Chocolate Sandesh 

Happy bhai duj to every brother and sister. May success and joy be yours every day.

Bhai Dooj / Bhau-Beej / Bhai Tika / Bhai Phonta is a festival celebrated by Hindus of India and Nepal on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar month of Kartika.

On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes/sweets. The procedure may be different in bihar and central india. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister’s blessings for her brother.
Carrying forward the ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform aarti for their brother and apply a tika on the brother’s forehead. This tika ceremony on the occasion of Bhai duj signifies the sister’s sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother and treat them with gifts. In return brothers bless their sisters and may treat them also with gifts.

Source – Wikipedia

Presenting a yummy sweet recipe for this auspicious occasion.

Sandesh is a Bengali dessert made of paneer/chhena or cottage cheese. You can make it in home by curdling the milk and separating the whey from it. You can make it with different flavours.

Get some more sandesh recipes here.

You don’t need much ingredients to make this sandesh. A very simple recipe yet delicious. You will love the chocolaty taste. I have used choco chips over it, if you don’t have choco chips you can use pistachio to make your sandesh beautiful.

Picture credit my daughter Suchismita Roy

 

 

Recipe


Paneer or cottage cheese – 1 & 1/2 cup

Milk powder – 1/2 cup

Grated dark chocolate – 3 tablespoon

Sugar – 6 tablespoon

Cocoa powder – 3 teaspoon

Vanilla essence – 1/2 teaspoon

White choco chips or pistachio to garnish

Method


Mix paneer, milk powder, grated dark chocolate, sugar and cocoa powder on a plate.

Get the method of making paneer or cottage cheese here.

Knead with your palm until smooth.

Heat a heavy bottom pan or nonstick pan. Add the paneer mixture. Cook on low flame. Stir continuously.

Cook till the mixture leaves the sides and becomes like a dough. Remove from heat.

Don’t overcook. It shouldn’t be too dry or crumbled.

Add vanilla essence and mix well.

Again knead it till smooth. I have used mixer grinder to make it smooth. Blend or knead with your palm again.

Make small balls.

Shape them with a mould and place choco chips or pistachio in the middle.

Or press the balls gently. Place choco chips or pistachio in the middle.

Serve soft delicious chocolate sandesh immediately or keep in refrigerator for later and serve chilled.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment.

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Pantua 

Image from internet

May Maa Durga empower you and your family with her nine swaroopa of Name, Fame, Health, Wealth, Happiness, Humanity, Education, Bhakti & Shakti. Happy Navratras. And have a blessed Durga Puja.

Durga Puja is starting from tomorrow. A auspicious occasion of Bengal.

Sharadotsav or Durga puja is an annual Hindu festival in Bengal that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Vijayadashami.

We prepare different types of sweets for this occasion. 

Sharing one more sweet for this festive season.

Pantua.  A delicious melt in mouth dessert. In North India gulab jamun is very famous and its looks like gulab jamun right?  But its not gulab jamun. Gulab jamun is made of khoya or milk solid and pantua is made of paneer or cottage cheese.

You can find this sweet in different names and shapes in Bengal.

Pantua can be made round or oval shaped both. There are two more varieties of this dessert. You can call them close cousins of pantua. They are ledikeni and langcha.

Langcha is cylindrical shaped sugar syrup dipped sweet made of the same ingredients of pantua. But darker in colour. In West Bengal Shaktigarh is famous for its langcha. Whenever we travel from Kolkata to Patna by road my brother always stop at Shaktigarh to enjoy this yummy sweet. And we also pack some of these delicious stuff. Here is a picture I have taken in a sweet shop at Shaktigarh.

Ledikeni is also made with same ingredients. Here is an old story about this sweet.

