Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Diwali! Recipe: Sweet Sandesh

Happy Diwali friends! I wish you all a happy, healthy & prosperous new year. Diwali is undoubtedly the most festive day in the Indian year, traditionally celebrated with sweets, fireworks, and prayers to Goddess Laxmi. It is known as the Festival of Lights, as it is the symbol of good conquering evil. Hindus celebrate because Diwali is the day that Ram returned to Ayodhya after 14 solitary years in exile, and Jains celebrate because today is the day that Lord Mahavir attained nirvana. 

I took the day off today to celebrate Diwali, spend time with Little J, and cook for our feast tonight (more on that in another post...). It's been productive so far! I made a traditional Indian sweet called sandesh, and I varied it by making three flavors -- orange, chocolate and coconut. YUM. I really don't know how to make many Indian sweets, but luckily, this one happens to be my favorite and is easy to make.

                


Flavored Sandesh
Ingredients:
Gallon of Whole Milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
Cheese cloth/strainer

for orange sandesh: orange flavoring, chopped almonds for garnishing, pinch of saffron
for coconut sandesh: 1/2 cup coconut shavings, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
for chocolate sandesh: 1/3 cup chocolate powder, chocolate chips for garnishing



Method:
Boil the milk in a large pot over medium heat
Just as it begins to boil, add the lemon juice to curdle the milk
Once the milk curdles, turn off the heat and prepare to move quickly


Strain the liquid through a sieve and wash the curdled milk with cold water to get rid of the lemon taste

Take the curdled milk and tie it in a cheese cloth, squeezing extra hard to get rid of all liquid 

  


Separate your curdled milk into three parts for the 3 flavors

for the orange: add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp orange flavor, pinch of saffron, and blend in food processor until you get a  smooth and creamy texture that you can mold into balls 


for the coconut: add 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of coconut shavings, and blend in food processor until you get a  smooth and creamy texture that you can mold into balls 

for the chocolate: add 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup chocolate powder and blend in food processor until you get a  smooth and creamy texture that you can mold into balls 


3 flavor mixtures before shaping into balls
    
shape into flat balls, and garnish as you please! here's a closeup of mine




which one is your favorite? mine is definitely the orange.

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