SHONDESH or SANDESH
Sandesh or Shondesh is one of the most famous and scrumptious dessert from Kolkata.
I think that just like Rasgulla, Sandesh is equally popular when it comes to Bengali delicacies.
It is one of the most widely known and appreciated sweet recipes of Bengali cuisine that is very easy to make.
You can impress the toughest of your guests or sweeten your festive celebrations with this easy recipe.
I personally love Shondesh.
The soft and melt in mouth Sandesh pieces are prepared with fresh chenna. Though nowadays it is prepared with many flavors and variations like Chocolate, Mango, Strawberry etc. to name a few, but the basic Sandesh recipe is quite simple.
Just kneading up the three basic ingredients- sugar, chenna (paneer) and cardamom powder. Refrigerate for few hours and enjoy it.
Sometimes when you are not in a mood to whip up an eloborate dessert then this is the saviour.
Let us quickly start making this scrumptious dessert.
Milk- 2 liters
Vinegar- 2 tablespoon
Sugar powder- 1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder- 1/4th teaspoon
Pistas slivers and few Saffron strands- to garnish (optional)DIRECTIONS:
We will start by making paneer.
For this add 1ltr milk in a pan and start boiling.
When it comes to a boil, switch off the gas.
Add vinegar to it. Milk will start curdling.
Strain this curdled mix through a fine sieve or muslin cloth.
Whey will be separated from paneer/ chenna.
Wash thoroughly with fresh water to remove the sourness. Drain the water by squeezing the cheesecloth. Knot the muslin cloth and hang it to get rid for any excess whey/liquid. Alternately you can remove excess whey by pressing gently with the back of the ladle if using a sieve.
Leave it for 20-30 mins.
After that remove the paneer.The paneer you get will be crumbly and slightly dry and yet a little moist.
Rub this paneer alongwith sugar powder and cardamom powder with your fingers to break all the lumps. Rub till the chenna comes to smooth silky texture.
You can reduce the processing time by grinding paneer/chenna, sugar and cardamom powder together in a mixer grinder.
To a nonstick pan, add the mix well and cook on a low flame.
The mixture will melt off a little bit and becomes gooey, cook until you get a thick consistency and the mix leave the sides of the pan.
Switch off the heat at this pont of time and let the mix cool down a little bit.
The mix should not be completely cooled else it'll be difficult to make balls. It should be warm to touch.
Knead lightly and divide the mix in lemon size portions and roll into balls. There should not be any cracks on the surface of balls.
Now,flatten the balls slightly.
Garnish with pista slivers and saffron.
Refrigerate and consume sandesh within 2 days.