Nolen Gurer Sandesh

Since it’s Pohela Boishakh today, we decided to celebrate the traditional new year day for all the Bengali’s with their all time favourite sweet. Pohela Boishakh is the first day of Bengali Calendar and sandesh is one of the dessert without which this festival would be difficult to imagine.

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If there were a documentary made of chenna based sweets in Bengali cuisine, sandesh would perhaps be the leading star. With just five simple ingredients you can make this amazing melt-in-mouth sweet.

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Prepared with cottage cheese, flavoured with saffron and green cardamom and sweetened with date palm jaggery, sandesh are delectable and a delightful part of almost every Bengali festivity and celebrations since centuries.
 

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Recipe 
Serves – 12 pieces 

INGREDIENTS 

2 litres full cream milk
2 cups of acid whey (dahi ka paani)
½ tsp green cardamom powder 
Few strands of saffron 
180g date palm jaggery (nolen gur)
Rose petals for garnishing (optional) 

METHOD

1. Boil the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, stir occasionally with a flat bottom wooden spatula to prevent the milk from sticking at the bottom of the pan.

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2. Add a few strands of saffron to give a nice yellow colour to your sandesh. Keep stirring. 

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3. Once the milk starts boiling, lower the flame.

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4. Pour the acid whey and stir. Milk will start cuddling and change into chenna (cottage cheese).

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Please Note: To make acid whey, put plain yogurt in a cheese cloth or dish towel and let the whey drip out overnight. If you don’t want to use acid whey, you can use lemon juice of a whole lime. But remember if you use lime juice, you’ll have to run your chenna under cold water for a minute to get rid of the sour taste.

5. Remove the pan from heat and let the chenna sit for about 5 minutes. 

6. Put a sieve on a deep bowl & put a cheese cloth over it. 

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7. Pour the chenna over the cheese cloth & let the water drain away. 

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Please Note: You don’t have to throw away the acid whey, you can store it for a week in case you decide to make this dessert again.

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8. Hold the cheese cloth from all sides and try to squeeze out all the excess water. Be careful because the chenna is still hot.

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Please Note: The chenna should not get extremely dry. 

9. Now we used frozen date palm jaggery, so we had to beat it using a electric whisker to get a really smooth consistency because we don’t want any lumps in our sandesh.

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10. Add the chenna, green cardamom powder and jaggery paste in a grinder.

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11. Grind the mixture into a smooth paste. Don’t forget to scrape down from the sides of the grinder in between.

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12. Transfer this mixture in a bowl and freeze for atleast 2-3 hours before rolling them out.

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13. Once the mixture is completely set, roll them out into balls and flatten them a bit.

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14. Now you can garnish your gurer sandesh with nuts or honey in the center, but we personally like to garnish it with just a rose petal.

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15. Freeze them for another hour before serving. 

Wishing a blessed and prosperous Bengali New Year to you and your family.

Subho Poila Boisakh!

Happy Cooking!
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