A Bengali Delicacy -Bhapa or Steamed Sandesh
Bhapa Sandesh ( Steamed Sandesh) is very famous sweet in West Bengal . Sweet plays a important role in Bengali Cuisine . We Bengalis call sweet as ‘Mishti’. Almost all Bengalis have a sweet tooth. Though I do not like to eat sweet , instead of eating it I love to make it . Sandesh or Sondesh (Bengali ponunciation ) is an authentic Bengali delicacy . In Bengal , we make sweet specially with chhena or sweetened cottage cheese. First of all Chhena is made by cutting down boiling cow’s milk along with lemon juice . Second Chhena is strained through a muslin cloth covered strainer and the excess water is drained out . Finally we use it to make a varity of Bengali sweet .
Sandesh or Sondesh
I am not sure from where the name of this sweet came , therfore I can guess that the name of this sweet came from the word ‘ Sandesh’ . In Bengali , sandesh means message or new . It is our tradition to send sweets as gift or going someone’s house with some sweets . I spent my entire childhood eating a variety of Bengali sweet in West Bengal . Now I stay in Bangalore , far away from my native . Here It is very difficult of getting Bengali sweets easily , therefore I try to make different sweet at home to fulfill sweet craving of my family . Along with many Bengali sweets me and my family love to eat sandesh or sondesh. Sandesh is a sweet made with using chhena like many other Bengali sweet . The making of sandesh is very simple and can be made from readily available ingredients in your home kitchen too . We can see a variety of sandesh in West Bengal .
What is Bhapa or Steamed Sandesh
Bhapa sandesh is an another variety of sandesh . In Bengali , bhapa means steam , so this sweet is made by steaming the chhena . The main part of making this sweet is kneading the chhena dough . It decides the texture , but too much kneading can ruin the texture . To conclude , I want you all to try this dish and let me know your feedback .
It Is Easy To Make
The texture of Bhapa Sandesh is vey spongy . It is normally cooked in a pressure cooker or in a open pan filled with water (in steam method) . To make Bhapa Sandesh we have to make first chhena from milk . It is easy to make , melt in mouth , moreover it is a delicious sweet . Sweet is considered as high calorie food as it contains sugar, however as a Bengali it is very tough to stay away from sweet or our beloved ‘ Mishti ‘ .
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Author– Moumita Malla
Cuisine – Bengali
How to make Bhapa or Steamed SandeshPrint This
Ingredients to make chhena
- Milk- 1 litre
- Lemon Juice – Juice of 1 full lemon
- Powdered sugar – 1/4 cup
- Ghee – 1 teaspoon
- Rose water – 1 teaspoon
- Saffron strand – few
- Take a heavy bottomed vessel, pour milk.
- Bring the milk to boil and keep stirring to avoid burning of milk .
- Once the milk comes to boil, simmer the gas , start adding lemon juice and keep stirring ( if required , add more lemon juice ) .
- Cook for few seconds until the milk solids get separate from the water . This water is called whey water , it is good for health . You can use it for making any curry or kneading your roti dough . Switch off the heat .
- Pour this curdled milk to the already lined muslin cloth or thin cotton cloth over a strainer , squeeze out all the whey water then rinse paneer or cottage cheese under the tap water as much as possible. If you do not rinse the chena or paneer properly ,you will get the smell of lemon while having sandesh .
- Now hang the cloth covered chhena with tap for 30 minutes. Then remove it from tap . It will help to squeeze more water from chhena or paneer .
- After that , remove the cloth from the chhena.
- The chhena should not have too much moisture nor be too dry .
- Take the chhena in a wider plate .
- Add powdered sugar , mix them with chhena and then begin to knead for 5 minutes .
- Knead it well with your palms for 8 to 10 minutes to get smooth texture .
- Mix rose water with , knead it another 2 minutes well with your palms to get smooth texture .
- This kneading process is very important and it decides the texture of sandesh .
- Take a big pan , place a steel plate in the middle of the pan.
- Place the tiffin box or container on the steel plate . When we keep the tiffin box or container on the steel plate,then the box or steel container will not be floated into the water .
- Pour water into the pan till the level where water reaches below the lid of the tiffin box or container .
- Cover the wok with lid , and bring the water to boil on high flame .
- When the water will be started boiling reduce the gas to medium . Cook on medium flame for 15 minutes.
- Switch off the gas and remove the tiffin box or container from water carefully as water is hot .
- Let it cool down , remove the lid , your Bhapa Sandesh is ready .
- Cut the sandesh into small pieces .
You can make it in a pressure cooker also . Place pressure cooker ring or small steel plate in it . Add 1 cup water and place the container carefully on the steel plate or ring . Cover the cooker's with lid . But don't put the pressure regulator weight over the vent pipe . Let it cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes.
Step By Step Photos Of Making Bhapa or Steamed Sandesh