Thursday, 5 March 2015

BHAPA SANDESH / STEAMED SANDESH


'ORE GRIHABASHI,KHOL,DWAR KHOL,LAGLO JE DOL,
STHALE JALE BONOTALE LAGLO JE DOL,
DWAR KHOL,DWAR KHOL.'
Lines from Tagore's one of the famous songs on holi....For Bengalis, today is Holi...we call Dol Purnima....for rest of India...its tomorrow. The above lines call for all to open their door and play with colours...for everywhere on earth, the carnival of colours have started. Hope many of you know how merrily and colourfully it is played at SHANTINIKETAN....Tagore's abode of peace n harmony. A century back, he conceived of a different theory of education...where education would not be confined to the four walls of a classroom...but to be perceived in the nature's lap, bringing forth the hidden qualities of the students....they will learn what they wish to....hence his dream university came up....Shantiniketan ..with financial assistance  coming from every corner of the world. Needless to say  actually how many talents were its alumni....from world famous sculptors to politicians to economists to scientists....singers, dancers. It is situated in the small township of Bolpur, West Bengal. There people flock in numbers to be a part of the Holi celebration through dance, drama, songs and gulal.....you know the magic of colours?...it paints you with happiness, merrymaking, erasing pain, if you have any. I had been to Shantiniketan, but not during holi. I wish to be there once on this occasion, be a part of the merrymaking, perhaps meet people who suddenly got lost long ago without even leaving a goodbye message....I believe, I will when the last strand of my hair turns grey. Well, before I try to feed you with foolish stories lets stop and try to come back in track.

My childhood memories of holi is not good. Our neighbourhood was not so congenial for a girl to play holi.  Yes, I mean it.I was brought up in a very well guarded manner by my mother who never allowed me to play holi outside and she was right doing so. After marriage, in my Kolkata neighbourhood I really did enjoy holi with lovely friends, jalebi, kachori-dum aloo and yes bhang....tastes amazing. No I am not putting up the recipe of bhang today, nor of jalebi which I find difficult. Here for you an easy sweet recipe, called BHAPA SANDESH. The introduction was getting lengthier, so did not put up the legend that goes behind the celebration of holi.....may be next year. As of now let me put up a sweet recipe for holi and gear up for the grand Holi Celebration at work tomorrow with a grand lunch spread!!

INGREDIENTS :
Milk : 2 litres
Lemon : 1
Ice Cubes : 4
Sugar : 1 cup[small]
Green Cardamom : 1tsp
Raisins : 1 for each sandesh [preferably pistachios]
Oil : 2drops

METHOD :
Lets prepare the chena or the cottage cheese first. Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and put on heat.

Get the juice from the lemon. As the milk comes to boil, pour in the lemon juice.

The milk will curdle. Immediately add the ice cubes to prevent the cheese to harden further.

Once it cools, strain the cottage cheese through a clean white cloth. Wash the chena while in the cloth itself to do away with the lemon smell.

Tie the cloth along with the chena and hang for at least 30-40 minutes.

Now transfer the cheese into  a wide mouthed bowl. Add the sugar. Crush the cardamom seeds and add to the mixture. Start mashing with your palm till it smoothens and your palm gets oily. This will take about 15-20 minutes.

Take a square microwave proof container. Grease with 2 drops of oil. Put in the cheese mix and spread evenly.

Take another microwave proof container bigger in size and fill with water less than half of it. Put the square container on it.

Microwave at high for 4-5 minutes. Take out after few minutes.

Cut into diamond or square shapes and garnish as you wish!!





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