Nimish / Malai Makhan

Nimish or Malai Makhan also called cream butter is one of the most amazing sweet snacks sold during the winters in Lucknow this is a light, airy set cream from Lucknow flavoured with saffron and rosewater garnished with slivered almonds, pistachios and waraq – a typical sweet from the era of the Nawabs and their very inventive chefs.

Dew being an important factor to make this delicacy, its only during the winters and early spring that we Lucknowites are blessed with this. This is because earlier and even to this day the boiled milk is covered tightly with a thin muslin cloth and left in the open misty sky in large trays for the dew drops to fall overnight, after which it is beaten up till very frothy and light. It has a slightly sweet flavour of frothy cream which just vanishes in your mouth tickling your taste buds wanting for more. Though it is very tedious and time consuming but nevertheless it is prepared and consumed with much zeal in Lucknow.


Full cream milk (un-boiled) 2 litres
Cream 500 ml
Cream of tartar 1 teaspoon
Powdered sugar 1 cup
Rose water 1 teaspoon
Pistachio nuts (finely sliced) 2 tablespoon
Cardamom powder 2 teaspoons

Home Style Method (without dew drops)…
  • In a bowl mix the full cream milk, cream and cream of tartar, refrigerate overnight.
  • Boil milk till boiling point, frequently stirring it so that cream should not form.
  • Mix sugar and boil for sometime. Add cardamom powder and rose water and stir it till it comes to room temperature. Keep in the refrigerator.
  • Take the bowl out of the fridge early next day and add 4 teaspoon powdered sugar and rose water in it. Whisk at high speed. You may use an electric beater for the same. The foam will come on top of the bowl. Transfer this on a tray.

You will require to repeat the process till the entire milk is used.

Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and in between the layers of the foam.

This can be shifted into small serving bowls. Sprinkle sliced pistachio nuts on top of each bowl of foam (optionally use some waraq or edible silver foil to decorate, nit covering the entire bowl though) and refrigerate (not in the freezer) till serving time.

Serve it cool, not chilled.