Recently I have joined bunch of food groups on facebook. In one of those groups Laxmipriya (I do not have her link to share) posted the recipe for Malai Sondesh. She used cream to soak the sondesh. I do not like the after taste of cream and hence made the same with thickened milk. So this is a slight variation and hence I called it Rabdi Sondesh. The fun thing is that you can make a bit more of sondesh so that you can treat yourself while finishing the rest of the dish.
- 1 cup Chena (Homemade cottage cheese)
- 6 cups full cream milk
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2-3 pods of green cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. ghee for greasing
- Few pistachio and cashew for garnishing
- Few strands of saffron
For making homemade cottage cheese or chena take 5 cups of milk in a heavy bottom pan. Bring it to a boil on high heat. When the milk starts boiling reduce the heat and add vinegar or lime juice to it. As soon as the milk curdles turn off the heat and stir it well.
Line a strainer with cheese cloth and pour the curdled milk over it. Wash chena with running cold water to wash off any residual acidity. Bring the sides of the cheese cloth together and squeeze it to drain the excess water. Don’t drain it too hard.
Take chena in a flat tray and knead it with the heel of your palm. Add 2 tbsp. of sugar and crushed cardamom seeds. The chena mixture should be moist. If you feel its not moist enough add few drops of milk to it.
Grease a steel Tiffin box with ghee and spread the chena evenly. Pour half cup water in the cooker and carefully place the closed tiffin box inside it. The water level should cover 1/3 of the height of the tiffin box. Cook it on medium heat without the pressure-weight for 15 minutes.
Allow the tiffin box to cool down completely. Remove the cover and place a plate upside down on top of the open tiffin box. Turn it over. Now your sondesh is ready. Cut it into squares.
In a heavy bottom pan take milk and cook it on medium heat till the color changes to one shade darker of its original one. Don’t forget to stir it continuously. By this time it will be reduced to its half. add 1/4 cup of sugar and freshly crushed cardamom seeds. Stir well.
Add steamed chena cubes and turn off the heat. Let it stand for couple of hours before you serve.