Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bhapa Sandesh and A Year...

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Yes, this blog is ONE. Bong Mom has now been officially around for a Year with her Cook Book and the 3 year old (not the blog, the daughter) now turning almost 4.
It has been an eventful year if you consider all the events I have sent my posts to.

The journey has been memorable and so Thank You.

All joyous occasions in India is celebrated with something sweet and so here is “Bhapa Sandesh” or Steamed Sandesh for all of you on the Blog turning One.Kuch Meetha to Hona Hi tha...

And the Surprise...

Drumrolls, Trumpets, bugles and the works....

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My Mommy’s blog is One in spite of my “Know all” Dad’s predictions that it would die a sure death in 3 months time like my Mommmy’s numerous other hobbies. My Mommy Did it, she Did it, she Did it, yeehhhhhhh. And this is my art work for her.

I love how she keeps typing and editing pictures on the computer and keeps telling me it is office work. I feel so happy that she is sometimes so busy with her blog, she even forgets to serve me dinner and my “Know all” Dad lets me have Chicken Nuggets, how fun is that.

Thank You Mommy and I am telling you I am not going to cook all that stuff up there in your blog, so don’t con yourself that you are doing this for me. But if it makes you happy and you want to prove my “Know All” Dad wrong again…go ahead…have fun for one more year

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The Bhapa Sandesh recipe is a trial and error recipe. I tried it the very first time in my life with all new fangled stuff like Ricotta (not traditional Paneer) and then the Oven(not the Pressure Cooker) and what not. The result was very delicious. The procedure I followed made it very easy too. I frame worked my recipe on these two -- here and here

I added Mango Pulp to add Mango flavor to the Sandesh however the amount I added did not do anything except to introduce a faint flavor. I would suggest using Mango essence or Rose essence instead. Also layering the sandesh with fresh Mangoes or more of the Mango Pulp might have helped. Next time maybe.

If you do not want to use the oven you can also do it in the Pressure Cooker as mentioned here

Bhapa Sandesh

What you Need

The recipe I was following said Ricotta, Condensed Milk and Milk Powder in 4:1:1 ratio. However since I had added Mango Pulp I had to increase the amount of C. Milk and Milk Powder a little

Ricotta Cheese ~ Whole Milk Ricotta about 2 cups
Condensed Milk ~ ½ cup. I later added about 1/6 cup more to increase the sweetness a little after adding Mango Pulp
Milk Powder ~ ½ cup + 1/6 cup later after adding mango pulp. I bought Milk Powder/Mava from Indian store

Mango Pulp ~ I used about 1/3 cup. However this did not add much of a mango flavor to the sandesh

Golden raisins ~ to decorate

How I did It

Mix Ricotta, C. Milk and Milk Powder in a bowl to a smooth consistency. I added Mango Pulp to it too. Instead you can add some essence like Rose, Mango etc.

Next I Greased an oven proof bowl with about 1/4th tsp of ghee and poured the mixture in it. While pouring the mixture I topped the first layer with little mango pulp and then covered it with second layer of the Mix. If you have fresh ripe mangoes, cut it in thin layers and use for layering. Cover the bowl with an aluminum foil, cover else it will get dry.

Pre-heat Oven to 400F

In the bottom rack of the oven I kept a oven proof dish filled with almost 2 -3 cups of water

In the top tray put in the bowl with Mix and let it cook for 40-45 minutes.

At the end of 40 minutes take it out to check if it has set. Run a knife to chcek. It might take a little more time, I usually switch off the oven and let it sit in the oven for 10 more minutes.. If yes, put it to cool in the fridge.

Cut out in squares when it has cooled and garnish with raisins. Serve chilled

* The sandesh in the pic is served on a plate made of Sal leaves which my Baba sent from Kolkata for the blog. This is the the kind of plates that is used or was used in bengali wedding etc. along with earthen glasses. They have an aroma that reminds you of the trees in the forest after a fresh rain. The fact that they are bio-degradable helps.

Come on bring on the presents :D


  1. Hey Happy Birthday Sandeepa... I am sooo honoured to be the first one to wish you happy 1st birthday :D

  2. Yeah, now that I put my mark there, let me type what I wanted to say... Little S looks sooo cute, it is so great to finally see her face, beautiful eyes shes's got... :) ...
    Wish you many many more years of blogging ahead... :)
    The sandesh looks so yummy btw

  3. hey, congrats on the blog anniv!
    many many more to go......
    bhapa sandesh looks so good in those plates ;)

  4. We enjoy visiting yuor blog. The content and the humorous way you write is refreshing.Keep up the great work and best wishes for the years of blogging to come.

    --Bee and Jai

  5. Happy first Blog Anniversary and wishes for many more years to come. Your daughter is very cute!
    Loved the recipe for Sandesh as well.

  6. Happy blog anniversary Sandeepa. I hope you continue to humor us with your writing in the same way for many years to come :)

  7. Hey Sandeepa Happy Anniversary to you & your wonderful blog.Just enjoyed the letter from S to you specially :“Know all” Dad’s predictions that it would die a sure death in 3 months time like my Mommmy’s numerous other hobbies.Hahaha. Love your blog and recipes. loved the Bhapa sandesh recipe. Love your photos too! Hope you prove the "know all" dad wrong and blog on for many many years so that S never has to search for a recipe anywhere else!Congrats on completing one year of wonderful blogging!Oh yes and S is too cute!

