14 May 2007

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

Ingredients
2 L whole milk
1/4 tsp citric acid crystals or juice of one lemon
1/2 cup water
2 mangoes
6 tbsp powdered sugar or more

Special Equipment
Mesh colander
Square / Rectangular box / pan

Directions



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.

Variations:

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!

Notes:

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!

27 comments:

bee said...

don't torture us like this, girl. what we would do for those mangoes. we get strange mangoes here.

Nandita said...

Darling, I said na, use pineapple, or how about Palaapazham puree? Methinks jackfruit flesh will go yummy with this too- since you do have some cans at home :)

Raaga said...

I must try this out this weekend. Great stuff. I'm putting up a couple of mango recipes today too.

Sig said...

Hey girlie, nice pictures and nice recipe, aren't u lucky to have a friend who cooks for you? BTW, instead of step-by-step pictures start posting videos dear... :)

Meeta said...

Cool recipe and a lovely idea. Great to have a friend that cooks for you. Usually in my circle I am that friend who cooks for others LOL!

musical said...

i agree with Bee!! Nandita, thats a real easy and yummy dessert. Fruit and chenna, what more can one ask for :). This is my type of mithai!!

archana said...

This is awesome. I can already imagine the taste :)Very nice dessert.

Anupama said...

Nandita, I just got back from my morning walk and the first thing I saw while blogging was that Mango Sandesh. I have not even had breakfast yet and my stomach just did a few flips when I saw that awesome sandesh. Got to give it a try till alphonso mangoes are available in the UK.

Nupur said...

What a completely tempting dessert! I bet it would taste wonderful with all sorts of fruits sandwiched between the chenna. Very clever, Nandita!

Sreelu said...

Nadita,

beautiful dessert, I love sandesh and had them at a bengali friends home. This recipe seems very simple to make.Should try this

trupti said...

That is such a great idea......! Wonderful Entry, Nandita and Priti!

Gini said...

That looks really good and yummy. The possibilities seem endless with this dish. Do you think ricotta cheese would be a good substitute for the paneer?

Sia's Corner said...

i cant take my eyes off from those mangoes...i am seriously drooling...

Swapna said...

I am drooling over this dessert..Great entry for both events..Yummo..It wud be great if u send some mangoes here, we r all envious of u..
Btw, you can also send it as AFAM entry..the fruit is mango

Sandeepa said...

As you said we always cook the chena to make sandesh, this certainly is a quicker idea. Those luscious mangoes looks yummy

Nandita said...

Thanks girls for the encouraging comments!
Sig - I'm lousy at using the handycam, infact haven't even got it out of the packing! SO until i learn that, it's only step by step photos :)

Meeta- In my circle I was the lone ranger until I met Preeti, now u can see why Im so excited!

Anupama- read about your Tv brush and very excited for you....all this when I've just started shooting videos for an internet TV myself! Way to go girl - and finally we got to 'see' you in the photos too!

Gini- I haven't worked with ricotta cheese, but it is so quick to make this from milk, curdling 2 L of milk takes just 15 minutes, I promise u that!

Swapna-Will surely send it for AFAM, just hope its not too bad sending same entry for 3 events


Sandeepa- this kinda shortcut is for us, the original stuff, I leave it to the amazing fellas at Sweet Bengal stores :)

Anil P said...

Never tasted this before, wonder how it must be to.

Anna said...

Holy crap, I've just discovered your blog, and I think I'm in love! Must must must try this mango dish, although I'm sure the taste won't compare with my crappy British mangoes. But I've linked to you and know that I will be using you as an inspiration in the future. These recipes are beautiful.

sunita said...

That looks awesome...and the best bit is that it is so simple...btw, I could kill for those mangoes...

Vini K said...

Hi Nandita,Mango sandesh looks great! and so simple to make too.wish I could get those yummy orangish mangoes!I am going to have to use pinepapple for now though!:)

drNO said...

hi, the mango looks great.
and wow, I found another online friend who is also a medical doctor by qualification, and loves to cook. I thought I am the online doctor who are into cooking...:)

Mallugirl said...

can i try this with ricotta?I mean, drain the water out of ricotta and spread it?

Anna said...

I just wanted to comment on this entry again to say that I made this dish the other day, as dessert for a dinner party at my house. It was awesome and fun to make--I marvelled like a kid doing a science project as I watched the milk separate. I've never done anything like that before!

It was delicious, although you could absolutely feel how much my version was lacking for proper, fresh mango--making dishes like this in the ripe-fruit-challenged United Kingdom is kind of sad.

Sheela said...

Nandita, thanks for sharing this recipe - perfect for summer, perfect for toddler (better than sugar loaded cookies anyway) and just what I need :-) And, Congrats on your success! My best wishes for all your endeavors.

Raaga said...

I tried it... the picture does it no justice, but I tried and it came out yummy :-)

Anjali said...

This dessert looks real yummy......and easy too

aarti said...

Once when milk curdled, i set it aside, put in dried figs that had been warmed in microwave, n added more of the paneer, mixed in some sugar n froze.. tasted yumm on its own.. going to try this now :)