Shandesh

“Shandesh”, a dry sweet made from ‘chena’ or Indian cottage cheese, is a speciality of West Bengal & Bangladesh. It comes in different shapes and flavours. Various moulds of different structures are often used to give them some beautiful shapes and decoration. As for flavours, nowadays one can find right from Mango Shandesh to Chocolate Shandesh to Rose falvoured ones. The confectioners use synthetic colours and preservatives to give them a lucrative look. However, if you go for the traditional Shandeshes, which I personally prefer, they are usually milky white in colour and possess a chastity in the feature. However, one can show his/her creative quotient by giving Sandesh the look he/she likes.

After a small break I am posting this recipe. As our Durga Puja ended just few days back, I want to wish you all “Subho Bijoya” and happy Dashera. “Bijoya Dashomi” is incomplete without Rashogolla/Rasgulla and Shandesh.

Shandesh

Shandesh

Ingredients for 10 pieces :

  1. Milk – 4 cups (I used 1.5% fat milk, you can use full fat milk)
  2. Lemon juice/Vinegar – 2 tbspoon (This time I used vinegar to avoid the smell of lemon juice completely)
  3. Caster sugar – ¼ cup
  4. Green cardamom powder – ½ teaspoon (optional)
  5. Few strands of safron
  6. Milk – 1 teaspoon
  7. Pistachio slices for garnishing

Procedure :

Make Chena/Indian Cottage Cheese out of milk and vinegar/lemon juice.

"Chena" or Indian cottage cheese

“Chena” or Indian cottage cheese

Take out the chena on a flat work surface (preferably on a wooden surface) and rub with your palm for 4-5 minutes or until smooth.

Now add cardamom powder and half of the sugar to the chena and mix well. Then add rest of the sugar and mix homogeneously with chena by kneading well for a couple of minutes. Getting mixed with sugar, the chena will turn little soft and watery.

Now cook this chena, stirring continuously, in a nonstick pan over low heat for 5 – 6 minutes to get rid of the raw flavour of chena.

Now transfer the cooked chena on a plate and let it cool down a bit. Again knead the chena for a couple of minutes while still warm.

Now divide the chena into 10 equal parts and give them your desired shape (I made flat round balls, you can make square shape also). At this point the chena balls still remaining soft, however turns dry and hard as getting cold .

For garnishing add milk to the saffron strands and the nice yellow colour of saffron will get into the milk. Now dip your finger tip into this yellow colour and place at the centre of the chena balls, press a bit to make a small indentation.

Garnishing - step 1

Garnishing the Sandesh

Top with pistachio slices.

Sandesh is ready to be served

Shandesh is ready to be served

Note :

  1. For best result prepare the chena one night before and hange the cheese cloth containing chena/cheese overnight to remove the excess water completely.
  2. Don’t over cook the chena otherwise it will become crumbly and difficult to bind.
  3. Garnishing is completely up to you. One can have sandesh without any garnishing at all.
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20 thoughts on “Shandesh

    • Dhonyobad. 🙂
      Even I didn’t realise the fact before making it. Only the crucial part is cooking the chena. Do try at home. It is super delicious. I hope you tasted it before.

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      • You are immensely talented…last three weeks i didnt have net access here ,there was big cable problem and i missed so many recipes from you and other friends.. i m planning to do it tomorrow for i have a small reunion with my friends this saturday,but little scared to do also..last time when i did Rasagulla before reading your recipe it was sooooo hard …but now you have explained them so well in your blog…will do them soon and sorry for the delay…

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    • I hope now every thing is ok at your side.
      I think you didn’t miss much recipes of mine as I was also busy in shifting to a new apartment and so couldn’t post any recipe. 😉
      Don’t be scared, your Rasgulla will be perfectly all right and your friends will be highly impressed by you. 😉 Just do it……No one can make the things perfect at first attempt…….perfection is reached after so many attempts. 🙂

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  1. Hi Jay, long time no see… busy with fest is it? Letmme know when you want me to share the recipe will inbox you… I totally forgot with my princess B’day tension, sorry……
    Sandesh looks dam cute and appealing…feel like grabbing one right now … 🙂 🙂

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    • Thanks Chitra. No I was not busy with fest. In fact I never enjoy Durga Puja outside Kolkata. We had to move to a new apartment, so you can understand there were lot of work to do. To be very honest I am not super energetic like you about posting my recipes. 🙂
      I think you are planning a big celebration for your princess’s birthday, right ???? Oh, I wish I could join you. 🙂
      You can send me the recipe and images……….I am planning to post it at the last week of October…

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  2. If we were in India it’s nice to plan and we will have helpers around but here its not possible right so just few friends and family will be joining for the party…. see if you could come over so that we can meet up and spend sometime. .. it will be a great opportunity to meet virtual friend in person. … ok will inbox you the recipe next week or just buzz me once before… thanx dear.. Tc

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