Summer food series # 4 - Quick Mango Sandesh with my friend Preeti
Cooking with friends is a delight and especially so if your friend is as talented as mine. Preeti has been a cooking enthusiast since she was in school inspired by India's queen of cookbook writing- Tarla Dalal. P has a whole collection of Tarla Dalal right from her first hardbound book in 1974.
Though I've got to know P only recently, we already feel as though we know each other since ages and needless to say, food is a mainstay of our conversations. Page 3 and world politics can take a walk as the two foodies discuss recipes, tastes and restaurants.
When she mentioned this easy breezy Sandesh to me, I felt, this is one thing I must see her make, taste it and of-course share it with my beloved readers. Something as simple yet tasteful as this one must be in the recipe files of every enthusiastic entertainer.
This recipe for a change has loads of step-by-step photos I could take as she was in the process of making it. This is a perfect entry for Trupti's Spring FLing -Family and Friends in the kitchen.
Also, Q is for Quick and this 30 minute, chilled out recipe goes into One Hot kitchen for the A-Z event.
Quick Mango Sandesh
Category - Dessert, Fruit, Milk dessert
Time Taken - Under 30 minutes
Makes - 12 pieces
2 L whole milk
1/4 tsp citric acid crystals or juice of one lemon
1/2 cup water
6 tbsp powdered sugar or more
Square / Rectangular box / pan
1. Bring 2 L whole milk to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, dissolve 1/4 tsp of citric acid crystals in half cup water.
3. Peel two mangoes and keep aside.
4. Keep the flame on SIM, and add the citric acid solution a tsp at a time stirring the milk all the time.
5. Do this until the solids separate out leaving a greenish whey, do not add any more citric acid now.
6. Using a large mesh colander, filter out the solids (chenna).Press lightly to remove excess whey but do not squeeze it dry. Let this sit for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
7. Remove the chenna onto a plate.
8.Add 6 tbsp of powdered sugar and knead well for five minutes until sugar is well mixed and you get a soft yet grainy dough.
9.In a rectangular / square pan or box, press one half of the chenna tightly into the base.
10. Slice the mangoes thinly and place over the chenna layer.
11. Do this until the whole layer is covered with mangoes.
12. Press the remaining chenna over the mango layer to make a sandwich.
Chill the pan / box for 30 minutes or so in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
Remove and cut into pieces of desired sizes. Serve chilled.
Preeti has used pineapple slices instead of mangoes, when the latter are not in season and the pineapple sandesh tastes superb too!
You can also mix mango puree into half the chenna to get 3 layers, one pure chenna, one mango flavoured chenna and the top layer of mango slices.
Powdered cardamoms can be mixed along with chenna to give it a strong flavour, cardamom goes well with mangoes!
You could also make smaller pieces of this sandesh and float them in a creamy sweet gravy made with condensed milk, milk and saffron strands and serve it as a ras-malai!
While traditional Bengali sweets are made by steaming the chenna or cooking it, this is one is a simple technique and fast to make that tastes wonderful. This makes an excellent party dessert that can be made the previous day and chilled.
Priti uses whole milk, but you can always use skimmed milk, probably you will need a gallon of milk to get out the required amount of Chenna though.
I loved the simple flavour of the sweetened chenna and complemeted perfectly by the strong, sweet taste of Alfonso mango slices, the best example of A Perfect Balance.
You can easily adapt this recipe for diabetics by using Fructose sugar or Splenda. Since this recipe is rich in fats from whole milk, it is recommended that diabetics indulge in one small piece at a time!