Bhapa shondesh ( Steamed milk fudge ) for Remembrance day



The poppy is associated with Remembrance day. Poppies were the flowers that grew in the battlefields after the World War was over, hence poppies became a symbol to remember those who have lost loved ones because of wars.There is no poppy here, but the deep red colour of the Virginia creeper leaves, is definitely the closest I have with me today to mark the very symbolic day.

The agreement that ended the World War 1, was signed at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Canadians pause to to honour and remember the men and women who served and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace.

“Lest we forget” is a term synonymous to “We will remember them”. Written much before the World War this poem by Rudyard Kipling reminds us to put our trust in God. I leave you with a few lines from this beautiful poem.

“The tumult and the shouting dies;

The Captains and the Kings depart:

Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,

An humble and a contrite heart.

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

Lest we forget – lest we forget….”

Shondesh is a very popular sweet back home, a must in any important event. This is a cheat’s recipe, comes together in no time. Give it a try friends.



Ricotta cheese                     2 cups

Icing sugar                           1/3 cup

Saffron strands                     15-20

Cardamom powder                1 tsp


Strain the cheese to get rid of excess water. Mix the sugar and blend till smooth. I used a hand blender.

Grease a pyrex rectangular pot . Transfer this mixture. Put some saffron strands on top. Cover and steam for 30 minutes on medium heat.

Allow to cool. Put in in fridge for 30 minutes. cut in pieces. Enjoy!

Ricotta cheese shondesh golap jol diye: Rose flavoured ricotta cheese shondesh



Did we ever think that we would be in the midst of these unsettling times? Honestly who would ever have thought that the world would come to this? Travel ban, social distancing, restaurants closed, emergency services only! Well to top it all up I lost four years worth of my  food blog posts, my creations, part of me is gone. Gone forever. I definitely take the blame for it, if trusting someone one hundred percent is wrong.

IMG_1071     .

S T R E S S E D. To say the least. Try reversing the  word “Stressed”. See what we got? Desserts. Isn’t that a sign? I am taking this seriously and drowning myself in dessert making. Indian sweets in particular, where my weakness lies.


Here is another variation of the “Shondesh” or cheese fudge from my last post. Very similar except uses sugar instead of jaggery. I have added a delicate flavour too. Rose water. Delicate is the key word here. Adding more than needed ruins the flavour though.

Recipe; made 26 pcs using 1 Tbsp measure each


Ricotta cheese                             2 cup

Ghee                                          4 Tbsps

Sugar                                         1 cup

Milk powder                                1 cup

Rose water                                  1/2 tsp

Rose petals                                  1 tbsp

Pistachio slivers                           1 tbsp


Take the ghee in a flat bottomed non stick pan on low medium flame. Wait for it to melt then add the cheese, give it a nice mix. Add the sugar, milk powder and keep stirring making sure it does not catch the bottom of the pan, until the water evaporates and the mixture comes together, leaving the side of the pan, about 45 minutes. Add the rose syrup. Put the gas off.

Collect the mixture on a plate. Wait for it to cool a bit, such that it can be handled. Divide into about 18 pieces, about a table spoon measure for a portion. Grease both the palms, press the portion into a flat shondesh or if you have wooden molds, press the portion into a greased mold that has been sprinkled with rose petals and pistachio slivers. Gently remove them from the mold.

Stay calm and eat Shondesh!

Ricotta Cheese Patali gur Shondesh : Ricotta cheese jaggery milk fudge



Shondesh is a Bengali dessert. The relationship of shondesh to Bengali life is an emotional. one.


Be it the welcoming a new baby in the family, celebrating a relationship, new job, success in school or just because, these beauties are indispensable.

Traditioanlly milk is curdled, the whey is separated, the milk solids are collected. A sweetner, flavoring agent, garnish and some handcarved wooden molds is all that is needed..

In today’s busy life we are always look for easier, faster, and hassle free way to come up with these favourite desserts.


Ricotta cheese has been substituted for home made Cheese, bringing the preparation time down. the sweetening agent is a special jaggery available only during winter months.

Give the recipe a try and surprise your friends.

Recipe; made 9 pieces


Ricotta cheese                                    1 cup

Ghee                                                  2 Tbsp

Patali gur                                             1/2 cup

Milk powder                                         1/2 cup


Take the ghee in a flat non stick pan on a medium flame. When the ghee melts, add the cheese, mix nicely. Add the gur ( jaggery ), let it melt, then add the milk powder. Make sure it mixes properly and there are no lumps. Keep stirring until the water evaporates and the mixture comes together, about 15 minutes.

Put the gas off. Let the mixture cool a bit. When it is alright to handle, divide it into 9 portion. Grease the mold, press each portion into the mold and carefully take it out.

