Indian sweets / Mithais/ Recipes

mango sandesh – a summer delight

Bengali’s love for sweet dish is well-known affair and sondesh they simply adore it. The great Bengali luncheon always ends on a sweet note, and it does not stops there, it continues with late afternoon tea and dinner as well. Life revolves around tales of sweets from birth, marriage till death and memories laden with nostalgia keep haunting, weaving the stories and unfolding the secrets of sandesh making, a culinary art which remains the forte of selected few.

mango sandesh

A 150 year old tradition pioneered by Bhim Chandra Nag, Nabin Chandra Das and Sen Mahashoy, whose repertoire makes them an icon in the history of sandesh, later joined by Gangurams and Balram Mallick, sondesh has evolved through times and is present in infinite incarnations displayed in countless number of sweetmeat shops in Kolkata and in West Bengal.

The name of sondesh often reflects their shape, size, texture, flavouring, and sometimes even portrays the psyche of society. For instance, shankh (conch shell) and maach (fish) are the two most common shapes whereas pista, saffron, almond, rose, nolen gur in winter and mango in summer are the usual flavours. Sometimes it caught the poetic fancies of its creator, so we have pranhara and manohara (captivator of soul & heart resp.), nayantara (star of the eye) and its charismatic magic spell leads to the creation of abar khabo (I’ll have another). One more variety which deserve special mention is jalbhara talshansh sandesh (with a filling of rose syrup inside) and khirpuli sandesh both of which is created by S.K.Modak around 1820, a very renowned sweet maker of that period.

aam sandesh

Khirpuli sandesh is perhaps the most difficult one and it truly reflects the art and creativity of its creator, and grace only the occasions marked by marriages and like. During marriages it is a ritual to exchange tattwa (marriage gifts) which comprises around twenty variety of sweets (sometimes even more) all in massive size but the cynosure of all eyes remain khirpuli sandesh in its colossal form. From Eiffel tower, Statue of Liberty to London Bridge anything can be beautifully crafted with khirpuli sandesh and these are usually presented to NRI grooms from the brides family.

Sandesh in its most classical form is made only with pure chhana or casein, no khova or condensed milk is used and subtly flavoured with rose and pistachios. When aam sandesh or mango sondesh appears on display at sweet shops it pronounce the onset of summer.

mango sandesh

See the pictorial description –  how to make fresh home meade chana / chhana or curdled milk cheese.

mango sandesh - a summer delight
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Aam sandesh / Mango sandesh or milk based fudge infused with mango flavor is an exquisite Bengali dessert.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Milk (full fat) : 1 litre
  • Ripe Mango pulp (thickened & sweetened with sugar) : 1 cup
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp
  • Souring agent to curdle the milk
Instructions
  1. Boil the milk, curdled it using a juice of lemon, drain the whey and collect the cheese.
  2. Knead the chhana / cottage cheese with the heel of your palm for 10 minutes until it become soft and smooth.
  3. Warm slightly a non-stick pan and put the chhena along with sweetened mango pulp, mix thoroughly and cook it on low heat while constantly stirring it.
  4. You will notice that it gradually changes its color and texture, when towards done it will become lumpy or dough like. Take it off immediately from the heat and transfer into a bowl. This is called "makha" or ready to be moulded.
  5. If you are using moulds, then grease the inner design slightly with ghee (clarified ghee), sprinkle some topping (I have used finely crushed pistachios) in the centre of the design, pressed the chhana into the moulds, smooth the edges giving a neat shape and gently take them out of the mould.
  6. Repeat the process with the rest of the chhana or simply mould them into your desired shapes and sprinkle your favourite toppings.
  7. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

mango sondesh

Mango sandwich sandesh

mango sandwich sandesh

Mango sandwich sandesh

To Prepare this : pinched some cooked chhana (not mixed with mango pulp, but cooked as described above), flatten them gently and shape it as you wish. Spread evenly the thickened mango pulp and cover it with another layer of cooked chhana. Mango sandwich sandesh is ready and serve it chilled.

Verdict: This was my second attempt to make paak (cooked) sandesh, and I can say it was far-far better than the previous one. The challenge is to maintain the right proportion of moistness and firmness at the same time, so sandesh often categorised into naram paak (soft) and kada paak (hard). These sandesh are naram paak that is incline more towards the moistness, and tend to firm a little after it gets cool down a bit.

But with more practice, this culinary art of making sandesh can be perfected.

Hope you have enjoyed this sweet story on Sandesh, as much as we did and if you have tried this recipe at home, do let us know, we would love to hear from you.

Sukanya

31 Comments

  • Reply
    Raji
    April 29, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Wow…I love bengali sweets and sandesh happens to be my hubby’s fav….this is looking so authentic and perfect. The post is excellent.