  8. Happy 1st! This sandesh recipe rocks! Perfect selection for your 1st blog anniversary. Keep going strong!

  9. Happy blog birthday to one of the warmest, funniest, child-like persons in the blogosphere - dunno why, but I also think of you as a baby-faced cherub, and if S resembles you, I'm sure I'm right.

  10. And your Dad sent you that sal plate? Very sweet. My folks are involved with my blog too, my dad's always discussing my pictures and how I can improve them, he's a good photographer.

  11. Hey Happy Blog Budday!!! Reminds me my blog too turned one 10 days ago I think.....and I forgot :D And it's died a few deaths and revived again :) Lil S looks sooo cute, she's got pretty eyes!

    Ok, a doubt, does the sandesh dry up if you don't put the bowl of water into the oven? I had tried ricotta rasmalai and it turned ok with just the foil on.

  12. And I want to add I love your blog....mwah for the cook! :)

  13. Happy Happy Blog Birthday Sandeepa! What an adorable kid - she's got gorgeous eyes. I like the sandesh too- I've never actually made one myself but you do make it sound easy!

  14. Badhai ho :). happy blog anniversary, Sandeepa! and i totally love lil' S and her card and post :-D. Hugs and lots of love to the lil' cutie :).

    btw, mithai is really yummy and the sal platter is great!

    Happy blogging, dear! Looking forward to more lovely stories and food :).


  15. Nice way to celebrate one year completion Sandeepa. Sandesh is very nice. Viji

  16. happy birthday to bong mom :)
    ur blog is like a refreshing breeze and i always enjoy my stay @ur place:)
    muuuuuuuuuuaaaah to little S and big S :)

  17. Happy Blog-birthday! Your blog is a joy to visit, with your keen sense of humor and spot-on remarks. Wishing you many many more years of good fun, friends and food!
    The sandesh looks delicious, I have bookmarked it for my Diwali sweets line-up.

  18. Happy one year and happy 4th for your sweetie! Nice banner!!:)))
    Sandesh looks yum, got to make that for your Bengal RCI!!
    Have fun Bong (bhong!;D) mom, hugs.

  19. Sandeepa, Congrats and it is my pleasure to come for nuggets of wisdom, entertainment and lets not forget the lovely recipes you have it all.

    Wishing you many more to come dear friend.

  20. How can I forget to comment on the beautiful artwork that little S made. Hugs to your little artist.

  21. Firstly, congrats on your first blogversary ( a little belated though,kharab pabe na)...I hope you have fun for many more years to come; secondly, I'm sooo glad we both share an anniversary on the same day...your blog and my wedding :);thirdly, the sandesh looks lovely and so does little S...I have no doubt there is a very pretty face behind that mask.

  22. Little S has beautiful eyes...i love the way you wrote what little S really wanted to say ;)..u truely are a mind reader...thanks for this recipe..looks yumm..and btw more power to us who finally get to rise above our inconsistencies (ah! the love of food :)

  23. hey sandu! wish your blog a very happy b'day. the write up of your daughter was too good and funny! she looks cute:) The sandesh looks yum. can i get some parceled?? wish you many many more years of blogging dear. you have always been a lovely fellow blogger and friend:))

  24. Hey Sands! wishing your blog a very happy birthday! Your write up on lil S is so cute and heart warming! Chicken nuggets is what we also depend on when I am busy blogging and not cooking.

    I loved that sandesh recipe and will try this for Durga Puja! Yeah we too serve in Sal Leaves during such occasions!

  25. Congratz on the Blog Anniversary - I'll do anything to get Bengali sweets right - its so much easier when someone shares their experience, thanks for the recipe - Bhapa Sandesh is bookmarked to try

  26. My fav Bong blog turned one, congrats and hugs :) Great food & recipe with a sneak peak into bong family traditions and culture, a 3 year old's cute stories, nostalgia, and humour, thats all I feel when I come here.....You re good at this and pls do continue.

    So nice to see Lil S...a big jump from those shadow images and hands and legs :P

    Now some doubts...Is Bhapa Sandesh, same as Sandesh? is it just a short name? Also I am not getting a clear pic of that plate made of Sal leaves, want to have a better look, so hope you will shoot with this plate once more , with a different dish:)

    P.S For the present,I have a month old cake in my blog, shall we cut that virtually? :)

  27. Congrats With one year of blogging.
    Even my hubby think my blog is a new craze which may not last like so many of my other hobbies :-))
    Good for you that you kept it up

  28. Hey Sandeepa - Happy Blog Birthday . And lil S' message written by her Mom is lovely - Im sure portey shilhley khub proud hobey ma'r blog er byapare. Had to tell you I love your blog- reminds me of my Mom who was a great cook . The bhapa sandesh looks delicious BTW

  29. Sandeepa, happy blog anniversary. Finally we get to see little S, she is a cutie and as thoughtful as you are! Cheers to many wonderful posts, recipes and adventures ahead :) Bhapa sandesh ta banate hobe...

