Soft and traditional Bengali sweet dish prepared Sandesh prepared with fresh chena can be prepared with any flavor. Infact it can also be prepared with Saffron and cardamom only
Sandesh Recipe is a Traditional Bengali Sweet Dish, popular in West Bengal. It can be easily made at home with freshly Homemade Paneer. Few Pistachios and Saffron strands brings more flavors in it.
1 litre + 1 cup milk
Few drops of lemon juice or vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 cup sugar (powdered)
2 tablespoon pistachios (finely chopped)
Few saffron strands for garnishing (optional)
1.Keep the milk over medium high heat and bring it on to a sufficient boil. When the milk is almost started boiling, stir in lemon juice and lower the flame. Milk begins to curdle now, switch off the flame.
2.Take a muslin or cheese cloth and pour the entire milk in it. Hold the cloth tightly and squeeze out water as much as you can. Now the chenna or paneer would be in a muslin cloth. Slowly rinse the chenna with the muslin in running water to remove the sourness of the lemon juice or vinegar from the paneer.
3.Place a heavy weight on the muslin and keep aside for 30 minutes. Take out the paneer onto a plate or a tray, and knead with your palms to smoothen it. Gather the whole mixture at intervals and then continue to knead till the mixture becomes smooth and less granular.
4.Now mix in powdered sugar and keep kneading for few more minutes. Cook the mixture in a non-stick pan for about 8-10 minutes, till the moisture is evaporated.
5.Now you will observe that slowly the moisture would begin to dry up and start coming together.
6.For making perfect sandesh, we need soft and smooth mixture. Hence do not hurry and leave it on a room temperature. Let the mixture warm or cool completely. Add finely chopped pistachios, cinnamon and cardamom powder. Mix very well and then knead it again to get a smooth consistency.
7.Grease your hands and shape into round flattened balls or pedas. If you want, you can even make various designs on sandesh. Garnish with saffron strands and refrigerate it at least for an hour to blend all the flavors together.
Notes: Bengali Sandesh tastes great, only when serve chilled. You can buy paneer from outside as well, but make sure it must be very fresh.