Festival calls for special celebrations and this coconut sandesh is the perfect treat for filling the memory with sweetness! Chewy coconut sweet for the celebration of our life!
I mentioned about our yearly festival ‘Dussera’ or ‘Durga Puja’ in one of my recent posts. As we get over with the ‘Dussera’ celebration, ‘Diwali’ starts knocking on our door. ‘Diwali’ is the Indian festival of lights and joy. Also ‘Diwali’ is particularly popular for sweets – yes, of course, Indian sweets!
There are uncountable varieties of Indian sweets and I made this coconut sandesh especially for ‘Dussera’. The primary ingredient of my coconut sandesh is obviously coconut as you can guess from the name. Coconut is available in abundance in the southern part of India and used in South Indian cuisine more than ever from sweet to savory dishes.
I liked the idea of coconut sandesh when I heard it from my mom-in-law. Sandesh is the name of the typical dry sweets which are majorly popular in the state of Bengal at the Eastern part of India and that is where I was born and brought up. The other type of Indian sweets are syrupy i.e. they are soaked or cooked in sugar syrup. I personally prefer sandesh i.e. dry sweets over the syrupy sweets and this coconut sandesh is definitely a winner for me even when I do not have a strong sweet tooth!
When I talk about ‘Bengal’, I must mention the universal love of Bengalis towards anything sweet. Rasogolla is the most popular Bengali sweet and you can lure any typical Bengali with it. Although I am a Bengali, I do not have such strong sweet tooth; but my better half is no exception. His love for sweets is pure and unconditional which gives me motivation to prepare this coconut sandesh at home.
Making Indian sweets involves some efforts and patience. In this recipe of coconut sandesh, you need to stir the coconut mixture continuously to avoid any burning and your hands will definitely start to ache; but when I see someone relishing my food, my heart feels content and my effort well paid-off! I am sure these delightful coconut sandesh will bring equal joy & happiness in your life too this festive season! Enjoy!
- Full fat milk – 1 liter
- Lemon – 2, medium
- Coconut – 1
- Milk – 500 ml [full fat is not necessary here]
- Granulated sugar – 200 gms
- Milk solids/khova – 200 gms
- Rose essence – ½ tsp
- Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
- Almonds to garnish – halved cross-sectional
- First we would prepare the cottage cheese from the milk. Bring the milk to a full boil. Add the juice of 2 lemons and lightly stir it. The cheese will start separating immediately leaving the greenish whey. Let it cool.
- Now put a large cheesecloth over a colander and pour the cheese along with the liquid. The liquid will drain out leaving only the cheese on the cheesecloth.
- Tie the opposite ends of the cloth and squeeze out as much water as possible. Then hang it for 2 hours so that any remaining water is drained out and you get only the solid cheese. Set aside.
- Grate the coconut and then grind it to a smooth paste adding half liter of milk gradually. Add granulated sugar to the coconut paste and give a final whiz to mix thoroughly.
- Transfer the coconut-sugar paste into a big bowl. Add the prepared cottage cheese breaking it into pieces.
- Add milk solids/khova to the coconut mixture and now blend everything well together. The mixture would be quite thin in consistency.
- Add cardamom powder and rose essence and mix thoroughly.
- Transfer the entire mixture into a large non-stick pan and keep stirring on low flame till the liquid evaporates and the mixtures looks like a sticky dough.
- Transfer the mixture into a greased baking dish and let it cool completely. Once cooled, refrigerate it for 8 hours so that it sets well.
- After it firms up, cut into your desired shape and garnish the coconut sandesh with almond halves. Enjoy!