Wishing all my bong friends a sweet new year.
Till date my most read blog is Nolen Gurer Sondesh/Sandesh With Ricotta Cheese. That is an easier to make version of the famous Bengali sweet (as it uses the readily available Ricotta Cheese). Even though it comes out decent, it has a slight salty taste due to the cheese. In todays post I will cover “the original” bong Sondesh, made with your own hand made chana (cottage cheese).
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1tsp + 1pinch saffron
- 1cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup white vinegar diluted in 1/2 cup water
- 10 pistachios crushed
- Colander (or large strainer)
- Cheese cloth (clean white cotton cloth)
- Mould (optional)
Procedure Of Making Chaana
In a heavy bottom pan take the milk along with saffron and bring it to a boil. You will see within few minutes the saffron will start releasing its color. Once it starts boiling reduce the heat and slowly pour diluted vinegar to it while stirring the milk.
Rinse the milk solids with fresh running water to remove any residual acidity.
Wrap the cheesecloth around itself to squeeze out moisture from the chaana (paneer).
Now tie the muslin cloth from the faucet of your kitchen sink for 3-4 hours to drain out the last drop of whey.
Take chaana out of the cheese cloth and knead it with gentle pressure to make it smooth and lump free. Take the chaana, sugar, cream and a pinch of saffron in a heavy bottom pan and cook on low heat. Stir continuously so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Cook till it thickens and forms a lump together. Remove from heat and and let it sit down till the heat is tolerable to touch.
You can give them any shape you like by using your fingers or you can use readymade moulds.
Grease the mould with little ghee or butter. Sprinkle a pinch of crushed pistachio over it. Now take a small portion of the mixture and press it down on the mould. Smoothen the edges and carefully take it out.