Monday, July 16, 2012


Sandesh a bengali sweet

Bengal is famous for its sweets (Misti). Sweet is an important part in bengali life, be it religious or social or personal celebration sweets always come first. It is a practice in bengali community (hindu or muslim) to distribute sweets during any festivities. The term used in bengali is 'Mukh-o-misti', it means to taste some sweets. There are special sweets which are made only during a particular time of the year, like during Sankranti (mid of January) different types of pithe are made. There are sweets for special occassions also, like chaler payes (rice pudding) is specially made to celebrate someone's birthday. In bengal if you are visiting someone the host will serve a plate of sweets along with tea and snacks, and the guest will bring a box of sweets for the host as well.

The main ingrdient in bengali sweets is chana (home made cottege cheese) and sugar or jaggery (seasonal) is used as sweetner. Sweets are made in different ways, deep fried or steamed or shallow fried. There is a huge variety of sweets found in bengal, rosogolla, pantua, sandesh, chanar jilipi, kalojam, komolabhog, chamcham, mihidana, seetabhog, malpua, misti doi....the list is endless.

Today I made some Sandesh. Sandesh is small sweets made from chana(homemade cottage cheese). The meaning of the word 'Sandesh' is news or message, may be it has derived from the practice of sending sweets along with messenger to deliver some good news. Sandesh is the oldest sweet dish recipe in India and believed to be originated in Bengal. Sandesh can be of different varieties, depending on the ingredients used or method of cooking or flavouring and stuffings are used. Sandesh is a very healthy food, one can take it as snack also. It is very good for children, as it contains protien(milk protein), carbohydrate. Sandesh can very soft or hard, smooth or granular in texture depending on how it has been made.

This time I did the simplest of them all, I made some chana, mashed it, then mixed it with sugar and shaped into round balls...and voila my sandeshs were ready.

Ingredients to make Sandesh:

  • Milk: 1.2 ltr
  • Lime juice: 3tbsp
  • Powdered sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla essence: 7-8drops
  • Saffron starnds: few
  • Warm milk: 1/4 cup
  • Dry fruits: to garnish

How to make the sandesh:

1. Soak few saffron strands in warm milk in a bowl, cover the bowl and keep aside.

2. Chopp the dry fruits and keep aside.

3.Boil the milk in a heavy bottom pan. As the milk boils add the lime juice gradually and stir. The milk will curdle to make the chana. Strain the chana in a muslin cloth. Run cold water through the chana, this helps to wash out any flovour of lime in the chana as well keeps the chana soft. Tie the chana in the muslin cloth and hung it or keep it on a strainer for 1 hr, so that all the excess water will drain out.

4. Now take the chana in a plate and mash it with your palm for 3-4min.

5.Mix powdered sugar, vanilla essence to the chana, mix well. Here I must tell you one thing that the amount of sugar depends on your taste. So as you mix the sugar gradually to the chana and taste it and if needed add more sugar.

**Many of you have asked, while mixing the sugar the chana becomes too soft. Make sure the chana is properly drained and if you find it difficult to handle, then just cook for a little time on a non stick pan.

6. Make some round balls or any other shape of youe choice. If you have any mold you can use that also. Garnish with saffron soaked milk and chopped dry fruits.

[Note: Instead of using sugar you can also use sugar-free.]


  1. is it really so easy to make, I doubt! Have to ask my lady if she can make this way.

    - prads

    1. It is. But make sure the home made cottage cheese(chana) is well drained , so no water is in it. And use only confectionary sugar, ie, the powdered one. AS you will mix sugar the mixture may appear sticky but let it stand. In case the chana has too much water, this type of sandesh can not be made.

  2. seems really interesting! will try to make as you mentioned above and will let you know how it came. Your blog is really interesting, make it enrich with more articles.

    If you can add something like making pudding, golap jamun, rosgulla it will be exciting for me.

    - prads

  3. If I crush the sugar to make it powdered will it b helpful? coz i want to make it but i don't have powdered sugar :(

    1. Yes you can ground normal sugar to fine powder and use that.

  4. wow................picture is very nice and recipe also.........:-)