tastily touring: bangladesh a sandesh (paneer) recipe

tastily touring: bangladesh a sandesh (paneer) recipe

Bangladesh came into existence in 1971 when Bengali East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan. Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma.

Bangladesh has a population of about 140 million, making it one of the densely populated countries of the world. The According to the Bangladesh ministry of Foreign Affairs, the majority (about 88%) of the people are Muslim. Over 98% of the people speak in Bangla. English however is widely spoken.

Bangladesh is in the low-lying Ganges–Brahmaputra River Delta or Ganges Delta. This delta is formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers and their tributaries. The soil deposited by these rivers has created some of the most fertile plains in the world. Most parts of Bangladesh are less than about 40 feet above the sea level, making flooding a severe problem that continues to hamper the economy.

Bangladesh cuisine is closely related to nearby North-East Indian and Middle Eastern fair as well as having its own unique traits. Rice and fish are traditional favorites. Biryani is a favorite dish of Bangladesh. Biryani is a rice-based food made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and meat, such as chicken or beef, or vegetables.

tastily touring: bangladesh a sandesh (paneer) recipe

Bengali cooking is also known for its wide array of sweets made from milk. Rasho-gollah, kalo-jam, sandesh, mishti doi, shemai and chamcham are a few popular treats. Sandesh is created with milk and sugar. Some recipes for sandesh call for the use of chhena (Indian cheese) or paneer instead of milk.

We chose to make sandesh because we could easily make the fresh paneer. The ingredients are inexpensive and there are few of them. You’ll see that the garnish includes the use of saffron. We omitted this as it is quite costly. We wanted to demonstrate that the sandesh looks lovely without it and it tastes as lovely as it looks.

Please stop by Manjula’s Kitchen and watch her video. It is her recipe that we used and she does a thorough job of demonstrating how to make the sandesh. It is difficult to make a recipe from another culture when there is no frame of reference. YouTube is a remarkable resource as it has given us the opportunity to learn from many others as if we were in the kitchen with them.

tastily touring: bangladesh a sandesh (paneer) recipe

Sandesh

Ingredients:

1/2 gallon (8cups) milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
For Garnish:
2 tablespoon sliced pistachios
About 8 strands of saffron
2 tablespoon crushed pineapple

Directions:

1. Make the paneer (check the recipe for paneer).
2. Drain the whey using a strainer line with cheesecloth, or muslin cloth.
3. Wrap the curds in a muslin cloth, rinse under cold water, and squeeze well.
4. Once the paneer is drained, place on a dry, clean surface and knead the paneer until the paneer is almost rolls into smooth soft dough.
5. Add the sugar and cardamom into the paneer and knead the paneer again until sugar is mixed well.
6. Next on low heat cook the paneer mixture stirring continuously until paneer starts coming together as soft dough. This should take about 6 to 7 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and keep mixing the paneer like you are making dough.
8. This is most important step to this dish; you are just cooking paneer enough to take out the rawness. If you over cook the paneer it will become crumbly.
9. Mix the saffron thread in 1 teaspoon of warm milk and mix it well. Keep aside.
10. Divide the paneer in 24 equal parts and roll them giving a ball shape.
11. Garnish with crushed pineapple, or garnish them with a drop of saffron paste putting sliced pistachio over.
12. Refrigerate them for few hours before serving. Serve them chilled!
13. Sandesh can be refrigerated for a week.

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16 comments

  • January 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm //

    I’ve never seen anything quite like this before, but I can imagine the little paneer balls would make great party snacks. I’ve made vegan cheese in a similar way, so now I’m dying to try my hand at replicating this concept!

    • January 31, 2012 at 9:48 am //

      Hi Hannah, paneer is so versatile, savory, sweet, Tikka Paneer, Tandori Paneer. A Must try.

  • January 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm //

    Oh those look divine! I’ve just tried some Indian paneer barfi recently which I love. This looks quite similar, so I’ll definitely have to give it a go.

    • January 31, 2012 at 9:48 am //

      Thank you Fig Fondue, we really want to try Tikka Paneer next, Paneer seems to be so versatile. = )

  • January 31, 2012 at 1:27 am //

    It is difficult to make a recipe from another culture when there is no frame of reference. YouTube is a remarkable resource as it has given us the opportunity to learn from many others as if we were in the kitchen with them. This is so true! Great advice. And this is a really nice recipe – and I haven’t seen paneer served this way before. The pistachio/saffron/pineapple garnish sounds great. Nice recipe – thanks.

    • January 31, 2012 at 9:47 am //

      It sure is, thank goodness for youtube, they have been (the videos) such an awesome tool, it’s so hard to imagine the images in your head without any reference. = )

  • January 31, 2012 at 5:53 am //

    I love sandesh! And this looks absolutely delicious! And to make it with no frame of reference, that is absolute genius!

    • January 31, 2012 at 9:46 am //

      We do too! It’s so delish, we love paneer, it’s such a versatile food/cheese. I want to try Tikka Paneer? Is that right?

  • January 31, 2012 at 7:24 am //

    Such pretty photos and I love the flavours in particular.

    • January 31, 2012 at 9:45 am //

      Thank you so much Emma.

    • January 31, 2012 at 11:26 am //

      Thank you Pepy.

  • January 31, 2012 at 11:26 am //

    I love paneer but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a beautiful presentation of it! I wish I could pick one right out of your picture and eat it. These look scrumptious!

    • January 31, 2012 at 11:26 am //

      Thank you MJskit, Have you tried Tikka Paneer, or Tandori Paneer?

  • February 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm //

    I love bangladeshi food! I am pinning this recipe for making in summer! It’s winter here, so can’t really eat cold foods :P

    • February 4, 2012 at 8:01 am //

      That’s wonderful Cindy, I hope you try the recipe, thank you so much for commenting.