The talented Rinku Bhattacharya of Cooking in Weschester has released her The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles recipe book focusing on Bengali cuisine. Wow, Congratulations!! When her publishers approached me to participate in her cookbook promotion event: a food blogger cook-off, how could I refuse? I love to support fellow foodies especially when the recipes are so unique like Rinku’s. Not to mention the intricate use of spices brings me back closer to home, one dish at a time! And I get to giveaway one copy of this amazing cookbook.
I have to confess I cook various Indian regional cuisines such as Rajasthani, Gujarati, Mughlai, Goan, Hydrebadi, Kerala but for some odd reason haven’t ventured into the complex world of East Indian cooking. The recipe book had so many wonderful recipes that I couldn’t make up my mind how to initiate myself into Bengali cuisine. Luckily, my husband (who has actually lived a few years in Calcutta when he was in school), flipping through the pages stumbled across Sandesh – a typical Bengali milk sweet. His mouth was watering just leafing through the recipe, but naturally that sealed the deal. Now I LOVE paneer (cottage cheese) and any dish which even carries a hint of it. Plus with Christmas around the corner, Sandesh is a fabulous edition to my series: From My Holiday Table to Yours: #SpicyChat Desserts!!
Sandesh: Cottage Cheese Sweet Cakes
Sandesh is perhaps one of the easiest Indian sweets to make, requiring only a few ingredients. Yet it is so flavorful and heart warming….Add it your cookie recipe book for this holiday season. You are bound to get a standing ovation, it is that sublime! And there is NO baking involved!!
- 1/2 gallon whole milk (or 2%)
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 1 whole lemon or 2 limes, juiced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbs rose water
- dried canberries
- ground pistachios
- Bring the milk and cardamom to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat. Stir in the lemon/lime juice allowing the milk to separate into milk solids. When you see the whey (green liquid) turn the heat off. Drain the white cheese solids into a cheesecloth and allow it to hang for 1.5 hours.
- Place the drained cottage cheese with sugar in a food processor and process till the cheese is fine. Place the cheese in a non stick pan and cook on medium-low heat for around 8 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring so that the cheese doesn’t stick to the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in the rosewater.
- Shape into lime sized balls, roll in the ground pistachios, top with 1 cranberry and serve.
Have you started preparing for the holidays? What are some of your family’s favorite cookies they crave all year around? I would love to hear from you…Until next time, have a delicious week!
To participate in the giveway enter the Rafflecopter form below. Contest open to Canada & US and closes December 9, 2012.