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Monday, September 24, 2012

Nolen gurer sandesh...date palm jaggery sweet



Sandesh or Sondesh is a popular Bengali dessert. Sandesh are categorised and named depending on the flavor and the way it is cooked. Sandesh can be flavored in several different ways, vanilla, cardamom, saffron, chocolate, fruit pulps and many more. Sometimes Sandesh are cooked very little to make a very soft melt-in-mouth dessert, those are called norom paker sandesh(norom=soft, pak=cooking). And some are cooked for a quite a long time and that results to a hard sweet, kora paker sandesh(kora=hard, pak=cooking).
Sandesh are also categorised depending on the sweetener used to make the sandesh. It can be either sugar or jaggery. The sandesh made from jaggery is very special, they are called Gurer Sandesh(gur=jaggery). The jaggery used for make particular variety of sandesh is a very special one, the date palm jaggery. This is only available during the winter in West Bengal, India and Bangladesh.
The jaggery collector put a hollow pipe on the trunk of the date palm tree and they hang a earthen pot under the pipe. Overnight the sap gets collected on the earthen pot. The sap is boiled to make the dark caramel colored jaggery. This date palm jaggery has an unmistakable flavor. This is Bongs favourite notun gur or nolen gur. It is used for making sweets(misti), rice pudding(payes), special candy(pithe).
Today I made Norom paker sandesh using date palm jaggery. This is a very simple and quick dessert. the speciality about this sweet dish is the flavor of date palm jaggery. Thanks to our Bangladeshi grocery store, who supply my yearly stock of date palm jaggery.

Things needed to make nolen gurer sandesh:

Whole Milk:2ltr
Lime juice:3-4tbsp
Date palm jaggery:4-5tbsp+1tbsp melted
Sugar:1-2tbsp(optional)
Raisins to garnish
Pistachio to garnish

Steps of making nolen gurer sandesh:

1. Boil milk in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Stir in between. As the milk boils gradually add the lime juice and stir. The milk will curdle. Take a cheesecloth or a piece of muslin on a strainer and strain the curdled milk. Make a potli with the cheese cloth. Wash the chana/cottage cheese under cold water or just keep on a bowl full of ice cubes.  For step by step detail of chana/cottage cheese making go to this click here.
2. After making the chana, let it stand on the strainer for 20min. For this sandesh we do not want the chana to be very dry. It should be moist, or the sandesh won't be soft.
3. After 20min take the chana put of the cloth and knead it. Knead till there is no lumps in the chana. the chana will be a bit sticky, as it has water in it. But do not worry, that is perfect for a soft sandesh.
Date palm jaggery
4. Take a non stick pan, add 2tbsp of water. Add pieces of jaggery and let it melt over very low heat. Keep on stirring as the jaggery is melting. When all the jaggery is melted add the kneaded chana. Mix well. Keep heat to lowest. Cook till the chana and jaggery is mixed well. Check the sweetness, if needed add more jaggery or sugar. This soft sandeshes are generally less sweet, but it depends on your choice and taste, so adjust accordingly.

5. Cook for 5-6min. You can see that the chana is coming together and tending to release the pan. And if you take a little chana mixture in between your fingers it won't stick. Switch off the heat, but do not stop stirring. The pan is still hot. Stir for another 4-5min, transfer to a plate. Wet your palms with water and make round shapes. From the chana of 2ltr whole milk, you can make 20-22 round sandesh.

Nolen gurer sondesh...drizzled with liquid jaggery

Garnish with raisins and pistachio, drizzle some melted date pal jaggery and serve. Can be stored in an air tight container for 2-3days in room temperature.


3 comments:

  1. Very Nice recipe. I tried preparing Sandesh for the first time using this recipe and it was awesome.

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  2. I made it....from your recipe.
    Huge success, thanks.
    Please check at
    www.dayeetasworld.blogspot.nl
    Cheers,
    d

    ReplyDelete