Bhim Chandra Nag a confectioner of Kolkata renamed his pantua ‘ledikeni’. At that time he prepared this specially on the occasion of the birthday of Lady Canning, wife of Governor-General Charles Canning. And she loved these sweets and asked for more. Thus pantua is also called ledikeni 😀

Sending this post to 110th #Foodiemondaybloghop Durga Puja theme. 

Pantua is easily available in Bengal and Odisha but not in North India. This melt in mouth delicious dessert is very easy to make. Make it at home and make your festival special.

 Recipe 


Paneer or cottage cheese – 1 cup

Khoya or dried milk – 1/2 cup

Refined flour or maida – 3 tablespoon

Suji or semolina – 1 tablespoon

Soda – a pinch

Ghee or clarified butter – 1 tablespoon

Sugar – 1 cup + 1 tablespoon

Water – 2 cup

Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon

Saffron – a pinch

Raisins – as require 

Oil for frying 

Method 


Knead paneer or cottage cheese, khoya/mawa or dried milk, refined flour or maida, soda, sugar and ghee for 10 – 15 minutes.

You have to knead it well to get a smooth and soft dough.

I have blend the cottage cheese and dried milk in mixer grinder to make it smooth.

Then kneaded with sugar, ghee, soda and refined flour for 7 – 8 minutes.

Make small equal size balls out of the dough. I have made 16 balls. Flatten the ball with your palm. Place a raisin in the middle and close the edges. Make a smooth ball again. Make the balls carefully ensuring no cracks on the balls. 

Mix sugar and water in a large pan. Let it boil.

Add cardamom powder and saffron.

When sugar dissolved simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside. 

Heat sufficient oil in a pan. Simmer the heat.

Fry the balls on low heat. Be patience. Don’t increase the flame.

Fry all the balls evenly. Place on a paper towel.

Soak the fried balls in sugar syrup for 1 hour.

Or heat over high flame just to one boil. Remove from heat.

Serve immediately. Or let it cool down at room temperature and keep in refrigerator for later use.

You can serve it chilled but I like it hot. Just heat or microwave for few seconds before serving.

Enjoy the soft delicious melt in mouth pantua.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment. 

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Gluten Free Dairy Free Lemon Glazed Water Chestnut Gulkand Cake 


Dairy free gluten free eggless gulkand flavoured water chestnut flour or singhara atta cake.

Yes its gluten free and dairy free yet taste is heavenly. Topped with lemon glaze, desiccated coconut and sugar coated fennel seeds. Gulkand, water chestnut flour, coconut, cardamom and tutti frutti make this cake super yummy and soft.

Gulkand or rose petal jam is not only delicious but it has cooling properties so its treat all heat related problems.

Its rich in antioxidants, keeps our metabolism healthy, act as a energy booster and helps to reduce acidity and stomach heat.

Water chestnut flour or singhara flour/atta is normally consumed during fasting. It is a good source of energy. This flour/atta is gluten free and very good for overall health.
It is rich in protein, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It provides many essential nutrients too.
According to Ayurveda it contains more mineral compared to buffalo milk. It is used in Ayurveda to cure various diseases.

Gulkand or rose petal jam, cardamom, lemon, coconut milk and tutti frutti made this cake divine.

Recipe 


Water chestnut flour or singhara atta – 1 & 1/2 cup +1 tablespoon

Desiccated coconut – 1/4 cup

Powdered sugar – 1 cup

Coconut milk – 1 cup

Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon

Gulkand – 1/4 cup

Tutti frutti – 1/2 cup

Cardamom – 1 teaspoon

Oil – 1/2 cup

Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon

Lemon zest – 1/2 teaspoon

Sugar coated fennel seeds – 2 tablespoon

For glaze 


Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon

Powdered sugar – 1/4 cup

Lemon zest – 1/2 teaspoon

Sugar coated fennel seeds, desiccated coconut and cherry for topping

Method 


Preheat the oven at 180° for 10 minutes.

Grease a cake tin and dust with water chestnut flour.

Mix 1 tablespoon water chestnut flour and tutti frutti to avoid sinking in the bottom.

