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Sandesh (Sondesh)
It’s a simple and delicious mix of fresh crumbled paneer and powdered sugar with invigorating aroma of cardamom – this mouth watering Bengali sweet recipe requires just 3 ingredients and takes only 20-25 minutes to prepare.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 servings
1 liter Full Cream Milk (Cow milk is preferable)
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Green Cardamom Powder
5-6 chopped Pistachios (for garnishing), optional
Note: Follow detailed step by step photo recipe to prepare paneer (chhena) at home (follow steps 1 to 5). If you are following the detailed homemade paneer recipe then skip steps 1-3 given below.
  1. Bring milk to boil over medium flame.
  2. When it comes to rolling boil, reduce flame to low. Add lemon juice gradually while stirring continuously. Within 1 or 2 minutes, milk solid and whey (liquid portion) will start to separate.
  3. When it separates completely, transfer it to a colander or a large sieve having cheesecloth lined over it and drain the whey. Rinse paneer (chhena) under running water to remove residual lemony taste.
  4. Tie prepared chhena in a muslin cloth. Squeeze it gently to drain the water and hang it for 30 minutes to drain the water (see the photo). Do not hang it for longer than 30 minutes otherwise it will become dry. After draining water, untie it.
  5. Transfer solidified chhena to a large plate. It should be moist. If it is too dry, sandesh will turn crumbly.
  6. Knead it like dough for around 4-5 minutes or until smooth.
  7. Add sugar and cardamom powder.
  8. Knead again for around 3-4 minutes to mix well.
  9. Transfer prepared mixture to a heavy bottomed non-stick pan.
  10. Stir it continuously and cook it over low flame until mixture turns a little dry but is still moist; it will take around 5-6 minutes. Do not cook it for longer suggested time or over medium/high flame to prevent chhena from turning crumbly.
  11. Turn off the flame and let it cool for few minutes. When it is still warm, knead well until smooth.
  12. Divide mixture into 12-14 small portions and make round shaped balls from it. Take each ball, press it gently between your palms and flatten it like thick pattie. For garnishing, place few pieces of chopped pistachios in the center and press it with your thumb. You can also use mold to give desired shape. Place this sweet in a refrigerator and chill it for at least an hour before serving. Consume it within two days and store in a refrigerator.
Tips and Variations:
  • To prepare this sweet without needing to cook paneer or chhena is as mentioned in the description section above, skip steps 9 to 11.
  • You can reduce the processing time by grinding chhena, sugar and cardamom powder together in a mixer grinder and skip kneading process in steps 5 to 7.
  • If mixture turns dry in step-10, add few drops of milk and knead until smooth.
  • If mixture turns crumbly in step-10 and you are unable to make sandesh from it, grind the mixture in a mixture grinder until smooth, transfer it to a plate and knead until smooth. If required, add few drops of milk and knead using your hand.
Taste: Sweet with mild aromatic flavor of cardamom
Serving Ideas:  Serve this sweet with any savory snack like namak pare, chakli or on its own.

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