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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sandesh

Hey everyone..

The weekend arrives with a bright sunny Saturday morning. An old Bollywood classics station plays on my online radio. Rajesh asks Sharmila when his Sapnon ki Rani will arrive while I imagine her dimpled smile.. I get ready, light a diya, water my little container garden, smell the basil and mint.. pick some basil leaves for a caprese breakfast sandwich and start pounding elaichi to make chai.

Sandesh with strawberry and orange garnish
 All fed and satisfied, I wonder if today I will make something special? While the family is "busy" tinkering around with "important" tasks on their laptops (nobody's buying that..) I browse a few blogs (my idea of important tasks).. and zero in on this Sandesh.

Look.. how pretty it's turned out!! I mostly followed the recipe from Manjula's Kitchen. Here's how I made my Sandesh: 

Step 1: Make Paneer:

Ingredients:
Milk - 8 cups, I used 2% milk
Lemon juice - 1/4 cup diluted with 1 cup warm water

Method:
Boil milk, when well boiled, add the diluted lemon juice till whey and paneer separate. Turn off heat. Drain paneer onto cheesecloth or good quality paper towel. Rinse paneer well with water, drain. Wrap with cheese cloth and place under a heavy weight for about 20-30 minutes.

Step 2: Make Sandesh

Ingredients:
Paneer from above step 1
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Fresh cardamom powder - about 4 or 5 pods
Small amount of pretty fruit for garnish, say 1 strawberry
Saffron - 8 strands + 2 tsp warm milk, also for garnish 

Method:
1) Knead the paneer well.
2) Mix sugar and cardamom powder and knead some more. Mixture may get slightly moist as you add more of the sugar. Mine did this time, previous times it didn't. It's ok either way, just a note.
3) Heat mixture in non-stick pan on very low heat. Heat till the mixture looks cooked and before it gets crumbly. (Ah-haan.. but how does one identify a before-crumbly stage? Just stop quickly when it looks crumbly, ya, no worries).
4) If the mixture is not crumbly, knead a tiny bit. If the mixture got slightly crumbly then knead some more till the mixture is smooth-smooth, soft and easily comes together when rolled into a ball.
5) Now roll the mixture into little flattened balls with indentation in the middle.
6) For garnish, heat the 2 tsp milk, add 8 saffron strands and mix till it's all yellow. Decorate the center indentations of  the sandesh pieces with this yellow liquid (gives color and fragrance). Can also use teeny-tiny chopped strawberry slices or an orange slice and fill in the center indentations.

The Sandesh turned out light, soft, moist and ever so subtle!!

Happy birthday to two little darlings my friends just had! We wish them everything good in life! :)

Cheerio and thanks for stopping by, everyone!

5 comments:

sra said...

It's really pretty! And I liked reading about your morning routine. I don't think mine will ever be so romantic - diya, herb garden, etc.

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, sra! Romantic routine.. hehe.. it sets a good mood, yes. But it's feels more special because every day can't be like this. :)

Nupur said...

The sandesh looks like little jewels- so pretty!!

SS blogs here said...

Hey Nupur, thanks for the compliment! Take care.

Revathi said...

Sndesh looks delicious...have started following you and you have great collection of recipes,When your free plz drop into my space and will be happy if you follow me...Thanks

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