You can take a Bengali out of Bengal, but clearly not Mishti – sweets, out of a Bengali!

Homemade Bengali sweets for Noboborsho

Shubho Noboborsho to all of you! Today was a working day and since everybody is either working or studying from home these days, I thought of keeping the Noboborsho lunch menu simple, but special. Li’l Z loves the Bengali prawn delicacy – Chingri Maacher Malaikari and Big Z longed for Bhapa Mishti Doi – steamed sweet yoghurt. She makes me feel quite special every time she declares that I make the best mishti doi in the world, although I must admit that it’s not a traditional recipe but a tweaked one. I decided to make two different preparations for prawns – a malaikari, cooked in coconut milk and a spicy Shorshe Chingri Bhapa. In the latter preparation, the prawns are delicately steamed in mustard paste and green chillies, raw mustard oil poured on top. In addition to the above dishes, I felt it would be pretty fair to have another mishti since it was after all, the Bengali New Year. You can take a Bengali out of Bengal, but clearly not mishti out of a Bengali. On that note, I was pretty bemused with this news from back home – amidst the country wide lockdown, sweetshops have been given permission to keep open for four hours in West Bengal to cater to the Bengalis’ sweet cravings!

We decided on making Dudh Puli, rice flour dumplings with coconut-jaggery filling… all deliciously dunked in a thickened kheer. As it always does in our kitchen (#gratitude),  one sweet led to the other. There was extra filling for the pulis, so that led to some Narkel Narus, the coconut-jaggery truffles. There was extra Gur or jaggery, so I thought, well … why not make some Makha Gurer Shondesh too? I am sharing the recipe – it’s not too sweet and pretty easy to make. Made from fresh homemade chhena (cottage cheese), this shondesh is called makha because it is kneaded until it’s soft. If you have shondesh moulds at home, they make pretty shapes too. From my precious kitchen collectibles, I used a special wooden mould that is used in this part of the world (Middle East) for making Ma’amouls. Ma’amouls are very popular here – pastry with date fillings inside and are decorated by hand or shaped by wooden moulds. Well, isn’t that an inspiring take of my Makha Shondesh on Ma’amoul moulds?

May only good memories and amazing things spill out from the magic hat at all times to sweeten your lives, no matter what!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

You may like trying out some Bengali sweets: 
Moong Daaler Payesh or Yellow Lentil Pudding
Bhapa Mishti Doi
Notun Gurer Payesh
Shondesh/Sandesh Pudding
		

Gobindobhog riceHomemade Gurer ShondeshHomemade Mishti Doi Homemade Mishti DoiFreshly grated coconut with jaggery Homemade gurer naruWooden mould for making Ma'amoul

Homemade Gurer Shondesh

Makha Gurer Shondesh

  • Servings: 12 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Category=Dessert; Cuisine=Bengali

Ingredients

1 litre full fat cow’s milk
1 lime, squeezed into juice
100 gms date palm syrup (these are readily available in supermarkets here. Traditionally, however, season fresh nolen gur is used and I too prefer to use the latter if its available)
½ tsp of rice flour (you can use flour)
½ tsp of cardamom powdered, preferably crushed from fresh cardamoms
1 tsp ghee to brush the surface of the mould

Method

  • In a large dekchi or a thick bottomed pan, bring the milk to a boil. Lower the heat and add the lime juice. The milk should separate into chhena and whey.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the chhena into a big sieve (traditionally a muslin cloth is used). Run it under cold water to remove any lingering taste of lime. Squeeze out as much water from the chhena and let it rest in the sieve for a while.
  • Transfer the fresh chhena into a glass bowl. Knead the dough until becomes smooth and soft.
  • Add the date syrup or date jaggery to the chhena and mix it until it blends completely into the chhena.
  • Start making balls of soft makha shondesh by a slight brushing of rice flour in your palms to prevent the dough sticking to your fingers.
  • Brush the shondesh mould lightly with ghee. Place each ball into the shondesh mould (I used a Ma’amoul mould) and flatten them. Take out the shaped shondesh gently from the mould. You may just leave them as round balls.
  • Serve the makha shondesh at room temperature.

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Disclaimer: This isn’t a sponsored post, nor are there any affiliated links for any of the brands that may have been mentioned in this blogpost. The subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own and all images are from my personal album. While you enjoy reading my posts with lot of visuals, please do not use any material from these posts.

2 Comments on “Shubho Noboborsho – Makha Gurer Shondesh and other homemade Bengali sweets

  1. Really enjoyed reading your post.. you have become a pure Bengali Sweet professional..the mishtis in the pictures looked so real and delicious…
    May 1427 be full of happy and pleasant surprises..
    Let’s wait for more Food blogging from you Chotai..Cheers!

    • Shubho Noboborsho Mashi! You are too sweet and have always been so. Yes, I am excited to revive the classical blogging this year as the blog has always been a very special space. You stay safe and take lots of care … and I always miss your spread. You are my Luchi Grand Dame forever!

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