Tutti Frutti SandeshSaturday, October 17, 2015
Who doesn't know about Sandesh, a bengali sweet made with just two ingredients and little bit of flavouring. One and the main ingredient is Channa or paneer, which is made by curdling the fresh milk, sugar is added in the freshly made channa/paneer and some flavouring like saffron or crushed cardamom and you have an awesome flavourful sweet with pure goodness of milk within an hour. I'm saying an hour because if you want to have a melt-in-mouth sandesh, you have to give an hour and a little bit of labour.
The simplest kind of sandesh in Bengal is the makha sandesh (makha = kneaded). It is prepared by tossing the chhana lightly with sugar over low heat. When shaped into balls, it is called kanchagolla (kancha = raw; golla = ball). There are many varieteis of sandesh available with more complex process, some are flavored with essence of fruits, and some are even colored, and cooked to many different levels of consistencies. Sometimes it is filled with syrup, blended with coconut or kheer, and molded into a variety of shapes such as conch shells, fishhead etc. Another popular variant is Nolen Gurer Sandesh, which is made with Khejurer gur/nolen gur or date plum jaggery. It is known for its brown or caramel colour that comes from the nolen gur.
Today I'm sharing the basic type of Sandesh making, which is called makha Sandesh, for a variety, I added some Tutti Frutti to add some color into the Sandesh. Tutti frutti is a colorful confection containing various chopped and usually candied fruits, or an artificially created flavouring simulating the combined flavour of many different fruits. You can skip adding tutti frutti and can follow rest of the process. My kids love to have these colorful Tutti Frutti Sandesh, try these for a change.
You Need :
Milk : 1 liter, full cream milk, preferably
Lemon juice : 2 tblsp.
Sugar : ~ 1/2 cup, powdered
Tutti Frutti : 2 tblsp.
Green cardamom powder : 1/4 tsp.
How To :
- To make Channa/paneer :: Bring milk to boil over medium flame. When it starts to 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.
- When it separates completely, transfer it to a colander or a large sieve, spread some fine and clean cloth over it and drain the whey. Rinse paneer (chhana) under running water to remove the lemony taste. Tie prepared chhana in a manner so you can hang it. Squeeze it gently to drain some of the water and hang it for 30 minutes to drain the water. Do not hang it for more than 30 minutes otherwise channa will become dry.
- Making Sandesh :: Untie and transfer solidified chhana to a big plate. It should be moist. If it is too dry, Sandesh will turn crumbly. You can add very little milk to knead the dough if you feel it's dry, Knead the dough for around 4-5 minutes with your hand or back of a small bowl. Add sugar and cardamom powder. Knead again for around 4-5 minutes till channa feels silky smooth.
- Transfer prepared channa to a heavy bottomed non-stick pan. Stir it continuously and cook it over low flame until mixture turns a little dry but still moist; it will take around 5-6 minutes. When you see that the whole thing is coming together and no longer sticking to the pan, turn off the flame and pour over a big plate to cool. Lastly, add tutti frutti, mix and knead little more until smooth.
- Divide mixture into small portions of same amount and make round shaped balls from it. Take each ball, press it gently between your palms and flatten it a bit. You can use any garnish of your choice,like can place few pieces of chopped pistachios in the center and press it with your thumb or you can also use mold to give desired shape.
- Cool and serve. Consume it within two days and store in a refrigerator.
Sending this to Kolkata Food Blogger's Durga Puja event.