Sandesh recipe – Today learn how to make a delicious Bengali sweet chhanar misti sandesh recipe with step-by-step pictures. Sandesh (Sondesh) is a soft, moist yet dry Bengali chhenna or paneer sweet (Indian milk fudge). Prepared with 4 simple basic ingredients – 1. chenna (chhana) or paneer 2. powdered sugar, 3. cardamom powder, and 4. rose water(added only for flavour). Can garnish with almonds pistachio sleeves or saffron strands. The perfect ratio of all these ingredients with a perfect concoction is the secret of this traditional Bengali sweet.
Sandesh is one of the most popular traditional sweets in Bengali cuisine as invented in Bengal (West Bengal including Kolkata and Bangladesh). Like other Bengali sweets, this dish can not be made without its special ingredient chhana or chenna. This chenna sweet is mainly used to welcome our guests to offer God in different pujas or for celebrating any occasions at our home.
While making this bengali sweet, I used my own trick to make it perfect. Firstly, for making this dish, I’ve cooked the chenna mixture (kneaded chhana+powdred sugar+cardamom powder+rose water) two times with perfect intervals. Due to that method, this recipe looks a little tricky, but trust me these small tips will help you to get an authentic taste of our bengali sandesh at any time. Secondly, I’ve added a little rose water in my sondesh recipe, as bengali confectioners do, which adds more flavour (except cardamom) to this bengali sweet.
Sandesh, which we Bengalis pronounce as sondesh / shondesh, is a traditional and authentic sweet of Bengal. It was first invented by Bengali confectioners. Like other Indian festivals, any Bengali festivals such as Durga Puja – Poila boishak – Bhaiphonta (Bhaiduj in Hindi) are also incomplete without sweets and this Bengali paneer sweet sondesh is one of them. It has a huge admirer among Bengalis, though nowadays it got its worldwide fame.
Generally, in West Bengal two types of sandesh are popular for ages, i.e, norom paker sondesh (soft & juicy) , the other one is kora paker sondesh (dry & hard). And you know, Bengali norom paker soft & juicy sandesh is more popular among people than our kora paker dry & hard sondesh. Basically, nature of Bengali sondesh depends on its cooking timing, whereas norom (soft) paak er sondesh is made by cooking the chhana for a less time to keep its moisture in and remain soft. There, kora (hard) paak er sondesh is prepared by cooking the chhana for a little bit more time to make it a little hard.
As most Indians, except Bengali, love soft & juicy sondesh that’s why norom paker sandesh is popular among people outside West Bengal / Kolkata. Though nowadays, our bengali confectioners have invented some different types of shondesh recipes, i.e, ice cream sondesh, strawberry sondesh, bhapa sondesh, rose sondesh, kesar (saffron) sondesh and many more.
Here I gave this sandesh a conch (shankh in bengali) shape with a wooden conch shaped mould as bengalis love this shape, give it a shape of your choice. Even you can use any sondesh mould of your choice to make these bengali sweet. Shape it up with a mould or just make it like we shape our Indian peda, that doesn’t matter only the taste matters, right?
You may check my other easy bengali sandesh recipes
Even check a few easy indian sweet recipes for Diwali or holi,
2. peda recipe
Try my step-by-step method, no matter if you are a beginner, you can easily make this Bengali sweet at home to celebrate any Bengali festival or to welcome your friends to guests. Let me know how this paneer sweet worked, did you really enjoyed it or not, by leaving a comment in the comment section below.
How to make bengali sweet chhanar misti sandesh recipe
- 1 lit Full-Fat milk+1 cup Curd (for making chenna or paneer)
- 10 tbsp Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 1 tsp Rose Water (Gulab Jal)
- 5-6 Pistachios
Prep time: 12 mins
Cook time: 7 mins
Served in: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings for: 8-9 people
Course: dessert / sweet
Author: Moumita Paul
How to make Bengali sandesh recipe (Instructions with step by step pictures)
First step – Making perfect chenna / chhana
- For making sandesh first we have to make chhana or chenna.
- To make chenna, take 1 cup curd (thin) or 3/4 cup thick curd (or unflavoured yoghurt) in a bowl.
- Beat or whisk it (the curd) well with a fork or whisker to make a smooth and liquid form.
- Mix 1/4 cup of water with the curd.
- Now, take a colander or strainer, fix it on the mouth of a medium bowl, and put the cotton cloth or cheesecloth or muslin cloth on the colander.
- Then take a medium saucepan, and add 1 ltr milk (whole milk / full-fat milk / full cream milk) to it.
- Place the pan on medium heat, When the milk starts to get boiling, turn off the heat.
