Yet another popular Bengali Sweet is the “Malai Sandwich” Like any other Bengali sweet, this is also made using Chenna(fresh cottage cheese) and sugar syrup but with an add-on of a stuffing. The simple add-on makes this dish absolutely outstanding. Are you thinking which add-on I am talking about? Yes! your right… Its the stuffing of khoya (evaporated milk)
This dish is too good to resist. The khoya stuffed in between the prepared chenna simply makes you drool. I have added edible food colour to the chenna to make it more appealing. You can simply eliminate it if you do not like using food colours.
The first time I tried these, it was a major flop show. Though the chenna was soft and juicy, I goofed up with the stuffing. In the recipe I followed, I had read that the khoya has to be mixed with powdered sugar and I promptly did that. The resultant was a dough which was like a chapathi dough. As it was my first time I thought what I was doing is right and went ahead with the stuffing. After refrigeration, the stuffing was so hard to even break. Haha !!!
The next time I nailed it ! What I did is,I mixed khoya/mawa with sugar syrup and mixed it to a cheese spread consistency and spread them in between the chenna. That was so perfect 🙂
Full fat whole milk – 1 litre
Curd/Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Ice cold water – 1 litre
Ice cubes – a few
Raspberry edible food colour or red food colour – few drops
For Sugar syrup:
Sugar – 1 1/2 cup
Water – 3 cups
Rose water – 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
For stuffing :
Unsweetened Khoya/Mawa / Evaporated milk – 200 gms
Sugar syrup – adjust accordingly
Pistachios – finely chopped
Silver warq – 1 sheet
Part 1 : Making chenna
Part 2 : Making Sugar syrup
Part 3: Cooking the prepared chenna
Part 4 : Khoya stuffing
Part 1 : Making chenna
- In a deep pan, boil 1 litre milk and simmer the flame to lowest.
- Add 1/2 cup curd and wait for it to curdle
- Mix well and keep stirring till the chenna separates from the whey (the green water)
- Turn off the gas
- Add Ice cubes and Ice cold water and let it stay for few minutes.
- Now strain using a muslin cloth and discard the whey(you can also reuse them in making chapathi dough replacing water with this whey)
- Pack it tight in the muslin cloth and hang it to a hook in your kitchen to drain out the excess water.
- Do not keep for more than 25-30 minutes. We need a moist chenna and not a totally dehydrated chenna
- Now put the chenna on your kitchen platform or in a flat plate and knead continuously for 5 minutes or till they are soft enough and form a soft dough.
- Add few drops of Raspberry red food colour and knead gently.
Part 2 : Making sugar syrup
- While you are kneading the dough, you can place sugar and water in a wide and deep mouthed vessel and place them on a stove top
- On medium flame bring the mixture to boil
- Add cardamom powder and rose water
- Make sure all the sugar dissolves well
Part 3 : Making chenna balls and cooking
- After kneading the chenna for 5 minutes you will see a soft mass which is the freshly prepared cottage cheese
- Now make little big round shaped balls with your palms and flatten it.
- Set them aside on a plate
- The size should be just right
- Now slowly slide in these chenna balls into the boiling sugar syrup.
- Add the flattened balls one after the other and not at ones
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium flame for 15 minutes with occasionally stirring them carefully.
- Make sure you do not break them and are as careful as you can.
- You will notice that the chenna has doubled in its size
- Cook for 2-3 minutes more with the lid closed
- Turn off the gas and let them cool completely before you proceed
Part 4 : Khoya stuffing
- Firstly, Khoya should be at room temperature.
- Take the khoya in a mixing bowl and add 3 to 4 tbsp prepared sugar syrup (the ones which we made for cooking chenna)
- Mix well so that there are no lumps formed.
- Stuffing should not be watery
- It should be tight but little sticky
- Like a cheese spread
- Now carefully pick one chenna from the sugar syrup and slice it horizontally into two halves
- Add the khoya/mawa stuffing in the middle and cover it like a sandwich.
- Place them on a serveware/ box
- Similarly repeat the process for the remaining chenna pieces.
- Garnish the malai sandwich with silver warq and chopped pistachios
- Store them in the refrigerator and serve them chilled.
- Do not discard the sugar syrup. You can reuse them in making other sweets like rasgullas or gulab jamoons
- You also can make square shaped chennas (shape of a bread) and also make malai sandwiches 🙂
- You can also add few strands of saffron dipped in milk with the khoya/mawa-sugar mixture.
- Be careful when you cut the chenna in to two halves. As they are soft, they tend to break easily.