Taste some Gulab Pati Sandesh of Barishal?
My ancestors are from Barishal, Bangladesh, and we shifted to Kolkata in the ’40s. My grandfather and grandmother started to live in Hooghly district. They had a family of four sons and three daughters. They all grew up in a South Kolkata locality. When I was seven years old, and visited my grandmother, I used to enjoy the taste of this amazing sweet, which only needed four to five simple ingredients to make, But the taste would be so fabulous that even today I haven’t forgotten the taste.
As I grew up, I thought of experimenting with these ingredients and recreate that sweet that my Grandma used to make at home. In the beginning, I failed to recreate the taste and then boom one day it was on our plate and everybody loved it so much, that since that day whenever there is a special occasion at home, I tried to recreate the recipe, be it a Buddhist prayer meet or Ashtami of Durga Puja. These sweets are made from pure chhenaa which I prepared by curdling the milk. Then I added cardamom powder, freshly made from six pods and sugar. Then came the rose petals and a few strips of Saffron for the garnishing. However, these garnishings were not done during my grandma’s time.
Chhena by curdling milk at home, Sugar, Cardamom powder, Saffron, Rose petals
KEEP YOURSELF COOL THIS SUMMERY SPRING!
• Make the chhena at home by curdling milk.
• Put it in makhmal cloth for at least 3-4 hours to dry it.
• After the water is drained out, put it in a kadhai on slow flame and add sugar, cardamom powder and saffron to it.
• Let it cook for at least 20 mins till all the water evaporates and let it cool.
• After that you have to use your palm to smash the chenna with time this is the hardest part because you need love and care and take a bit of it and gradually shape it into round or flat balls.
• Put the sugar water coated rose petal on it. The Gulab Pati Sandesh is ready.