2 liters or 8 ½cupsMilkFull-fat whole milk (preferably cow’s milk)
2-3tablespoonsLemon juiceOr vinegar
Pistachioschopped for garnishing
Prepare a sieve for straining: line a large fine-mesh sieve with several layers of cheese cheesecloth or use man’s handkerchief or thin cotton cloth. Set over a large bowl.
Pour the milk in a heavy bottom pan or patila. Heat the milk over medium heat and let it come to a full boil, stirring frequently.
Once it starts boiling, turn off the heat and remove it from the heat. Add lemon juice and keep stirring.
As you stir, you will notice that milk has starts to curdle. If it does not curdle, then you can add more lemon juice. But do not add too much at the beginning.
You will see the greenish whey and milk solids(chenna) are separated. Drain and separate them using a prepared strainer.
Then wash the chenna under running cold water, so all the sourness from lemon juice/vinegar will wash away. Also, as it cools down, it stops further cooking and prevents it from becoming chewy.
Now gather the edges of the cloth, tie and twist, press lightly to remove all the moisture.
Chenna is ready
Making sandesh sweet:
Take prepared chenna to a plate.
Start kneading with the help of your palm and keep kneading till it gets smooth and comes together like a dough. It took me about 4-5 minutes.
Now add sugar to the smooth, kneaded chenna.
Again knead it well to incorporate the sugar. It will become sticky yet smooth. No more bigger sized milk granules left. Alternately you can do this kneading step in a food processor.
Take the chenna sugar mixture into the pan and turn the heat on medium-low.
Continue cooking with stirring constantly. This step is crucial, cook for only 4-5 minutes no more than that. Do not overcook it otherwise it becomes crumbly.
Remove the cooked mixture to a plate, spread it for quicker cooling. Let it cool down till it becomes warm.
While it is still warm, start kneading it till it becomes smooth and comes together like a dough ball.
Now take a small portion and start shaping into a patty or peda like. You can use store-bought moulds to shape them.
Garnish with chopped pistachios.
*Sugar: from 2 liters of milk I got 350 grams of chenna. Depending on the quality of the milk, you will get more or less amount of chenna. So according to how much you get, adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe.If your sugar has big granules, then powder it into the grinder before using it.Overcooking the chenna-sugar mixture will ruin the dish. The mixture will dry out and becomes crumbly, chewy. Then you will not be able to shape sandesh. So be very careful.We are cooking to get rid of the raw edge of the chenna. We are not looking for any color, texture change.