Monday, September 24, 2012

Nolen gurer norom paaker sandesh...

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: 2 ltr
  • Lime juice from a whole lime (3-4 tbsp)
  • Date palm jaggery: 1/4 cup (adjust as per taste)
  • Raisins to garnish
  • Pistachio to garnish
  • Extra melted jaggery to drizzle over the sandesh

From the chana of 2 ltr whole milk, you can make 20 round sandesh.

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 10 min, to drain out excess water. 

3. Take the freshly made chana on a large plate. Knead with your palm for at least 12-15 mins or till there is no lumps in the chana. The chana will be a bit sticky at thi stage. But do not worry, that is perfect for a soft sandesh.

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. This soft sandesh are generally less sweet, but it depends on your choice and taste, so adjust accordingly. Cook over low heat.

5. Cook for 10 min. 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. Grease your hands with little ghee, and make round shapes. 

Nolen gurer sondesh...drizzled with liquid jaggery

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


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

  2. I made it....from your recipe.
    Huge success, thanks.
    Please check at