Baklava Flavored Sandesh
FOODIEMONDAY/BLOGHOP & MEGA BLOGGING MARATHON -SEPT 2017
#80TH BLOGGING MARATHON
THEME: PROTEIN RICH DISHES/DURGA PUJA
This year Durga Pooja/Puja begins on 26th September and ends on 30th September. On these days the Goddess Durga is worshipped with much reverence. Durga Pooja is mainly celebrated in West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya, Manipur and Jharkhand. Months of preparation culminates into these days of Pooja. Pandals are built and idols are made. During this period people also prepare art and cultural programs. Lavish poojas, scrumptious bhog are very much a part of the celebrations.
Ma Durga is a Goddess that was born from the divine powers of the 3 main Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv. She took birth mainly to defeat the evil half man half buffalo demon Mahishasura. Because of the boon granted to him by Brahma, no man or deity could kill him. He became evil and started killing men and waged a war against the Devas. Durga Ma appeared on Earth to defeat him. Ma Durga has 10 hands and each hand is a representation of her power. It is with these 10 powers or shakti that she killed Mahishasura. Vijayadashami marks the victory of Ma Durga over Mahishasura. In other parts of India Vijayadashami is the victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana. Basically, in both cases its the victory of Good or Evil.
It is said that during these days of festivity, food stalls are set up near the pandals for people to enjoy festival food with family and friends. Chops, khichuri, biryani, chowmein, chapta chana, radhabhallavi, cholar dal, luchi, aloo dum are some of the most popular dishes served. However no Durga Pooja festival is complete with some delicious Bengali sweets. Jilipi, Sitabhog, roshogollas,mishti doi, sandesh rasmalai, just to name a few.
I’d till now not tried making sandesh. Its not that I’ve not come across enough recipes of sandesh from fellow bloggers. So when Durga Puja was decided as the 111th theme for #FoodieMonday #Bloghop I wanted to make a paneer based sweet or mithai so that I could even include it the Protein Rich Dishes for the Mega Blogging Marathon. To make the sandesh a bit different I thought of pairing up the baklava flavor to make this flavorful sandesh. The main flavors of a baklava besides the crunchy phyllo pastry are walnuts, pisachios, almonds mixed with spices like cardamom, cinnamon and cloves with honey and orange blossom water. The end result was a baklava flavored sandesh without the crunch. Again I’m pairing up two events i.e. FoodieMonday and Mega Blogging Marathon.
For this recipe I must thank Sujata of Batter up with Sujata whose guidance was of utmost importance and to Srivalli of Spicing your Life with her endless pictures of how to knead the paneer or chenna to make it smooth and more smooth. By the way please visit Srivalli’s blog where she has made 21 (and a few still coming up) Bengali sweets all using paneer for the Protein Rich Dishes theme.
Protein sources in this recipe are paneer(cottage cheese) and nuts
By no means am I claiming or supporting any sort of fad diet that are the latest craze in the fitness world. I’m just trying to include non meat non fish dishes from which you can get your protein source.
BAKLAVA FLAVORED SANDESH
Makes 20 pieces
Recipe source: Batter Up With Sujata
For the paneer:
1 litre full fat milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the sandesh:
1 cup tightly packed paneer
2 tbsp walnut, pistachio and almond powder (the nuts were mixed and ground into a coarse powder)
3-4 tbsp honey
½ tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
a generous pinch of clove powder
½ tsp orange blossom water
For the topping:
3 tbsp chopped nuts (mixture of almonds, pistachios and walnuts)
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp cardamom powder
a generous pinch cinnamon powder
a scant pinch of clove powder
¼ tsp orange blossom water
Preparation of the paneer:
- Take a colander and line it with a thin cotton or muslin cloth. Place the colander on a big bowl or saucepan.
- Heat 1 litre of milk till it becomes hot.
- Add lemon juice and slowly stir the milk till it begins to curdle.
- Pour the curdled mixture into the colander.
- With the help of a spoon, gather up the paneer into the middle.
- Wash this under running water for a few seconds to remove the lemon.
- Gather up the edges of the cloth and squeeze out extra water.
- I like to place a heavy stone on the cloth covered paneer to remove excess water. The paneer should be soft and not hard.
- Knead the paneer in a tray or a plate for 5-10 minutes till it is really smooth.
- Add honey and mix.
- Transfer the mixture to a wide non stick pan.
- Place the pan over low to medium heat and cook the paneer stirring it all the time.
- After 5-6 minutes, the water will evaporate and the mixture will leave the sides of the pan and form a dough.
- Remove the pan off the heat.
- Add the coarse nuts powder, cardamom, cinnamon, clove powders and the orange blossom water.Let the mixture cool down.
- Knead this mixture again till it becomes really smooth.
- Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it between your palms into a ball. The mixture should not stick to your hands at all.
- Shape into a disc like shape and make a dent on top.
- Repeat steps 17-18 till all the mixture is over.
- Gently heat honey in a small pan over low heat.
- As soon as you see tiny bubbles appearing at the edges, take the pan off the heat.
- Add the chopped nuts, spices and orange blossom water. Mix well.
- Top each sandesh with the topping.
- Cool the sandesh in the fridge and offer to Ma Durga.
- The amount of paneer you get from 1 litre can vary on the milk.
- If you have a bit of leftover paneer, use it as a dip or as a sandwich spread.
Day 1 – Mixed Dal Paddu
Day 3 – Moong and Spinach Muthia
Day 4 – Paneer and Naan Bites
Day 5 – Veggie Shepherd’s Pie
Day 6 – Nectarine and French Bean Quinoa Salad
Day 7 – Tofu Wraps
Day 8 – Sai Bhaji
Day 9 – Veg Protein Burrito Bowl
Day 10 – Palak Pakodi Chaat
Day 11 – Phyllo Cheesecake Cups
Day 12 – Garlicky Broccoli Quinoa
Day 13 – Quinoa Lapsi
Day 14 – Caprese Stuffed Portobello
Day 15 – Lentil and Carrot Kebabs
Day 16 – Bean and Veggie Pot Pies
Check out what other Mega Blogging Marathoners have made for Day 21: