The Bengal connection has been a strong one in my life.. having loved bengali sweets since a very young age, I can never resist a malai rasgulla sandwich or a syrupy cham cham.. and how about that spongy rasgulla?and who does not know about the sandesh ? this easy to make sweet is very popular and comes in many flavours like kesar, mango, pistachio etc
It is due to the influence of karachi sweet mart Pune, in my life, the owners wife was my mom’s best friend and these treats were very often on our table, this kind aunty would never lose an opportunity to send us sweets ,very often the door bell would ring and we were handed a packet of cold rasmalais which were so soft that they literally melted in your mouth.. these rasmalais were dunked in a saffron infused sweet milk base, oh how we relished these delicious sweet treats ..Even today, on all my visits to India I still head direct to the karachi sweet mart to buy their Bengali sweets..
Bengali sweets are no doubt on the sweeter side of life, but they are lighter than most IIndian sweets because they are paneer or cottage cheese based.. chenna as it is called by Bengalis. Another plus point being the absence of ghee or oil…
Today I will share with you a very simple instant sandesh which makes use of condensed milk and is made in a jiffy… you can substitute the mango essence with soaked and ground saffron or use any other flavouring. This sandesh is best had cold.It also keeps up to a week in the refrigerator.. do try it out…
INSTANT MANGO SANDESH
125 GMS FRESH PANEER.( COTTAGE CHEESE)GRATED
100 ML SWEET CONDENSED MILK
1 TBSP MILK POWDER
1 TBSP FLOUR
1 TBSP OF POWDERED SUGAR
1/2 TSP MANGO ESSENCE
FEW DROPS OF LIQUID YELLOW COLOUR
1.. BLEND TOGETHER PANEER(COTTAGE CHEESE) , CONDENSED MILK , MILK POWDER , FLOUR AND SUGAR TO A SMOOTH PASTE.
2.. PUT THIS BLENDED MIXTURE INTO A NON STICK PAN AND STIR ON A VERY LOW FLAME FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES UNTIL THE MIXTURE LEAVES THE SIDES OF THE PAN. IMMEDIATELY SHUT OFF THE FLAME.. OVERCOOKING WILL RESULT IN A GRAINY SANDESH WHICH WE DO NOT WANT, A SANDESH HAS TO BE SMOOTH.
3.. ADD 2 OR 3 DROPS OF LIQUID YELLOW COLOUR AND ABOUT 1/2 TSP MANGO ESSENCE..AT THIS POINT YOU CAN ADD ANY FLAVOUR OF YOUR LIKING..
4..POUR THIS MIXTURE ONTO A LIGHTLY GREASED TRAY AND CHILL…
5.. COVER WITH SILVER VARKH OR TOP WITH TINY BITS OF FRESH MANGO AND CUT INTO SMALL PIECES… SERVE COLD…ENJOY.
Ever since I can remember , I have loved dhoklas.. the lovely low calorie snack which rules Gujarat, and also many parts of western india.. its available in almost all sweetmeat shops, especially those run by Gujaratis or Marwaris. This snack which is steamed and then tempered with mustard seeds and sesame seeds, is delightfully soft and fluffy when made right.Oh the pleasure of biting into a piece of freshly made dhokla topped with a cold coconut chutney ..supreme pleasure…and I can tell You that every family guards their dhokla recipe very closely..:) for years I have tried to make the perfect dhokla and have tried so many recipes , some of which have seen the bin and some of them my table,and just when I think okay, that is it, this is THE PERFECT RECIPE, along comes another version which I feel is better than the first. But finally after many trials and errors I have found my version of the dhokla, which I am going to stick to for a long time..:) my version is made from semolina which I love, I know this would not be what is made in many gujrati households, where dhoklas are traditonally made with soaked and ground chana dal or besan. But its an instant version which can be made in a jiffy with just few ingredients, do try it…
INSTANT RAWA DHOKLA
1 CUP SEMOLINA
1 CUP WATERED DOWN YOGURT WELL BEATEN
1 GREEN CHILLI AND SMALL PIECE OF GINGER
1 TSP SALT
1/2 TSP TURMERIC POWDER
1 TBSP SUGAR
1 TBSP OIL
1/8 TSP CITRIC ACID.. MIXED WITH 1 TSP WATER
1 TSP ENO FRUIT SALT
BLEND THE YOGURT WITH GREEN CHILLI AND GINGER.. STRAIN THE MIXTURE AND ADD TO THE SEMOLINA, AT THE SAME TIME ADD THE OIL, SALT, TURMERIC, SUGAR AND CITRIC ACID.. MIX VERY WELL AND LET THIS MIXTURE REST COVERED FOR 15 MINS.
HEAT A STEAMER AND WHEN IT COMES TO A BOIL, LEAVE IT ON SIMMER.
NOW GREASE A PLATE OR A LOW RIMMED STEEL BOWL OR CONTAINER.
CHECK THE CONSISTENCY OF THE DHOKLA MIXTURE, IT SHOULD BE DROPPING CONSISTENCY , NOT THICK OR WATERY.
ADD THE ENO TO THE MIXTURE AND POUR ONE TBSP OF WATER ONTO IT, IMMEDIATELY IT WILL START BUBBLING.. MIX GENTLY AND POUR THIS MIXTURE INTO THE PREPARED CONTAINER , SPRINKLE RED CHILLI POWDER ONTO IT ..AND STEAM ON HIGH FOR 20 MINS..
REMOVE FROM THE STEAMER AND LET IT COOL COMPLETELY.. OVER TURN ONTO A PLATE AND FLIP IT OVER.. CUT INTO SQUARES AND TEMPER IT. AND SPRINKLE CHOPPED CORRIANDER LEAVES IF YOU SO DESIRE… SERVE WITH FRIED GREEN CHILLIES OR COCONUT CHUTNEY.. ENJOY…
HEAT 2 TBSP OF OIL IN A SMALL PAN, ADD 2 TSPS OF MUSTARD SEEDS AND 2 TSPS OF SESAME SEEDS TO IT.. ONCE THE SEEDS STOP CRACKLING, ADD ABOUT 10 CHOPPED CURRY LEAVES AND SHUT THE FLAME.. NOW ADD ABOUT 2 TBSPS OF WATER AND 1 TSP OF SUGAR TO THIS OIL… MIX WELL AND POUR OVER THE DHOKLAS..