Nolen Gurer Sondesh (or Cottage Cheese Fudge with Date Palm Jaggery) is a popular sweet from Bengal. This is a staple winter sweet in Bengal as nolen gur is available during this season. Gur Sandesh is prepared using freshly made chana or chena (homemade cottage cheese) and nolen gur (date palm jaggery).
Nolen gur evokes the memories of winter delicacies including gurer payesh, dudh pithe, gurer rosogolla, gurer kalakand, misti doi,nolen gurer icecream, and the list is endless.
During the winter, sweet stores sell a wide range of Bengali sweets made with nolen gur. We wait all year to relish this delectable treat.
What is Nolen Gur?
The word ‘Nolen Gur‘ is enough to bring back memories for all bongs. Nolen gur is made from khejurer ros, which is the sap of the date palm tree, and famous in West Bengal.
The gur, which is softer and golden in color, is named after the nol, or sap pipe, and comes from the word nolen, which means “new.”
The soft and liquid version of jaggery is also known as jhola gur. Patali are blocks formed from jaggery syrup that have been crystallized and pressed into moulds. Normally, when we visit home, we purchase these patali gur which is easy to carry and store.
What are the different flavors of Sondesh available?
Just like rosogolla, sondesh is also integral part of a bong’s life. Any occasions and celebrations are incomplete without these two delicacies.
I’ve been talking about sondesh so far, but now I’m going to talk about other varieties of sondesh. Sada sondesh (White sondesh) and Brown Sondesh were two words I used to utter when I was a kid. These are sondesh made with chini (sugar) and Nolen Gur (date palm jaggery).
Apart from the above varieties, other popular flavors of sondesh include rose sondesh, aam sondesh, kesar sondesh, two-in-one sondesh, etc.
How to make Nolen Gurer Sondesh Step-by-step?
Making of Chana (Homemade Cottage Cheese)
Heat milk in a thick bottom large pan. Reduce the heat when the milk is about to boil and add the vinegar one spoon at a time. Gently stir the milk. Increase the heat later, and the milk will curdle. Turn off the gas and set it aside to cool.
Pour the curdled milk into a muslin cloth; the whey can be saved for later. To remove the vinegar flavor, run the curdled milk under cold water. Squeeze off the excess water, then tie the loose ends of the muslin cloth and hang it to drain for half an hour.
Making of Nolen Gurer Sondesh
After that, place the chana in a dish and mash it with your palms until it is smooth. Meanwhile, in a wok, combine the grated jaggery with half cup of water and bring to a boil for a few minutes. There should be no lumps in the jaggery once it has been properly melted. Remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool.
Switch on the gas and add mashed chana to a wok. Add the melted jaggery to the chana and stir slowly over a low to medium flame to combine. Switch off the burner and allow the mixture to cool until the jaggery is mixed and the mixture begins to leave the sides of the wok.
After the mixture has cooled, place it in a blender and process for a few seconds to achieve a smooth texture. You can also knead it with your palms instead of blending it.
If the texture of the sondesh is soft and moist at this point, place it in a wok and heat for a few minutes. If not, Nolen gurer Sondesh is prepared.
You can now grease the moulds with ghee and shape them as desired, finishing with a raisin topping.
Can I make Gurer Sandesh using any jaggery?
No. You cannot use any jaggery to prepare this sondesh. Nolen gur has the specific flavor and texture, without this primary ingredient I would not recommend to make this sondesh. Instead, you can prepare sondesh with sugar.
Can I make Nolen Gurer Sondesh without mould?
Yes. You can follow the step-by-step recipe to prepare the gurer sandesh. Instead of using the mould you can make round balls rolling on your palm and garnish with raisin.
What is the shelf life of sondesh?
After preparing the sondesh, allow it to cool and put it in a clean airtight box. It remains good up to 2 weeks if stored in refrigerator.
More Bengali Sweet Dishes
Nolen Gurer Sondesh
- 2½ liter Full cream milk This yields around 500 gm cottage cheese or chana
- 2-3 tablespoon Vinegar
- 2 cups Date Palm Jaggery (Nolen Gur) Approx 200 gm, if block then grated, if liquid form then no need to grate
- ½ teaspoon Ghee greasing the mould
- 20 nos Raisins (optional)
- Heat milk in a thick bottom large pan.
- When milk is about to boil, lower the flame and slowly add vinegar one spoon at a time. Stir the milk gently.
- Later increase the flame and milk will be curdled.
- Switch off the gas and allow it to cool.
- Pour the curdled milk into a muslin cloth, you can collect the whey for later use.
- Now run the curdled milk under cold water to remove the flavor of vinegar.
- Squeeze the excess water and tie the loose ends of muslin cloth and hang it for half an hour to drain the excess water.
- After that take the chana in a plate and mash it using palm until the texture becomes smooth.
- Meanwhile, take grated jaggery in a wok and add ½ cup of water and boil for few minutes. Jaggery should be melted properly and there should not be any lump. Keep aside and allow it to cool.
- Now take a mashed chana in a wok and switch on the gas.
- Add the melted jaggery into the chana and slowly mix it by stirring under low to medium flame.
- Once the jaggery is combined and the mixture starts leaving the sides of the wok, switch off the gas and allow it to cool.
- After cooling take the mixture in a blender and blend it (few seconds) to get smooth texture. Instead of blending you can also knead it using palm.
- At this stage, if the texture of the sondesh is soft and contains moisture, take it in a wok and heat up for few minutes. If not then Sondesh is ready.
- Now you can grease the moulds with ghee and shape them as you want and garnish with raisin.
- Make sure the chana should not contain excess moisture.
- Before giving them shape, I would recommend to rest the sondesh in refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will help in giving different shapes using moulds.
- Instead of vinegar, you can use lemon juice to curdle the milk.
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