In a bowl mix water chestnut flour or singhara atta, desiccated coconut, cardamom powder, baking powder and soda.

In a large bowl whisk powdered sugar, coconut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and oil. Beat till sugar dissolved.

Add all the dry ingredients gradually. Mix well to make a lump free batter.

Add gulkand or rose petal jam and mix.

Fold in flour mixed tutti frutti and sugar coated fennel seeds in the batter. But these are optional if you want you can omit these. Use dry fruits of your choice.

Pour the mixture into the greased and flour dusted cake tin.

Bake in preheated oven at 180° for 35 – 40 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.

Every oven takes different time. So check after 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle if it comes out clean your cake is done.

Let the cake cool down completely.

For glaze whisk lemon juice, powdered sugar and lemon zest. Whisk till smooth.

Spread lemon glaze all over the cake.

Spread desiccated coconut over it.

Top with sugar coated fennel seeds and cherry.

Slice and enjoy the lemon coconut mixed heavenly taste.

Happy baking!!

Note –

1. If you want you can add little food colour in the batter.

2. If you have problems with colour you can omit tutti frutti and sugar coated fennel seeds. Use dry fruits of your choice instead of these.

 

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Mango Steamed Sandesh Or Aam Bhapa Sondesh 

Mango steamed sandesh or aam bhapa sondesh.

A delicious and easy to make sweet of Bengal.  Perfect dessert for this festive season.

Tomorrow is Raksha bandhan. Make it for your brother or brothers you can make it for your sisters too. Give her a treat and see her happy face 😊
You can get two more steamed sandesh recipes here.

Date palm jaggery steamed sandesh and
Orange steamed sandesh
Click on the name for recipe.

I have steamed it in my rice cooker.

You can make in pressure cooker in a covered stainless steel container. I have used fresh homemade cottage cheese or paneer. You can use store bought but knead and make it smooth first. Better use homemade.

Only four ingredients and you will get a yummy dessert. No more words. Coming to the recipe 😀


Recipe 


Cottage cheese or paneer – 1 cup

Mango – 1 cup, finely chopped or pureed

Sugar – 4 tablespoon

Cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon



Method 


Heat a pan. Cook the mango on low flame till water evaporate completely. Stir continuously. Let it cool down.

Mix paneer, sugar and mash with your palm. Use the heel of your palm to make it smooth and soft.

Now add cooked mango and cardamom powder. Taste and add little more sugar if require. It depends on the sweetness of mangoes. Mash it again. Knead well.

You can use your mixer grinder to make it smooth quickly.

Grease a bowl or any stainless steel container.

Fill it with cottage cheese mixture. Level the top with a spoon. Cover the container. If you don’t have cover use aluminium foil to cover it tightly.

Steam for 20-25 minutes. If you are using pressure cooker remove the weight. Steam on medium to low heat.

You can also make it in microwave. Pour the mixture in a greased microwave proof bowl. Cover and microwave on high power for 6-7 minutes.

Let it cool down. When it comes to room temperature keep it in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Demould and garnish with shredded almond, pistachios, mango slices and saffron threads.

Cut into desired shape. Keep the sandesh in refrigerator. Serve chilled.

Happy cooking and happy Raksha bandhan in advance.

Enjoy….

Misti Doi 


Misti doi or caramel flavoured sweet yogurt.

Misti doi is very common dessert in Bengal.

Authentically its made of thickened sweet milk and caramel. And allowing the milk to ferment overnight. Earthen post is best for making this Misti doi because water evaporate through its porous walls and produces the right temperature for the growth of the culture.

Nowadays you can get lots of flavours in misti doi. Such as aam doi or mango flavoured yoghurt, khajur gur or date palm jaggery yoghurt etc.

Many of my readers asked for the recipe of misti doi when I posted Misti doi parfait

This yogurt is my all time favourite.

