Sandesh is a super popular Bengali sweet. We have a huge variety of Sandesh to choose from. We are basically people who are born with sweet tooth. Among all the other Bengali sweets, Sandesh holds a major place. From Khirer Sandesh to Chhanar Sandesh, we love everything. Chhana or Cottage Cheese is widely used to make Bengali sweets. From Rosogolla to Sandesh, almost everything demands good quality Chhana and if it is homemade, there is nothing like that. Also, making Chhana is a very common thing in Bengali households. From sweets to savory curries, we use fresh Chhana in many ways.
Diwali is here and this year I have started sweet making a bit late because of some personal commitments. Now, when I have finally decided to start, there can be nothing better than the super easy and super tasty Bhapa Sandesh. This is one such sweet which I believe, anyone can make. A complete hassle-free, quick and soul satisfying sweet this is. Just make sure that you have curdled the milk in right way and you have a good quality of Cottage Cheese in hand and you are good to go.
Bhapa Sandesh can be made by using white sugar, organic brown sugar or liquid nolen gur (date palm jaggery). Whatever you use, the basic process remains the same. Make sure that your cheese is neither too soft, nor too hard. Also, after curdling the milk and discarding the water, wash the cheese under running water to get rid of sour flavour. I have used muffin cups to give the Sandesh a specific shape and design. This is not at all necessary. Simply cut square pieces from the steamed cheese and your Sandesh is done. Traditionally, Sandesh comes in square shape. Mine is Diwali special and so I have given it a design to make it more interesting.
With all said and done, let me quickly share the recipe of Bhapa Sandesh with you all. Hope you all like it.
- 1 litre full fat milk
- 3 table-spoon lime juice
- 1/2 cup sugar (adjust according to taste)
- 5 green cardamom
- some ghee for greasing
For Making Chhana:
- In a pan, heat the milk and bring it to boil. Turn off the flame.
- Immediately, add lime juice and mix. You will observe that water starts separating from the fat. Let it cool down.
- Drain the water to get the chhana. Wash it under running water. Pour the chhana in a muslin cloth and squeeze. Hang it for 1 hour to get rid of any excess water. After 1 hour you have your fresh homemade chhana ready.
For Making Sandesh:
- Grind sugar and cardamom together to a fine powder. Keep aside.
- Take the chhana in a mixing bowl, add powdered sugar and knead to a soft and smooth dough.
- Knead the dough for 15-20 minutes and once it does not stick to your hand, the dough is ready.
- Grease the plate with ghee where you will steam the chhana. Spread chhana evenly on the plate. If you are using moulds like me, grease the moulds with ghee and stuff with chhana portion by portion. Cover the plate/moulds with aluminium foil.
- Steam in a steamer for 15 minutes.
- Take out and let it come down to room temperature. You can also refrigerate for few hours.
- Cut into square pieces or take out from moulds. Your Bhapa Sandesh is ready to be served now.
Enjoy this authentic Bengali sweet and do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.
Happy Eating! Happy Diwali!