It is this time of the year we wait for throughout the year. Our biggest festival Durga Puja is here and we are in a celebration mood. Let me tell you Durga Puja is not a festival for the Bengalis only, and it will be unwise to call it a religious one. To prove my word, one needs to visit Kolkata/Bengal during this time. You can see in fervour and spirit, it is for all. Everyone takes part in the celebration. I can visualise the warmth, vigour, vibrance of my city sitting far off. Which ever part of the world we are, we try to create that ambience and indulge ourselves in the celebration, though not in the vigour but in spirit.
Celebration calls for a variety of food and indulging ourselves in them, sweets topping them all. Greetings are incomplete without sweets. Among us who ever visits home should be greeted with some 'mishtimukh'.... serving them sweet. During Durga Puja or any other festival, we prepare sweets, so that who ever comes, we can serve them those. They in turn feel the touch of warmth of homemade something. So I thought of preparing these easy to make sandesh filled with mango puree to wish everyone a very happy Durga Puja. We do not love to cook much on these 4 days, so these easy ones suits perfectly for the occasion. Let us do it.
INGREDIENTS :[for the filling]
Mango Pulp : 1medium cup
Condensed Milk : 1/2 small cup
INGREDIENTS :[for the cottage cheese]
Milk : 1lt
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Ice cubes : 1/2 cup
INGREDIENTS :[for the Sandesh base]
Cottage Cheese : As we get from 1lt milk
Sugar : 1/4 medium cup
Rice Flour : 1tbsp
Milk Powder : 1/4 medium Cup
Ghee : 1tbsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Let us get the filling ready. Mix the mango pulp and condensed milk together and blend it in a blender.
Now preparing the cottage cheese. Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and bring to boil stirring constantly. As it comes to boil, switch off and add the lemon juice. The milk curdles. Add the ice cubes to avoid hardening of the cheese too much.
Drain the water from the cheese through a clean piece of cloth. Tie and squeeze it. Hang it to get rid of the excess water.
Take the cottage cheese in a wide mouthed bowl and keep mashing for 10-12 minutes. Add the milk powder and rice flour. Mash for further 5-6 minutes.
Heat the ghee in a wok. Keep heat at lowest. Add the cottage cheese. Keep stirring continuously for about 8-10 minutes. Add the sugar and fold in well.
Keep stirring till it binds together well and tend to come out of the wok base. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.
Take in a plate and let cool. Shape into roundels making pockets . Fill the pockets with the filling with a spoon.
Enjoy fresh or can store up to 1 day in the refrigerator.