When it comes to sweets, I am not so keen on them. I am more of a savory person than sweets and the only sweets I ever ate were the ones I grew up with, especially the ones that Amma would make it at home. Like the Payasams, Rava Laddoo, Athirasams, or even the Kesari bath. The only store-bought that I loved eating is Sonpapdi. So there was never a question of me even looking at a box full of Bengali Sweets that used to land on our table more often than I liked.
Would you believe if I say that I am yet to eat a Rosogolla? Well, that's true and is not something that's going to change in near future too. Even the Ras Malai, which used to feature so much during childhood, was not tasted until I was forced to take it for the Indian cooking challenge. Then it was a case of late love and I ended up making it at least 4 -5 times. Still, that didn't force me to make Rasogulla. In fact, the stage before it becomes Ras Malai is the Rasgulla, but I wasn't tempted. Now if this post sounds like I have finally got myself make rasagulla, I am sorry. That's not the case. This post is about another Bengali sweet, equally ignored by me till now.
Chhana or Paneer is the base for most Bengali Sweets. With my affinity for Paneer, it is only natural that I should like Bengali sweets, Somehow I have kept myself away. Finally, I have made Cham cham, Rasa Malai and now was the turn for Sondesh! Since I was trending on unknown areas, I thought it would be best if I simply follow what the experts have to say about it. So this recipe is completely referred and adapted from Sandeep's and Soma's spaces. Both of them write so well and have such beautiful pictures that it's breathtaking to read through them.
Anyway, I was making this for my visit to my SIL's place. This year we made a second trip to their place, because of the kids' vacation. And instead of the traditional cookies and cakes, I made Chocolate Kalakand and Sandesh. yes, this is that old a dish and I saved it for the ABC Series. Imagine your S getting done so ahead of time.
I was making Sandesh with 6 liters of milk. The first batch I did in the morning, backfired and ended up making the Kalakand with it. I made the chhana and instructed Konda to knead it and keep it ready for me in the evening. So the entire kneading for this was handled by Amma and Konda. When I took this out to make the Sondesh, it was so soft and well done.
After tolling around the pan, trying to get it out at the right moment, I had the pleasure of eating it hot and still so juicy and wondered why I missed eating this for so long. Anyways this was still too sweet for my taste and reserved them for my nephew and nieces. Everybody loved the goodies so much that it got vanished within minutes!
If you want to read about the varieties and the ways a Sandesh is made I suggest you read Sandeepa and Soma's post.
So for S, we have the famous Bengali sweet Sondesh
I made these with almost 6 liters of milk. However, I am giving you the measurement for 1 liter
Sondesh | Bengali Sandesh
Milk - 1 litre
Lemon Juice / vinegar - 2 tbsp (1 whole lime)
Sugar - 1 cup
Pistachios and Almonds combined, coarsely pound - 3-4 tbsp
Saffron few strands (opt)
Sandesh Moulds if you have them
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