A divine tasting sweet with just 3 ingredients and easy to prepare too Makes 20 -24 pieces, depending on shape and size of sandesh
- 2 litres whole milk
- ● 2-3 lemons
- ● ½ – ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ● 1 sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
- Line a fine meshed sieve with 2 layers of muslin cloth and keep aside.
- Bring the milk to a boil. When it has come to a boil, lower the flame and add 4 tbsp of lemon juice gradually with constant stirring of milk. As soon as the milk has separated into curds and whey, pour it through the muslin lined sieve.
- Tie the ends of the cloth and allow this to sit in a bowl of iced water for 10 minutes to allow the chenna to stop cooking. Squeeze out excess water and hang this over a bowl or the sink for 20 minutes for the water to drain out.
- Transfer the chenna to a mixer jar or a food processor.
- Add the powdered sugar and blend until you get a smooth paste.
- Place a non stick pan on heat with the chenna mixture on a medium flame. Stir around with a silicone spatula for 8-10 minutes until it is somewhat dry and comes together into a ball. In the final stage, add the Kesari Saffron powder and mix well until uniformly blended into the sandesh giving it a golden hue.
- Remove this into a lined baking tray. Press this down and smoothen the top. Garnish with a strand of saffron or a bit of chopped pistachio.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to allow it to set before cutting into desired shapes.
Variation: Add coarsely stopped pistachios to the sandesh in the final stage to get kesar-pista sandesh. You can also add ¼ tsp of ground cardamom for added flavour
A Bengali mishti that is utterly simple to make, something you can make ahead and serve your guests. Makes 4-6 servings
- 1 cup hung yogurt
- ● ¾ cup whole milk
- ● ½ cup condensed milk
- ½ sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
- ● Few strands of saffron for garnish
- Set a steamer with 2-3 inches of water. Cover and allow the water to come to a boil. Keep 4-6 small earthen pots (100-150 ml) or kulhads ready along with 4 squares of aluminium foil to cover them later.
- Meanwhile prepare the bhapa doi mixture.
- In a large bowl, whisk the hung yogurt until smooth. Add the whole milk and condensed milk and whisk until you get a smooth mixture.
- Sprinkle Kesari Saffron powder and whisk till the mixture is uniformly golden coloured.
- Divide this equally between 4-6 pots. Seal this well with squares of aluminium foil.
- Place in steamer carefully. Cover the steamer with a lid and steam for 20 minutes.
- When done, the bhapa doi with be set like a pudding. Garnish with 1-2 strands of saffron and refrigerate this for 3-4 hours or overnight
A rich, indulgent pilaf that is worthy of the festive season Serves 4
- 1 cup long grained basmati rice
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 2 tbsp chopped almonds
- 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
- 2 tbsp chopped cashewnuts
- 2 tbsp chopped cranberries
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 6 cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups water
- ½ sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
- 1 tbsp milk
- Wash the rice and soak it in water for 30 minutes
- Heat ghee in a pan. Add the chopped nuts and dried fruit. Saute on medium flame until cashews are golden brown and raisins are puffed up. Using a slotted spoon, remove from ghee and keep aside
- In the remaining ghee, add the cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves. Stir for 1 minute or so until the cinnamon unfurls and cloves are puffed up.
- Drain the rice and add to the pan. Toast the rice with the spices on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 2 cups water and salt. Bring this to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce flame, cover with a lid and allow to cook for 8 minutes or until the rice is nearly cooked.
- Whisk the saffron powder in the milk and tip it into the nearly cooked rice.
- Gently toss the rice in the saffron milk until it gets a uniformly golden hue. Remove the pan from the flame.
- Mix half the fruit-nut mix into the rice.
- Remove this onto a platter. Garnish with the leftover fruit-nut mix.
- Serve with a spicy curry.
Variation: A handful of green peas and finely sliced green beans can be added to make this a vegetable-fruit & nut pilaf.
Indian shortbread cookie that goes perfectly with a cup of masala chai Makes 30 pieces
- 1.5 cups maida
- 2 tbsp besan
- 1 tbsp chiroti rava
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup ghee
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
- For garnish: 10-12 pistachios, Saffron strands
- Sieve the maida, besan, rava, baking soda and keep aside
- In a bowl, mix together the ghee, sugar and saffron powder until well combined.
- To this add the dry ingredients and gently combine until you get a smooth dough.
- Pinch off 30 portions from this dough. Roll each portion between palms to get a smooth ball
- Flatten this ball slightly and place on a baking sheet. Keep some distance2cm between the cookies as they will expand as they bake.
- Preheat oven at 180°C.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the pistachios and press a pinch of chopped nuts over each cookie
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes
- Remove, cool and pack in airtight container. Garnish with a strand of saffron before serving if desired
Variation: Substitute half the maida with wheat flour and use 1-2 tbsp of milk to bind the dough if need be.