Melt-in-Your-Mouth 'Kaacha Golla' Sandesh Recipe

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Remember how I had mentioned that there was some Bengali influence around me?

Well, this is the result of one of those influences. One of the most famous sweetmeat recipes from East India is the Sandesh.

Now, Sandesh is also the word that means 'message' in Hindi' but for Bengalis, it singularly means this melt-in-your-mouth dessert. Made from thickened cottage cheese and sugar, this is a slight variation from the usual Sandesh sweets that you might get in the shops in India.
In this recipe, I don't reduce the cottage cheese over the fire -- which improves the storage time of this sweet by almost a week.

Instead, it's strained and kneaded soon after the milk turns to cottony cottage cheese, therefore, 'kaacha golla' (transliterates from Bengali to 'raw balls' -- lol IKR?). Which is why it's best to make this when you have a house full of people who can finish it within a day.


Now, you could roll them into balls (hee hee) and then use a fork to make it look like bird feet (Disney pie-making anyone?) but the traditional style is to use one of the molds (pictures below), also called 'Chhaapa' as I was told emphatically to call it.


So, here it is, the softest and 'disappears-on-your-tongue' recipe for 'Sandesh'

MELT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH 'KAACHA GOLLA' SANDESH RECIPE

Ingredients

Cow's Milk, 1 liter
Lemon Juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons
Cornflour, 1 teaspoon
Caster sugar, 2 tablespoons
Vanilla essence, 5-6 drops OR Vanilla Extract, 2 teaspoons  

Storage Instructions
Consume within 24 hours
Does not refrigerate well  

Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, boil the milk and when it's bubbling, add in the lemon juice. Stir it well. 
  2. Keep stirring to make sure all the milk has curdled and the whey has separated itself. Switch off the burner.
  3. Pour it onto a fine mesh strainer that's been placed over an empty bowl. Though it's tempting, DON'T press down on the cottage cheese. Let it sit for a half hour or until most of the whey has separated.
  4. Turn over the contents of the strainer onto a plate and add the cornflour and sugar. 
  5. Here's the tricky part. You need to either need it or if you wanted to go the traditional route, use a mortar and pestle, or a 'sheel nora'. Do not use a blender. It needs the 'crushing' movement to be super-soft. I prefer to knead the cottage cheese dough since it has the least wastage when compared to the mortar and pestle. 
  6. Knead it against the plate for about 15 minutes (it's laborious but worth it). 
  7. Roll the dough into balls or use molds. Eat within a day. 
  8. Yenjai!
...o0o...
Ray, out! Peace!

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