A tropical, festive look and taste have been given here to traditional Bengali sweet Sondesh by making them in the shape of mini Pineapples. Adorned by betel leave scales, now you can eat them too. These Pineapple Sondesh would be a perfect treat for your family if you’re planning something new to make on the day of Poila Boishakh (Bengali New Year). 🙂
This recipe was published in Better Homes Gardens Of India’s Festive special issue last year(October 2017).
Yields- 12 pieces
- Full cream milk- 1½ liter
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Caster Sugar/White sugar (powdered)- 90g
- Yellow food colour- Few drops
- Pineapple essence- 1 tsp
- Pistachios (chopped)- For sprinkling on top
- Pan patta/Betel leaves- 4 (to make the pineapple leaf scales)
In a deep bottomed pan Add milk. Let it boil on high heat, once boiled lower the heat. Add lemon juice. Stir well; the milk will begin to curdle. Cottage cheese/chena and whey will start to separate at this stage. Add some water (1/2 cup) immediately. Give this a quick boil on high heat, again lower the heat. This way all the milk fat will separate nicely from the whey. And at the end, you will get to see clear whey. Line a big bowl with muslin cloth/cheese cloth. Drain the whole cheese+whey mixture on this. Now tie the loose ends of the cheesecloth and place it under running water to wash away the lemony smell. Squeeze it well to discard the extra water from chana/cottage cheese. Care should be taken not to dry the chana completely, it should be moist.
Transfer the cheese to a clean plate, knead it by using your palm mostly for the next 10 minutes or until very smooth and lump-free. Now add food colour, sugar and pineapple essence into this. Mix and knead again for 3-4 minutes.
Heat a nonstick frying pan, add the cheese mixture into this. Cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes. The mixture will be very soft while cooking, but it will harden when cooled. Don’t overcook otherwise the sondesh dough will be dry and at the time of sondesh making they wouldn’t hold the shape, may crack also.
Now remove from the heat. Start making sondesh from the warm dough. Take a small portion from the dough and shape between your palms and make Sondesh with 1/3 inch thickness. With a toothpick, make criss-cross pattern on top of each sondesh. Do this immediately after completing one sondesh making. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios on top.
To give a festive look to Pineapple Sondesh, cut betel leaves in the shape of small pineapple leaf scales. Place the pieces of betel leaves just below the sondesh and make them appear like pineapple scales.
Serve cold or at room temperature.