We can get it at Kolkata or Delhi sweet shops. First time tasted homemade when spending my summer vacation at my Sejomashi ( maternal aunt’s) home at Delhi. She was an amazing cook. She and my mom is no more with us but still remember the taste of the dishes made by my mom and aunt.

I have got this recipe from my Sejomashi Gargi Gupta. I always followed her recipe without adding any flavour. But in my last Kolkata visit noticed in sweet shops they used whole cardamom in misti doi. So I have added few cardamom. But next time again I will make without cardamom. If you like you can add or add a pinch of cardamom powder.

I remember when my father in law asked after tasted my homemade doi “from where you bought this doi? Its much better than I tasted before. More delicious.”  And that was my best reward I have ever get.

 

Happy Father’s Day in advance. Jagruti Cooking Odyssey   requested some blogger friends to link up with her to celebrate Father’s Day. This misti doi was most favourite dessert of my late father and father-in-law. So I am dedicating this post for Father’s Day.

This yogurt takes more time to set than normal plain yogurt. And we set our homemade curd or yogurt with only 1 or 1/2 teaspoon curd. But this yogurt need more curd to ferment.  I have added 1/2 cup curd in it. Because I have used fresh homemade curd which is not tangy at all. I am sharing some tricks to set the yogurt easily.

Recipe 


Milk – 1 litter

Sugar – 1 cup ( 3/4 + 1/4 )

Curd – 1/2 cup

Cardamom – 3 – 4 optional
Or
Cardamom powder – a pinch, optional

Sliced pistachio for garnishing, optional

Method
Boil the milk in a heavy bottom pan. Add 3/4 cup sugar and reduce the heat. Cook on low flame until milk becomes almost half. Stir occasionally.

In a separate non stick pan or heavy bottom pan mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon water. Keep it on low flame until it becomes golden brown.

Immediately add in hot reduced milk. Mix well. Add the cardamom if you want. When it starts to boil stir and switch off the flame.

Let the milk become lukewarm. Stir continuously. Don’t let the milk topping set over the milk. Don’t make it completely cool. Milk should be warm and touch it to check. If you can tolerate the heat then its perfect to set.

Remember milk should be lukewarm not hot. If you add curd in hot milk it will curdle.

Whisk the curd well. Mix with reduced milk and whisk again.

Now time to set. You can set it in glass or ceramic pot too. But better try to set in earthen pot for better result.

Because it’s porous walls evaporate​ the moisture. And you will get perfectly set misti doi.

Pour the milk in the earthenware. Cover and keep it undisturbed in a warm place for overnight or 8 – 10 hours.

If the weather is cold then its difficult to set this yogurt. In that case keep the earthen pot in microwave and set the minimum temperature of your microwave. 180 or 200. In my microwave lowest is 180. Just press the power button 👆 few times to get desired temperature. Keep the yogurt filled earthen pot in it. start the oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes cover and keep it undisturbed in the oven for overnight or 7 – 8 hours.

You will get perfectly set misti doi.

After setting keep it in refrigerator.

Serve chilled. You can garnish with chopped pistachio.

Enjoy the chilled misti doi as a dessert.
Notes –

Don’t make the milk too thick  just reduce to almost half.

Whisk well before setting to make it smooth.

If you don’t have microwave keep it in a casserole and close the lid. Or cover the pot with a warm cloth.

Milk should be lukewarm not hot. If you add curd in hot milk it will curdle.

 

Some more recipes of other talented bloggers for Father’s Day celebration.

Sugar free mango basil and cashew

 

Ghari rotli or puran poli

 

Baigan ka bharta

 

Meat masala bharwa baigan

 

Masala upma

 

Sweet vermicelli with jaggery

Watermelon Sandesh 


Watermelon sandesh.

Sandesh is a most popular and delicious dessert of Bengal made with chhena or cottage cheese and sugar or date palm jaggery. 

