In India, a varied array of mangoes is available during the summer months and people throng the markets to get a big batch to bring back home. A plate of chilled cut mangoes after a meal serves as a dessert, but if you’re a bit creative you may whip up different desserts with the king of fruits, i.e. mangoes and make it more special. We will be having some guests over to our place this weekend for the upcoming Bengali New Year, Naboborsha. Sonali has planned to make delicious and healthy Aam (or Mango) Sandesh on a special day. Here’s the recipe, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths. Subho Noboborsho to one and all!
In India, the summer has already made a grand entry and it is getting warmer with each passing day. Summer in India is gruesome but one of the incentives that it brings along with is the mangoes! A varied array of mangoes is available during the summer months and people throng the markets to get a big batch to bring back home. A plate of chilled cut mangoes after a meal serves as a dessert, but if you’re a bit creative you may whip up different desserts with the king of fruits, i.e. mangoes and make it more special.
We will be having some guests over to our place this weekend for the upcoming Bengali New Year, Naboborsha and I have planned to prepare an elaborate Bengali spread for lunch! For dessert, I have made this Aam Sandesh, which I think will be at par with the Bengali menu. The Sandesh tastes so delicious that I need to make another batch for the party!
Aam Sandesh or mango fudge is made with homemade paneer known as chhena. The recipe is quite simple with very few ingredients. The Sandesh comes out perfect with no added flavors or color. Mildly sweet and melt in the mouth Sandesh is sure to please the taste buds.
Subho Nobobarsha to all!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Other Time: 30 minutes Yield: 10-12 pieces
4 cups (1 liter) whole milk
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1 medium ripe mango
4 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup milk powder (optional)
2-3 green cardamoms
1 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios (for garnish)
1-2 Sandesh moulds
Heat the milk at medium high, stirring occasionally. Once the milk starts to boil, lower the flame and gradually add the vinegar. Stir gently. The milk starts to curdle and separates from the cheese. Strain the liquid through a strainer lined with a cheesecloth. Bring all the sides of the cheesecloth together and tie a knot. Hang for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and the mango in chunks. Blend to form a smooth pulp. Crush the cardamoms in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
After 30 minutes, transfer the cheese or chhena to a plate and knead well with the heel of your palms to make a smooth dough. Transfer the cheese dough to a pan along with the sugar and mango pulp. At medium-low heat, cook the mixture stirring continuously to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and starts to leave the sides of the pan. Add the milk powder and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a large plate and let it cool for some time.
When the mixture is cool enough to handle, start to knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Divide into 10-12 portions. Take each portion and press lightly onto a Sandesh mold and gently take out of it. Place the Sandesh on a butter paper lined plate. Repeat with the rest of the portions. Garnish with finely chopped pistachios. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!
The Sandesh tastes great when fresh. Store the leftover Sandesh in an airtight container for a couple of days in the fridge. Bring the sadness to room temperature before serving. The amount of sugar in the recipe depends on the sweetness of the mango. If the mango is not too sweet, you may add a couple of tablespoons of sugar. If you do not have moulds, you may just roll into balls and slightly flatten them between your palms.
Photos by the author
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Sonali Chakraborty is a food blogger, self-taught food photographer and stylist. She is a true Bong at heart. She loves to travel and listens to music.