There you have it!


Aam Shawndesh : Mango and cheese fudge


By  Ratna

mango cheese fudge-6

“Botsorer  Aaborjona,  dur  hoye  jak,  Esho  esho”.  Let  go  of  the  clutter  of  the  yester  year,  welcome  the  new  year.  Thus  sang  our  poet  Tagore,  the  Nobel  laureate.  Leave  behind  all  the  disappointments  and  negativity,  let  those  tears  dry  out,  let  us  welcome  the  first  month of  the  new  year  like  a  breath  of  fresh  air.  We  celebrated  the  Bengali  new  year  recently.

There  are  signs  of  new  life  in  my  garden  too.  From  between  the  dead  and  decayed  twigs,  I  see  new  green  shoots  poking  their  heads.  Crocuses  are  everywhere  now.  Their  mauve  petals  proudly  cupping  the  precious  ‘Saffron’  inside.  The  promise  of  the  new..

mango cheese fudge-10mango cheese fudge-9

A  special  occasion  calls  for  a  special  treat.  I  created  these  ‘Shawndeshs’  for  this  special  day.  ‘Sandesh’,  ‘Sondesh’  call  them whatever  you  may,  these  little  cheese  fudge  are  very  close  to  a  Bengali  heart.  Childbirth  or  birthday,  weddings  or  anniversary,  new  job  or  new  house,  Shawndesh  takes  the  centre  stage.

mango cheese fudge-8mango cheese fudge-7

Traditionally  cheese  is  collected  by  separating  the  milk  and  the  whey.  The  cheese  is  then  mixed  with  sugar  or  jaggery.  Additional  flavours  are  added  sometimes  using  fruits  or  even  chocolates.

mango cheese fudge

This  mixture  is  then  shaped  either  by  hand  or  with  the  help  of  fancy  molds.  The  formless  cheese  mixture  is  then  given  a new  identity,  a  new  look.  Local  flowers,  fruits,  leaves,  whatever  the  folk  artist  chose  as  his  design  for  the  molds.

mango cheese fudge-6

Decorate  with  saffron  or  raisin  or  enjoy  them  as  is..

mango cheese fudge-5


Makes  22-24  pieces.  I  have  consulted  the  recipe  from  this  beautiful  blog  ‘A  Homemaker’s  diary’.  A  few  modifications  later  here  we  are,  Aam  Shawndesh  my  way.


Ricotta  cheese  (  Saputo  )                                     2  cups

Khoya  (  Milk  solids  )                                              1  cup,  crumbled

Mango  pulp                                                              1  cup

Sugar                                                                        3  tsps

Cardamom  powder                                                  1/4  th  tsp

Saffron  strands                                                         1/2  tsp

Ghee                                                                          1  Tbsp


Drain  the  Ricotta  cheese  of  the  water  through  a  cheese  cloth.  Add  the  mango  pulp  and  Khoya.  Put  this  mixture  in  a  deep  pan  on  low-medium  heat.  Keep  stirring  so  that  it  doesn’t  stick  to  the  bottom  of  the  pan.  Slowly  the  water  will  dry  out and  it  will  leave  the  sides  of  the  pan,  about  25  minutes.

Take  it  out  of  the  flame.  Add  the  sugar  and  cardamom  powder  and  mix  evenly.  Wait  till  it  comes  to  room  temperature.  Cover  it  with  Saran  wrap  and  place  it  in  the  fridge  for  about  an  hour.

Apply  some  Ghee  on  your  palm  and  gently  knead  the  dough  just  to  get  it  all  smooth.  You  can  divide  them  in  small  balls,  decorate  with  saffron  strands  and  enjoy  them.

If  you  have  molds,  grease  the  insides  and  keep  them  ready.  Pinch  a  tablespoon  of  dough,  knead  them  once  again  inside  your  fist  to  get  a  smooth  even  ball.  Press this  inside  the  mold,  even  out  the  sides.  Carefully  tease  it  out.  Decorate  with  saffron  strands  and  enjoy.

Inside  Scoop;

Khoya  or  milk  solids  is  available  in  Indian  grocery  store  or  the  World  food  section  in  Superstore.

Traditionally  Shawndesh  is  not  too  sweet.  Feel  free to  adjust  the  sweetness  to  your  liking.  Take  into  consideration  the  sweetness  of  the  mango  pulp.

Giving  them  shape  in  the  mold  could  need  a  bit  practise.  I  kept  Q  tip  handy  to  grease  the  inside  of  the  molds  and  to  clean  them  after  use.  If  the  imprint  did  not come  out  as desired,  do  not  despair.  Reshape  it  into  a  ball,  press    firmly  inside  your  palm  and  try  again.