- Then stir the milk continuously for 15-20 times and add the well-beaten curd with it.
- Gently stir the milk to mix it well with the curd.
- When the milk starts to curdle, you can see the water will start separating from the milk.
- When you see a greenish whey or greenish water (as shown in the pic), then immediately pour the curdled milk through the clot, already placed on the colander’s mouth.
- Then gently stir the Chenna by adding 2-3 cups of water to stop Chenna’s cooking process which will continuously go on if Chenna is hot enough.
- In this way, when the chenna reduces its heat, take all the edges of the cloth to make a pouch with it (as shown in the pic below).
- Then squeeze the mouth of this pouch (don’t squeeze or press the other parts of this pouch) to remove the greenish whey out of the chenna (as shown in the pic below).
- When the continuous flow of whey stops and starts dripping then stop squeezing.
- Remove all the edges of the cloth and twist its edges from both sides. ( as shown in the pic below).
- And then tightly make a knot with the twisted edges. (as shown in the pic below).
- Now make a knot with the end portion of the edges (as shown in the pic below).
- Then hang the pouch on a hook or mouth of the kitchen tap.
- But make sure this pouch doesn’t keep in touch with water.
- Hang the chenna for 30 mins. And after 30 mins remove the cotton cloth to take out the soft perfect chenna from it.
- If you don’t want to make chenna from curd then check my chenna recipe to make chenna with lemon and vinegar too.
Second step- Kneading chenna.
- Place the chenna / chhana / paneer on a plate and start kneading it with your palm heel (as shown in the below pic).
- Keep kneading the chenna for 10 minutes to make it soft.
Third step – Cooking chenna/chhana
- Then take a pan, and place kneaded chhana with 10 tbsp powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp cardamom powder in the pan.
- Mix all the ingredients together well with a spatula.
- Now lastly add rose water with the mixture kept in the pan and mix it well.
- Now turn on the heat and keep the flame on its lowest mode. As high heat can quickly make the chenna dry and crumbly.
- Cook the mixture for 5 mins and stir it continuously while cooking to avoid sticking to the pan.
- After 5 mins turn off the heat and don’t remove the pan from the cooktop.
- Here you can notice that sugar melts and chenna is liquifying and gets soft and sticky too. And you can’t form sondesh out of it.
- Now evenly spread the chenna in the pan and leave it for 10 mins.
- After 10 mins chenna won’t be too soft and sticky. This means when chenna cools down and starts getting dry.
- If also you feel the chenna is too moist or soft and not ready to form sandesh. Then turn on the heat once again. And keep the flame on lowest mode as before.
- Then cook the chenna for another 2 mins with continuous stirring. Just after 2 mins switch off the flame. Remove the pan from the cooktop.
- Spread the chenna evenly in the pan once again and leave it for another 10 minutes.
Fourth step – Giving Sandesh Shape
- After 10 mins your chenna will be ready to shape it up as sondesh.
- Now divide the chenna mix into 8-9 lemon-sized balls and slightly press it down to make a small disk-like Indian sweet peda (a simple shape which is quickly made without any hassle).
- Your peda shaped sandesh sweet is ready.
- Take a plate, grease it with a little ghee and put all the peda shaped sondesh on it. Garnish this chenna sweet with a few sleeves of pistachios.
- Now store it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hr, to get the sweet shop-like firmness.
- But do not store it for a long time and finish it in 2 days to keep it soft, juicy and fresh.
- If you are using moulds, take the mould (as I take wooden sankha or conch mould), and grease the inner side of the mould with a little ghee first.
- Then place a few sleeves of pistachios in the mould. As shown in the pic.
- Then make one lemon sized ball from the sweet chenna mix, place it in the mould(as I put in my wooden mould). Slightly press down the chenna to get that perfect shape of the moulds. And chenna will get the shape of the sandesh mould as I mine get the shape of sankha.
- Bengali chenna sweet sandesh or sondesh is ready. Refrigerate this sweet for at least 1 hr to get the shop like exact firmness.
- While making this bengali sondesh, time is the most important factor to make this sweet perfect. If you cook it more than the exact time, then chenna will get crumbly and you can’t make sandesh with it.
- As this sondesh is made of pure chenna (means no mix-up of maida or rice flour), it doesn’t get the exact firmness like a sweet shop from the beginning. Refrigerate it or simply keep it out for few hours to get that firmness.
- Use wooden or plastic any mould that you have around. For using the mould, put the mould into the refined oil or ghee for about 24 hours before using it. Otherwise, sandesh can not get the perfect shape of the mould, even this sweet may break while removing from the mould.