Junnu or kharvas | How to make junnu or kharvas

By Swasthi on August 9, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Junnu is a milk pudding or cake known as ginnu in kannada and kharvas in Marathi. It is prepared using the colostrum milk that a cow produces for the first few days after it delivers a calf. This milk is known as junnu paalu in Telugu.It is believed that this milk is full of nutrients and colostrum which builds immunity in humans as well.

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But should not be consumed raw unless it is pasteurized or boiled well. The excess milk after the calf consumes is distributed among friends and relatives to express their joy of the new arrival i.e. the calf.

To make junnu or kharvas, on the first day, this milk is mixed with regular whole milk, jaggery, cardamom powder and pepper. Then it is steam cooked until it firms up and becomes a pudding. On the subsequent days, the milk is used to make junnu as it is without diluting.

Some folks like to have this runny that is of a drinking consistency, but we prepare it to a thicker cake like consistency that can be eaten by a spoon.

The pudding consistency or its texture depends on the ratio of colostrum milk : normal milk. To get a consistency as seen in second photo, we diluted in the ration of 1:6 since it was the first days milk.

If you happen to use the milk from second day on wards, no dilution should be done otherwise the pudding may not set.

This milk stays good frozen for about a month, if refrigerated for about 48 hours. I do not know the safety if used over that period.

Junnu or kharvas was prepared by my mum, during my visit to India last june. She usually stocks up this milk in the freezer whenever it is sent by friends and relatives owning cows in their farms.

I have also heard that colostrum powder is available in India which can be used to make Junnu. Junnu can also be made without using junnu paalu or milk, will share that recipe sometime.

We use a good amount of pepper powder as it is said to cut down the vata dosha that is caused by consuming this milk. It is your choice whether to use pepper or not to.

You can check this link for Sweets recipes

kharvas pudding made from milk

Junnu or kharvas recipe

Junnu Or kharvas recipe

Junnu or kharvas is a traditional pudding made with cow’s colostrum milk.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cup cow’s colostrum milk (First day milk)
  • 6 cups Full fat whole milk (use only if using first days milk, otherwise replace with colostrum milk)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp Green cardamom powder
  • 2 pinches Pepper powder (optional)
  • 400 grams Jaggery powdered or grated


How to make junnu or kharvas

  • Mix jaggery, whole milk and colostrum milk in a large bowl.
  • Stir well till the jiggery melts off completely.
  • Filter this to a wide and deep bowl.
  • Sprinkle pepper powder and cardamom powder.
  • If you use a bowl that is not deep enough the milk might spill over from the bowl while steaming.
  • Add water to a steamer or pressure cooker or idli cooker as you would do to steam idlis.
  • Place a plate that comes with the steamer. When the water begins to bubble, put on the flame to medium.
  • Steaming the milk on a very high flame will seep the water into the milk bowl and the milk can spill to the steamer. So control the flame well at this stage.
  • Place the milk bowl in the steamer and steam for about 25 to 40 minutes.
  • After 25 minutes, you can open the lid of the steamer and check if the pudding is done.
  • If it is cooked well, you can find some jaggery water over the pudding and the milk all set well.
  • This is the best indication to know if the pudding is correctly cooked.
  • If you find no jaggery water over the junnu or kharva, close the lid and steam for some more time also check if more water is needed in your steamer. Repeat checking.
  • Cool junnu completely or place it in the refrigerator for a while to cool quickly. Cut to desired size pieces.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Junnu Or kharvas recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 413 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 122mg5%
Potassium 382mg11%
Carbohydrates 71g24%
Sugar 71g79%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 600IU12%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 341mg34%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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Hi Swasthi
You have mentioned about making junnu / kharwas without the colostrum milk. May you please share the recipe.


Hi, this was my second time making Kharvas using fresh colostrum milk- I only added a little milk to the colostrum & steamed it- but each time, the pudding consistency was there, but it’s full of holes/bubbles. Is there a reason why?

Swasthi, this is one item I terribly miss from India! Growing up our family used to have a water buffalo in our back yard. Those days people used to keep water buffaloes and cows in residential areas. “Junnu” made with water buffalo colostrum is simply fabulous. Very thick, firm and tastes great. Even though, United States is one of the top dairy producer, colostrum is never sold here. In fact even regular milk is excessively pasteurized losing the taste of real milk. There is noway colostrum is sold to the public in this country. For now, I just have to look at the pictures of Junnu in your recipe!!!

Yes I checked on Amazon but it is not available there. But when I tried colostrum powder instead of kharvas, they have some brands available. But I am somewhat skeptical about the authenticity of those products. Colostrum is sold as a supplement for human consumption. Who knows, it could be even synthetic product? Anyway thanks for the tip. Well one of these days I will take a drive up to local dairy farms and find out if they would give me some colostrum.

Thanks so much, not only this receipe but the other as well that I have tried. I had tasted ginnu when I was a kid but somehow that taste had made a mark in my mind n today when I tried making ginnu(thanks to my sweet friend who sent me the milk)it just reminded of same taste. Thanks again!

Today i made kharvas from normal milk, can u give me idea how to store it, like at what temperature & how long it will stay perfectly.

is it possible to make Kharvas with frozen colostrum cow milk?

5 stars
Can you share the recipe using colostrum milk powder

5 stars
Looks very nice

Ginnu rice recipe pls…

5 stars
this reminds my childhood days ! Love this all time !

Great minds Swasthi! I too posted the same recipe yesterday only mine is from the packet.I love the way you have presented.

Which powder was used by you?
Pl. give details of brands/ manufacturer/ price etc

Ginnu rice recipe pls…using poha

Hi. I used 1:4. Usually it sets. But this time it’s not setting. Cooked in idli cooker for 1 hr. What went wrong ? How to set it. Any tip.