  • Reply
    Priya Yallapantula
    April 29, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Looks great dear, please feel free to send it to my “Flavors of Bengal” event as well 🙂

  • Reply
    Vidhya jayadeep
    April 29, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Sandesh looks so beautiful and delicious.

  • Reply
    Deepa
    April 29, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Hi
    Loved the look of your mango sandesh. Dekhte darun hoyeche. Aamio 3 weeks aage sandesh baniyechilam. If time permits please do visit my blog.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

    • Reply
      saffronstreaks
      April 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

      @Deepa, thanks for your lovely words, glad that u liked it. tomar ta dekhbo
      @Vidhya, thanks dear
      @Priya, linked to your event
      @Raji, I felt so happy that you read the entire post, glad that you liked it

  • Reply
    Priya
    April 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Mango sandesh looks marvellous…feel like having some..

  • Reply
    Jay
    April 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Adpoly recipe with tempting clicks..!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog..surely will send my juice recipe to your interesting event..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  • Reply
    Sadhana
    April 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Looks fantastic, love the beautiful shapes you have come up with.

  • Reply
    incidentalcooksuman
    April 30, 2011 at 2:25 am

    oh my goodness..love bengali sweets and I eat those like there is no tomorrow..:-)
    Sandesh looks divine, I wish I was your next-door neighbor. 🙂 .
    Thanks for the recipe..have a nice weekend! Take care!

  • Reply
    kankana
    April 30, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I don’t have those ‘chach’ but I will try making these and just give some shape .. i know it will taste delicious 🙂

  • Reply
    Tanvi
    April 30, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Looks amazing! Mango is such a yum addition to already tasty sandesh.Thanks for sending this to the contest and all the best!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies
    April 30, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Those sweets sound so neat and delicious. I love learning about new recipes. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I’d like to invite you to stop by and link your sandesh up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/04/sweets-for-saturday-15.html

  • Reply
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    April 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

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  • Reply
    Kalyani
    April 30, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    looks tempting and delicious …… lovely pictures……..

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    May 1, 2011 at 12:51 am

    What a beautiful treat. I just love Mango and this dessert looks amazing. I really want to try this and only hope it turns out as well as yours. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!

  • Reply
    Rachana
    May 1, 2011 at 2:37 am

    I love sandesh and after reading this post, I’m missing Kolkata…

  • Reply
    Reva
    May 1, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    wow… this is just delicious… I love the delicate intricate work on the sandesh… Beautiful pics 🙂
    Thanks for sending it for te event…
    Reva

  • Reply
    aipi
    May 3, 2011 at 12:02 am

    This is so intriguing! The color is fab, the pattern is beautiful, the texture is perfect and I bet they were tasty as well.
    US Masala

  • Reply
    sukanya ramkumar
    May 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

    This sounds delish!!! Mouthwatering pics.. Loved that beautiful molds u have used.

    Nice to know abt ur blog. U have a nice set of recipes,… YUM!

  • Reply
    Priya
    May 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Hi dear, thanks for ur interest for hosting CWS, am so happy and will definitely reserve Jan 2012 for u..thanks again..

  • Reply
    Nivedita
    May 21, 2011 at 12:10 am

    wow,
    looks heaven, my favorite dish. will try soon.
    thanks for visiting me and joining me.

  • Reply
    najla koya
    August 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Hi, saw these delicious beauties in the mithai mela round up.. These looks fabulous.. One doubt, wher do you get the moulds from?

  • Reply
    Chandrani
    April 4, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Mango sandesh looks delicious…sandesh ta dekhei khete ichha korchhe.

    Cuisine Delights
    My Monthly Event – Spotlight : “Lunchbox Ideas”.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Deboshree
    April 19, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Beauty is the word. Oh my God. How do you get these done so beautifully? I can never get it quite right. I remember my Bodo Dida – I called her SunderDida – was excellent with these. A trip to her place meant a feast for the sweet lovers. This reminded me of her. I miss her.

    • Reply
      saffronstreaks
      April 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

      OOOh…Deboshree, I too missed those childhood days, even my dida used to make these so brilliantly, I do have some moulds inherited form her, like heirlooms :), but I tell you that was my second attempt, turn out good enuf to please my MIL :D, but yes it requires parctice and patience. Give it a shot if time permits, you will enjoy it.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Vinita
    October 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks for the nice recipe !!
    Question: What is the ratio of mango pulp to channa to be used?

    • Reply
      saffronstreaks
      October 22, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Vinita, 1 litre of full fat milk will give you approximately 200 plus gram of chenna. So 1 cup of mango pulp for around 200 gm of chenna.

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