Chocolate and Jaggery Sandesh

Sandesh. These moist yet flaky sweets ( excuse me but I have not been able to figure out the right adjective to describe a Sandesh ) of Bengali origin have a special place in my heart. While I never had much of a sweet tooth, but I cannot resist the lure of these beauties. Maybe it the beauty in their shapes or the amazing texture or even the low sugar content, I can never have enough of these. And I would promptly pester anyone coming from Calcutta to get a packet for me.

While the preparation itself is nothing much to talk about, the kneading time of the chenna and the cooking time play an important role in the final taste of the product. Most of us would be able to get it right with a few trials. Here is a very simple recipe that I refer to whenever I am in the mood for some low calorie cocoa indulgence. This is a sugar-free chocolate version of Sandesh.

Read on -





















Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -


  • 1/2 liter milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 3 tsp grated/powdered palm jaggery
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • few drops ghee to rub on the palm and the molds


Preparation - Bring the milk to boil on a medium flame in a thick bottomed vessel. Once it gets to a rolling boil, keep on the flame for another 2-3 minute.

Dilute the vinegar with 1/2 cup warm water.

Remove from flame and keep aside for 4-5 minutes. Add the diluted vinegar in one corner of the vessel till the milk shows signs of curdling. Using a spatula, mix the contents of the vessel thoroughly till the greenish water (whey) and milk solids (chenna) get completely separated. ( You might not need to add the entire cup of citric acid but use sufficient amount needed to split the milk )

Place a thin cloth on a metal strainer ( Do not use  plastic as the mixture is still very hot at this point ). Pour the contents of the vessel over it. Wash the chenna under running water for 2 minutes to remove all traces of citric acid. Bundle/gather the corners of the cloth and squeeze out all the water but do not squeeze too hard.
Hang it for 1 hour or till the chenna is dry.

Remove the cloth and place the chenna on your sanitised kitchen counter / chopping board. Start kneading it with the heel of your palms. Then gather the chenna into a ball and start kneading again. Do this for 10 minutes.

Now add the powdered jaggery and cocoa powder and knead again till completely incorporated.

Cooking - Heat a nonstick pan on low flame. Add the chenna mixture and spread it all over the bottom. Let it cook for 5-6 mins with regular stirring till any residual mositure evaporates.

Once the mixture starts to come together, remove from the stove and allow the dough mixture to cool down till it is just warm to touch.

Knead it again for 2-3 mins.

Break of small bits of the chenna dough and shape it using us fingers or use a mold.

Allow it to cool down.

Serve or keep refrigerated till consumption.


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