This is Sayandesh!
It marks our friendship, of borrowing from each others culture and making it our own.
It was two years ago that Sayantani and me had decided to meet at the Durga puja in Kormangala, Blr. We both lived there at the time, but for some reason we missed each other by a few hours and did not meet. Ever since we have always wanted to meet in person but now she lives in Kolkata and I in Mumbai but friendship knows no boundaries. It is entirely credit to Sayantani the sweetheart that she is. She keeps in touch inspite of her busy schedule as a mother with a growing child and demands on the home front.
Some time ago I made sandesh from her blog and shaped them into plain ovals. She saw them on my Fb page and commented that I deserved some sandesh moulds! She offered to send me these special stone moulds and I accepted the showering of love without the least resistance. There are those genuine people whom you can allow that entry into your coterie, she is one of them.
I was thrilled to open a packet of these goodies that you see below. Carefully packed was a Speedpost from Kolkata, a jar of Pyaraki (I love the sound of it). the raw mango and pineapple relish, a table cloth a sling pouch and those priceless stone sandesh chachch.
This packet arrived at the time when on a foodie group we were discussing about family heirlooms and preserving traditions! It was fun doubled when Preeti announced that she too had received her packet delivered in Pune at her Mom's. Immediately we decided that to have a Sandesh fest and name it after Sayantani, so you see the Sayandesh here!
This Sayandesh is special because though it looks like Nolen gurer sandesh, it is not. I am using Sayantani's original recipe here. This one is made using Dark jaggery from Gondavle, Satara. Anything from Gondavle is special for me. Bengal meets Maharashtra in this Sandesh. That is how it is for us friends. Preeti and me waited till the sandesh moulds flew to UK and then we synced this sandesh making, she in her English kitchen and me in my Mumbai one. We both dedicated the creations to our dear friend Sayantani.
1 liter Full fat milk
Juice of ½ a lime
2 tbsp Powdered sugar
4 tbsp Dark Jaggery from Maharashtra
Preparing the chenna or cottage cheese
Boil the milk.
To the boiling milk add the lime juice. Keep boiling till all the milk solids clump up and the clear whey separates out.
In a large bowl place a large sieve. Line it with muslin cloth. Pour the curdled milk into to the cloth. The whey will drain away into the bowl and the solids will remain on the cloth.
Wash it under water to remove the traces of lime juice. Leave it to drain completely for 1-2 hrs.
Remove the cottage cheese ball on a counter after completely solidified. Knead for 10 mins to smoothness. Press with the heel of the palm to get rid of the graininess.
Mix in the sugar and jaggery and then knead.
Then remove this mixture into a non stick pan and put it on heat. Keep stirring till you see the mixture leaving the sides of the pan. It takes about 5 mins.
Let it cool till you can handle it. Lightly oil the sandesh moulds. Shape into marble sized balls. Press them on the moulds to imprint the designs. Separate from the molds and place on to a serving plate.
Enjoy at room temp or chilled either ways you will be transported into old world Bengal...
This post is incomplete if I do not share a little thing that came in the parcel as packing (involuntarily) is a doodle by Sayantani, it is her signature and that's who she is!