Recipe: Makha Sandesh
For the Chhena (Paneer):
- 1 liter full-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
For the Sandesh:
- Prepared chhena (paneer)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- A few saffron strands (optional)
- Chopped pistachios or almonds for garnish
Step 1: Making Chhena (Paneer)
- Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan and heat it over medium-high heat.
- When the milk comes to a boil, add the lemon juice and stir gently. The milk will curdle, separating into curds (chhena) and whey.
- Remove the pan from heat as soon as curdling occurs. If it doesn't happen, add a little more lemon juice and gently stir.
- Place a piece of muslin cloth or a clean kitchen towel over a large bowl and strain the curdled milk to separate the whey. Collect the chhena in the cloth.
- Gather the cloth corners and rinse the chhena under cold running water for a few minutes. This removes the lemony flavor.
- Squeeze out any excess water from the chhena. Your chhena is now ready.
Step 2: Preparing Makha Sandesh
- Take the prepared chhena in a clean, dry bowl.
- Add the powdered sugar and cardamom powder to the chhena.
- Mix and knead the chhena, sugar, and cardamom together for 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and soft.
- If you're using saffron strands, soak them in a teaspoon of warm milk for a few minutes. Then, mix the saffron-infused milk into the chhena mixture for a beautiful golden color and flavor.
- Divide the chhena mixture into small, equal-sized portions and roll them into smooth balls or shape them into desired molds.
Step 3: Garnishing and Serving
- Garnish each Makha Sandesh with chopped pistachios or almonds for a delightful crunch and visual appeal.
- Refrigerate the Makha Sandesh for at least an hour to allow them to firm up and enhance the flavors.
- Serve chilled and savor the exquisite taste of this traditional Bengali sweet.
Enjoy your homemade Makha Sandesh, a melt-in-the-mouth sweet treat that's perfect for any occasion!
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