Spring is here and so are all the New Years that’s celebrated in all different regions of India. This recipe is the quick method to make these popular sweet fudgy cheese treats or ‘Shondesh’. ‘Sandesh’ or ‘Shondesh’ is a popular sweet treat from eastern India (Bengal) and comes in a variety of flavors. The main ingredient is milk. That’s made into fresh cheese which is then cooked with flavors to make different types of ‘shondesh’. My recipes for making these sweet treats is here:
Recipe for cheese for ‘shondesh’ is here.
Recipe for Rose Sandesh is here.
Since making these sweet fudgy treats can be a multiple step process, especially making fresh cheese, here’s a super quick method to make Shondesh, that too, flavored with Saffron or Zaffraan.
Ingredients you will need:
- 4 lb ricotta cheese (I used Lucerne ricotta cheese)
- 2 cups (approx) organic granulated cane sugar
- 4 tbsp whole milk, hot
- 10-12 strands of saffron
- ½ tsp powdered cardamom (optional)
Method for cooking
- In a small bowl, add the hot milk and saffron strands. Let the strands soak and release the flavor and color. Keep aside.
- Coat a rectangular baking pan with clarified butter or ghee and keep aside.
- Bring a large bottom pan to heat. Add the ricotta cheese to this. Mix and let this cook for 5 mins.
- Add half the sugar. Combine and cook for another 10 mins on low medium heat. The cheese will start becoming loose after the sugar combines well. It will no longer stick to the spatula. Taste a bit, if you want it to be sweeter, add more sugar. Keep stirring this mixture to avoid it from stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the cardamom powder. Cook for another 10 mins, stirring constantly. The loose consistency will start to tighten.
- When the mixture starts reducing in size, add the saffron milk and cook some more. The final mixture should be like cookie dough, it should stick to your spatula when stirring. It is not fluid and loose at all.(The entire cooking process may take 45 mins to an hour, but is well worth it!)
- Turn off heat. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Spread out evenly. Let this cool completely. Then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before cutting the Sandesh into desired pieces.