Sandesh, a popular Bengali sweet, is a simple and heady mix of freshly made paneer or chena kneaded with powdered sugar and a hint of cardamom powder. Bengal’s best known chhanar sweet Sondesh can be prepared at home very easily.
For Bengalis, soft, melt-in-the-mouth Sandesh cottage cheese fudge is mandatory for any kind of celebration. So whether your kid has scored well in class, you just bought a new car or you have received a job offer, you just cannot break the good news to your family and friends without a celebratory box of the Bengali sweet sandesh!
The staple ingredient in the making of this sweet delicacy is ‘chhana’ or paneer extracted by curdling full cream milk.
This drool-worthy Bengali sweet recipe requires nothing more than kneading together the three basic ingredients – chena (paneer/cottage cheese), powdered sugar and cardamom powder – heating the whole mix and then refrigerating it in moulds. Simple 🙂 Try your hand at making this Bengali Sondesh Recipe.
Sandesh Sweet Bengali Recipe details below:
- Full Cream Cow Milk – 1 litre
- Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- Powdered sugar - 2 tbsp
- Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
- Tutti frutti – 1 tbsp
To prepare Sandesh, pour 1 litre milk into a vessel. Place the vessel over medium heat and bring the milk to a boil. Reduce heat and slowly stir in lemon juice. You can see the milk solids will start to separate. Turn off the gas and set the milk aside for 10 minutes to facilitate the curdling process.
Place a cheesecloth lined strainer over a bowl and drain out the whey, reserving the chhana.
Wrap the paneer in the cheese cloth and rinse under running water to remove residual lime juice. Squeeze till all the water drains out.
Place the solid mass of homemade paneer on a plate and knead for about 5 minutes till it’s nice and smooth.
Add the sugar and cardamom powder and combine well. Knead for 2-3 minutes.
Heat a non-stick pan over a low fame. Add the sweetened chena mixture and saute it for 5 minutes till it starts to leaves the sides of the pan. Ensure the mixture is still a little moist or else it will start to crumble.
Take it off the flame and let it cool slightly.
Knead the dough while still a little warm so that’s it’s smooth without any cracks. Divide it into uniform balls.
Flatten each ball between your palms or use Sandesh moulds to get your desired shape. Lightly press some tutti-frutti in the centre of each ball.
Refrigerate chanar Sondesh for an hour before serving.
Enjoy the delectable Sandesh Bengali sweet.
* You can use palm jaggery instead of sugar.
* If the mixture turns dry and crumbly, add a little milk and knead to a smooth dough.
* You can garnish with chocolate sprinkles, pistachio or almond slivers.
* Sandesh will keep in a refrigerator for upto a week.
Bengali Chhanar Sondesh Recipe Step By Step:
Sondesh, made with sweetened chena and flavoured with cardamom, tops the list of famous Bengali sweets. If you ever visit the “City of Joy’ make sure you don’t miss out on the chhena-based Sondesh!
How to make sandesh:
For this traditional Bengali sweet dish recipe, heat milk in a vessel and bring to a boil over medium heat.
When the milk is just about to boil over, reduce the flame. Add lemon juice, while you keep on stirring. You will notice that the milk starts to curdle. Keep stirring till the chena separates from the whey completely. Remove and keep aside for a few minutes.
Strain the paneer using a sieve/strainer lined with cheesecloth. Wrap the prepared chena in the cheesecloth and rinse under water to remove the lemony taste. Squeeze gently to drain out water.
Unwrap the homemade chhana and place it on a clean dry plate or bowl. The cottage cheese should be slightly moist; if it’s too dry, it will start to crumble. Knead the paneer till it’s absolutely soft and smooth. You will see that the cheese will start to release fat and your kneading hand will feel slightly greasy.
Mix in powdered sugar and cardamom powder. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes more till all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Heat a non-stick pan on low flame and add the chena mixture. Saute the mixture for about 5 minutes till the mixture starts to come together. Do not overcook or the mixture will become dry.
Remove and set aside for a couple of minutes to cool slightly. Knead the mixture lightly and divide into equal portions.
Lightly roll each portion into a ball and flatten it gently between your palms. You can also use moulds to get the desired shape.
Place some tutti frutti or chopped pistachios in the centre of each flattened ball and press lightly. Refrigerate chanar sondesh for about an hour.
Serve deliciously soft and light Bengali Sandesh for dessert.