Sandesh can be made with different flavours. Today I am sharing a very easy recipe with watermelon. Its watermelon season so one more experiment with watermelon 😀

 And if you like watermelon, you will love the taste. 

I have made it very lightly sweet taste with only 4 tablespoon sugar. But you can add one more tablespoon if you like. 

Our this week’s 90th #Foodiemonday bloghop theme is #cheese. This time our fellow blogger Mayuri Patel suggested this theme. Go with any cheese and I have selected cottage cheese. 

You can get some more sandesh recipes here.
Sandesh
Mango sandesh
Keshar pista sandesh
Chocolate coconut sandesh;
Cake sandesh

Steamed sandesh with date palm jaggery or khajur gur 

Orange flavoured steamed sandesh
Chocolate stuffed chocolate sandesh 

I have some moulds.

 Now got some more beautiful mouds from my sister in-law Sandhya Gupta. Thank you so much Sandhya 😊

If you don’t have moulds you can roll it like small balls and make laddu shaped sandesh. 

Coming to the recipe of soft textured delicious watermelon sandesh. 

Recipe 
Paneer or cottage cheese – 1 cup 

Sugar – 4 – 5 tablespoon

Milk powder – 2 tablespoon 

Cornflour – 2 tablespoon 

Chopped seedless watermelon – 1/2 cup

Method 


Grind fresh homemade chhena/paneer or cottage cheese, sugar, watermelon pieces, cornflour and milk powder. Make a smooth paste. 

Use full cream milk to make chhena/paneer or cottage cheese. If you have low fat cottage cheese add 1 – 2 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter. 

Heat a heavy bottom or nonstick pan.

Add the ground mixture. Cook on low flame. Stir continuously. 

When the mixture becomes dough like consistency and leave the sides switch off the flame. I didn’t used cardamom or any flavour to retain the watermelon falavour. You can add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder if you like. 

Let it cool down. 

Knead well with your palm to make it smooth. 

Make small balls and give shape with any type of moulds. Or if you can roll it with rolling pin use cookie cutters to give shape. Or you can use your chocolate moulds too. 

Keep the sandesh in refrigerator.

Serve chilled. 

Enjoy………

Misti Doi Parfait 

Happy holi to everyone. May the colours of happiness fulfill your life.

Colourful parfait for the festival of colours.
Holi is a spring festival. Also called festival of colours or festival of love. This festival signifies the end of winter and the arrival of spring.

Its a day to meet others. A festival to forget and forgive, play with colours and enjoy. Holi is also celebrated as Thanksgiving for a good harvest.

Yes its a day all about colours and to enjoy delicious snacks and drinks.

So our this week’s 83rd #Foodiemonday bloghop theme is Holi. And I am sharing this delicious and colorful parfait.

I have this misti doi or caramel flavoured yoghurt. Which is very common in west Bengal. If you don’t have it use powered sugar mixed yogurt with any flavour of your choice. You can use any fruits in it. I have used mixed fruit jam but you can use strawberry crush or any other jam of your choice.


Recipe 


Misti doi or caramel flavored yogurt

Pomegranate seeds

Oreo or any chocolate cookies – 8

Jam or strawberry crush


Method 


Grind 7 cookies into a coarse powder.

Take a glass. You can use any short or long glass or wine glasses.

You don’t need to exact measure. I love the taste of misti doi or caramel flavoured yogurt so I have made a thick layer of it.

Spread 1-2 tablespoon pomegranate seeds in the bottom. Make a layer of crushed cookies on it. Press with spoon.

Place 2-3 tablespoon misti doi or caramel flavoured yogurt over it. If you don’t have misti doi mix powered sugar and any flavour in yogurt.

Then spread a layer of jam or strawberry crush.

Spread another layer of crushed cookies and at last spread pomegranate seeds.

Place a cookie in the middle.

Serve chilled.

Enjoy the colourful parfait on this festival of colours 🙂