On Krishna’s early-morning plate of milk sweets you’ll always find sandesh. This recipe for basic sandesh is tasty by itself. But if you wish to flavor it or decorate it, you can add food coloring or flavorings or mold it into different shapes.
Preparation and cooking time: 40 min
- 1 1/4 lb (550 g) paneer
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1Curdle milk and collect the paneer, as described on page 94. Rinse the paneer under cold water and squeeze out the excess water by tightening the cheesecloth and firmly squeezing it several times. Leave the paneer to hang for 45 minutes, or put it under a weight for 20 minutes, so that it becomes fairly dry. Turn the paneer onto a clean work surface and knead it vigorously, until its granular texture disappears and you have a soft dough free of lumps. The softer the dough, the better the sandesh will be.
2Divide the dough in half. Take one half and knead it with the sugar. (The general rule is to knead one half of the dough with sugar one third the original volume of the dough.) Cook it slowly in a frying pan on a low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The thick sandesh will soon become smooth, then thicken again. When it thickens and pulls away from the bottom of the pan (this should take from 4 to 6 minutes), remove it from the heat. Avoid overcooking the sandesh because it will become dry and grainy.
3Finally, knead the cooked and uncooked paneer together (along with a flavoring or coloring agent, if desired), flatten it into a cake 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, and cut it into squares when it is cool.
4Another traditional way of finishing sandesh is to knead a few drops of green or red food coloring into the dough and form it into 2 inch (5 cm) oblong shapes. You can coat these with plain or toasted grated coconut.