A popular Bengali sweet, Sandesh is a humbler cousin of the sweet, syrupy rasgulla and ras malai. We’ve tried to make a low-fat version of the same using sweetness of a pulpy fruit and honey rather than sugar. We use banana but peach, fig or apple can be used. Make sure to balance the sweetness of the juice with honey.
Add vinegar to boiling milk. The milk will curdle. Drain the whey and keep the paneer aside to cool.
When cool, make sure there’s no moisture in the paneer. Using the heel of the hand rub till it reaches a smooth crumble.
Peel and mash the banana with kewda water and honey.
Add the paneer and mix till it makes a sticky dough. Shape into bite-size pieces, one inch thick.
Flatten lightly and wrap in ground almonds. Garnish with almond flakes.
Traditionally, the creamy sweet shreekhand, a Gujarati dish, is eaten as an accompaniment, especially with puris. We’ve pulled it out of the main course to serve as a light sweet ending to your meal, leaving out the cream and sugar.
Hang yoghurt in clean dish towel or muslin cloth, for 2-3 hours to drain the whey.
Roughly chop almonds, cashews and pista. In a non-stick frying pan lightly toast the nuts. Keep aside to cool.
Put the hung yoghurt in a mixing bowl. Add rose water, honey, saffron-soaked milk, raisins and most of the rose petals. Add nuts but retain some for garnishing. Mix well.
Serve individually in glass dishes, topped with toasted nuts and rose petals. Chill before serving.
— Recipes adapted by Manjari Saxena/ Deputy Editor The weekend tabloid!