Bengali people and their cuisine are all about sweetness. Whether it is roshogulla or mishti doi, every dessert of this region is worth praising. You don't have a sweet tooth if you haven't tried Bengali sweets. Sweets have a part to play in the region's culture and history. Shondesh or sandesh has a fine balance of sugar and chhena which melts in the mouth. The name 'Sandesh' means a message. The dessert was idealistically used as a gift or as they say 'shubh sandesh' meaning good news. The ritual of sending a box of sandesh to families and friends during festivals is perhaps what makes the sweet so special. Or, its mention in many medieval Bengali literary works and its deliciousness.

Origin of Sandesh

Its history dates back to the 16th century. Sandesh was originated in Bengal. Sandesh has an optimum level of sweetness and it is flavourful.  The prominent taste of chhena in sandesh wasn't there from the beginning. It was the Portuguese who taught us to make chhena and use as the base in Sandesh. Earlier sandesh used to be made using kheer.

How is it made?

It's mainly a two ingredients recipe. Chhena or cottage cheese and sugar are required for preparing this sweet. Chhena along with sugar is cooked on medium flame. After cooling, the mixture is given various shapes though the classic one is a round ball-like shape. There are various other ways of making sandesh. Makha shondesh is not given shape and is made using jaggery. Noram Paker shondesh is softer while Korapaker Shondesh is rough comparatively.