October 21, 2013

Sandesh Recipe - How to Make Sandesh - Easy Diwali Sweets

Sandesh (Sondesh, Shondesh) is a Bengali sweet that's made from fresh chenna. It's absolutely delicious the best part about making sandesh at home is that you can choose the type of flavours you want and more importantly, sweetness levels. I like my milk sweets mildly sweet if possible, so my sandesh is a bit on the less sweet side. I decided to flavour it with a hint of kesar (saffron) and some cardamom powder, that's it. I am not a fan of heavy kesar flavour too so I chose to just dab the sandesh with it.

{Also check out super easy gajar ka halwa recipe made in a pressure cooker}

sandesh recipe-how to make bengali sandesh

I won't be able to make a lot of sweets and snacks for Diwali this year but these quick and easy sweet recipes do come in handy for those strapped for time. Although you do need some fresh chenna to make sandesh, it's very little hands-on cooking time to make chenna, just make and hang it there and go about some other work while it gets ready to be converted into something delicious. Here are the step by step instructions to make chenna.

sandesh recipe-how to make bengali sandesh

The difference in colour in the above two pics is due to lighting. The first one was taken in the late evening immediately after making the sandesh and the second one next day morning after refrigerating them overnight. It took every ounce of my will power not to pop them all into my mouth fresh after making them!

For making enough chenna for 6 sandesh, you need 500 ml milk. Check detailed recipe to make chenna at home and scale the amount of milk to get the required number of sandesh. I definitely recommend making more than 6 at a time.

{Easy 10-min rasmalai recipe - a definite crowd pleaser. Make some this Diwali}

SANDESH RECIPE

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes
Makes 6 sandesh

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup of chenna
2.5 tbsp of sugar
A small pinch of cardamom powder
A few strands of saffron
1 tbsp of warm milk
A tiny pinch of salt (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Soak the saffron strands in the warm milk.

1. Once you have made the chenna and kneaded it to a smooth-ish consistency, add the sugar, salt and cardamom powder to it.
sandesh recipe-how to make bengali sandesh

2. Knead again lightly with your fingertips until the mixture is well combined.
sandesh recipe-how to make bengali sandesh-2

3. Transfer to a pan and cook on low heat to remove the rawness of the chenna.
sandesh recipe-how to make bengali sandesh-3

4. The mixture will start to let out some moisture and turn soft and mushy. Keep stirring until it starts to leave the sides of the pan. If you overcook, the chenna will turn dry so stop when the mixture is moist and coming together as a lump.
sandesh recipe-how to make bengali sandesh-4

5. Transfer to a bowl and add the saffron+milk if you'd like (I just dabbed the strands on after shaping). When the mixture is warm, shape into small balls, and flatten lightly. You can use moulds at this stage (check notes) too.
sandesh recipe-how to make bengali sandesh-5

If you want a milder kesar flavour like me, add some saffron strands on the shaped sandesh.
sandesh recipe-how to make bengali sandesh-7

You can serve this immediately but I wanted mine chilled so I refrigerated it. That's it! An easy Diwali sweet is now ready :)

NOTES:
- I referenced sandesh recipes from BongMom and Dassana before making this. Both of them use jaggery which I am sure tastes amazing but I didn't have any in hand. I also used proportions to my own taste. (BongMom has used some very cool stone moulds for making sandesh!)
- Buy powdered cardamom to make your sweet-making a much easier process. It costs more than cardamom pods but totally worth it, in my opinion
- You can add some cocoa powder before cooking the chenna for a chocolate sondesh. I was very tempted to do this as well but refrained

For sandesh (sondesh) recipe in tamil, hindi, marathi, urdu, gujarati, telugu, etc, please use the google translate button in the sidebar