Sandesh

Sandesh

By
From
Indian Food Made Easy
Makes
12
Photographer
Vanessa Courtier

To say that these little sweetmeats are made of fresh white cheese and sugar will not convey just how delicious they are. They are really moreish and when you know there is no added fat, you feel able to give in to temptation. These Bengali sweets are one of the most popular in a region renowned for its sweets and they are one of the few sweets still made at home in a culture that outsourced sweetmaking a long time ago.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre full-fat milk
100-150ml yoghurt, beaten
45g caster sugar
good pinch saffron, powdered in a pestle and mortar with 1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon green cardamom powder

Other flavouring ideas

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon rose water, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon vanilla essence, or to taste
40g pistachio nuts, shelled and pounded to a rough puree, (add an extra tbsp sugar to the cheese and add 1 tbsp milk)
good-quality chocolate powder, to taste
3 tablespoons desiccated coconut, or to taste

To garnish

Quantity Ingredient
silver leaf, chopped pistachios, flaked almonds, saffron strands, flaked coconut or rose petals

Method

  1. Bring the milk to a boil in a pan set over a low heat. Once the milk starts to rise in the pan, stir in the yoghurt. The milk will curdle, leaving curd-like cheese floating in murky water. If it does not split, add some more yoghurt and leave for 20 seconds over the heat.
  2. Line a sieve with muslin and place over a large bowl or saucepan. Strain the cheese into the lined sieve and discard the water. Run fresh tap water over the cheese to remove any sourness from the yoghurt. Twist the muslin around the cheese to make a tight ball and place it under a weight (I fill the pan with water and place it on top). Leave to drain for 20 minutes.
  3. Place the cheese in a blender with the sugar and pulse three times to make a slightly grainy paste. Spoon the mixture into a cold non-stick frying pan and place over a low-moderate heat, stirring continuously for about 3–5 minutes. The mixture should leave the base of the pan and have the texture of soft dough. It will dry more as it cools. If in doubt, take a small bit and roll it into a small ball. It shouldn’t crack and should hold its shape without being hard.
  4. Now the basic mixture is ready. Add the saffron and the cardamom powder and roll into small walnut-sized balls. Garnish with silver leaf, chopped pistachios, flaked almonds, saffron strands, flaked coconut or rose petals, depending on the flavouring. Chill until ready to eat.
Tags:
Indian
Anjum
Anand
simple
easy
fast
quick
weeknight
midweek
mid-week
dinner
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