that it is made from milk which should be given to the newly born calves. I felt sad about it & stopped eating. But i m very happy to this recipe. Thanks for posting I will definitely try this… :)

  • Varsha Patil July 30, 2009, 9:25 am

    Nice recipe Shilpa.
    In Vishakapatnam you get ready Junnu powder. You just have to disolve it with milk and cook in a pressure cooker. Tastes yummy. I have some packets at home. Will make on the weekends.

  • vaishali September 27, 2009, 2:15 am


    your recipe is very good.
    for more thikening can i add some milk powder in the mixture?

    • Shilpa September 27, 2009, 8:01 am

      Sorry, I haven’t tried.

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