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18 Apr


Sandesh is a Bengali sweet made of freshly curdled milk. Cow’s milk is preferred for sandesh rather than buffalo’s milk for the soft and smooth texture. Curdled cow’s milk called chenna is first kneaded thoroughly with powdered sugar and made into various shapes and sizes which are garnished with saffron milk, pistachios, almonds or pineapple pieces to name a few.
Makes: 10 – 13 sandesh


Cow’s Milk 1/2 Gallon (around 2 Lt)
Yogurt or Whey 1/2 Cup or more
Confectionery Sugar 1/4- 1/2 Cup
Saffron few strands
Green Cardamom Powder 1/2 tsp
Pistachios 10

Method of preparation:

Whisk yogurt in half a cup of water till smooth.
Soak saffron threads in a tsp of milk for few minutes.
Soak pistachios in hot water for sometime and finely chop them.

Bring the milk to boil in a heavy bottomed pot on a medium flame.
Stir continuously till the milk starts bubbling to avoid scorching.
Once the milk boils, switch off the heat and stir in yogurt little by little.
Add more yogurt if required and let the milk curdle completely.
Pour the curdled milk in to a muslin cloth lined strainer and then wash the curds under cold running water.
Hold the muslin cloth tight and squeeze off the excess water.
Hang the collected curd for an hour or two to remove excess moisture.

The hung curd should have little moisture and is called chenna.
Mix in sugar and cardamom powder to the chenna.
Knead thoroughly with palm for 5 – 10 minutes to bind the chenna mixture and to make it quite soft and smooth. Put the kneaded mixture into a sauce pot.

Heat the sauce pot on very low heat and stir the mixture for 3 – 5 minutes just enough to melt the sugar.
Let the mixture absorb the heat but don’t over cook which makes the chenna leave all the moisture and become grainy.

Remove from heat, cool down the heated chenna mixture a little and knead it well.
Make soft small lime sized balls out of the kneaded chenna mixture.
Put an impression on top of each of the chenna balls with fore finger.
Apply the saffron milk inside the impression and garnish sandesh with chopped pistachios.
Serve sandesh chilled and finish them in a day or two.
Notes: Don’t overheat the sweetened chenna mixture.

Suggestions: Sandesh is breaking – Make sure to knead the chenna thoroughly with sugar into a soft and smooth dough. Don’t overheat the mixture next time.
Variations: Another variation of sandesh is where the sweetened chenna mixture is not heated. Instead, balls are made out of flavored chenna and then garnished. Sandesh can be formed into various shapes and sizes using moulds and can be colored. Sandesh can also be garnished with finely chopped pineapple or mango or other fruits which is quite common during festival season in West Bengal.
Other Names: Sandesh, Sweetened Chenna Balls, Indian Cheese Fudge, Kesar Pista Sandesh, Chennar Sandesh.