I have ‘Sandesh‘ for you today. Sandesh, translated in Hindi literally means ‘news’ or a ‘message’. Today’s post is definitely not just a message – it is a sweet message. 🙂 If you ask a Bengali what Sandesh is, they will tell you it is an extremely delicious, melt in the mouth, milk based dessert. I couldn’t agree any less. It is an inherent part of Bengali culture and festivity. Sandesh over the years has truly become a ‘messenger’ of auspicious news creating an atmosphere of celebration and jubilation in Bengali households. Did I forget to mention how easy it is to make?
Like most Bengali sweets, the base for this sweet is also curdled milk (chenna/paneer) and a sweetener. You may add any flavouring as your heart desires. I have kept it simple using almost the same ingredients I used for Malai Peda recipe.
Serves : 12 – 15 pcs
1 litre full cream milk
1-2 tblsp lemon juice
2/3 cup or 75 g powdered sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
few drops of rose essence
chopped pistachios for garnish
- In a heavy bottom pan, bring milk to boil. Keep stirring so the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. This will also ensure the cream not to accumulate at the top while boiling. If you see cream collecting on top; remove with the help of a spoon and keep aside. I have used 3.5% fat milk.
- Now, gradually add lemon juice and stir gently. You will notice that the milk starts curdling at this point.
- Once all the whey is separated, strain the paneer/chenna into a cheesecloth or a muslin cloth. Do not squeeze hard at this point. The paneer/chenna should be moist and not dry out. Hang the cheesecloth for 30 minutes so the water is drained out naturally.
- After 30 mins, you can either knead the dough with your palms or blitz the paneer/chenna in the food processor.
- The dough should be smooth and release oils. Now add powdered sugar and cardamom powder and knead well again. Adjust sweetness as desired.
- Transfer the dough to a skillet on medium heat and cook for few minutes. Make sure you stir constantly since you do not want the mixture to dry out.
- You know the mixture is ready when it looks a little crumbly but not dry.
- Transfer to a plate and let it cool. Add rose essence and bring it all together.
- Divide the prepared mixture into equal walnut sized balls or into desired shapes. If you have Sandesh moulds you can use those.
- Garnish with pistachios and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Love & Hugs,
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