  30. Sandeepa...Happy 1st anniversary of ur blog dear.......and ur kid looks cute...That was a nice precious gift he gave his mamma :-))
    btw the sweet looks awesome :-)

  31. Happy 1st Birthday to your lovely blog! I love everything abt your blog!

  32. haha.........daughters will be daughters!!!!! I did no realize the efforts my mom was putting in kitchen all our lives, till i became the clueless mistress of one ....:)

    Congratulations dear Sandeepa :)

    and your cookbook's been a great help in good times and probable bad ones ;D

  33. and i love the pic....i loved the earlier one too with the elephant and kalonji....:)

  34. Happy, First Blog Birthday, Sandeepa! So many blogs seem to have just turned One, yet are so well done I thought they were around for years and years. Yours is one of them. Keep up the excellent work!

  35. Sandeepa. Happy Blog Birthday!!! It is such a pleasure to know you and your wonderful blog! Keep on blogging!

  36. Happy blog borthday and Congratulations to you Sandeepa! Now that you have proved "know-all" Dad wrong, hopefully your motivation to keep blogging will continue1. Sandesh loooks lovely, will try it out for Bijoya this year. Looking forward to Pujo - just round the corner and some Pujo-centric posts from you! More later..

  37. Sig

    I am so honored to have you as the first one :D

    Yeah those are good with/without the plates :D

    I enjoy your visit too. Look forward to the chimp grin

    Thanks You :)

    Did I humor any one ;-)

    Ha ha...yeah don't know what I will do for next year but yes this is one hobby that has seen the longest run


    Blush, blush...Sra you are just too much. If I am low I should just ask you to come and comment:D You perk me up like no one.
    And I had coaxed my dad to send me these with my in-laws.He used to read my blog but nowdays with their dial up BSNL connection at home being slow he says the Blog does not load properly

  38. Jyothsna
    A good question. As I had said this was my first try, so I played safe. "Bhapa" means Steamed so ideally it should not be baked.
    To retain the moisture I put the bowl of water in the oven. But it might have worked without too, not sure.

    With your skills this could be done with a flick of your left hand. You see I tried an easy method with Ricotta etc.

    Thanks sweetie. Hugs to you too

    Thanks :)

    I look forward to your presence too and Hugs to you

    Awww thanks for those kind words. You actually have sweets queued up for Diwal...

    Thanks. No S is not 4 yet. Ha ha I better not have that word and have weird hits ;-)

    Thanks dear friend, I am in good company here with people like you around:)

    Oh no not belated, I posted only late last night. I am honored to share my Blog B'day with your anniv :)
    BTW just re-read that you got married on dashami day, that must have been something

    Yeah the love of food, so true.

    You make great sandesh too. Thanks and it is really lovely to have you around :)

    You go to Durga Puja too and also use sal leaves ? I always though you are from the Southern states, aren't you ?
    Thanks again

    This is a easier version of the sandesh, but definitely tasty

    Blush, blush :D That pic was especially for you.
    Bhapa Sandesh is steamed and so different from the Usual Sandesh done on Stove top. The taste varies a bit too
    Also I used Ricotta instead of fresh Paneer, that did bring a taste diff too. But everyone at home loved it.
    Check Sharmi's Neivedyam for a stove top Sandesh. Also one of the links I have here (the HareKrsna one , has lots of sandesh recipes)

    With your delicious cakes, I would rather have them physically than virtually :D

  39. Hc
    Keep going you shall sonn complete an yaer too. It is a very enjoyable exp.

    Eve's Lungs
    Aajkal Kar chele meye, Ma ke niye ar proud hobe na ;-) And I am so honored by your kind words

    Thanks dear and yes try it out

    Thanks and it is a "She" :D

    Thanks :)

    Wow you saying you "liked" the pics is something. You are one fantastic photographer and composer, I merely try

    Thanks a lot, having blogger friends like you all helps:)

    Same here, love your presence

    Tomra ki Pujote khub involved ? Okhan kar Pujo niye kichu lekho
    Ekhon Pujar age kichu korar shomoy hobena

  40. Happy first birthday Sandeepa, lil on e looks cute. I'm not a sweets person so can't really say anything but picture looks beautiful.

  41. Happy Blog Birthday to you dear Sandeepa! Yours is one of those stops I would really miss so don't even think about giving it up. And a hug for the lovely darling girl in the surprise pic, too :)

    Wishing you lots more blogging fun ahead!

  42. Thanks for clarifying. I'll use the pressure cooker, in that case how long will it take to steam? Or does ricotta have to be baked only?

  43. I had to share this joke with you (in all probability you have heard of this one before, but, just in case you haven't ) :)

    Q: What do you call a Bengali voyeur??
    A: Key-hole-o


  44. I cannot believe I am reading this blog for only a year. I thought maybe more than a year. But time flies.

    I wanted a Sandesh recipie for sometime and thanks. And thanks for all the recipies you indulged me with.

    And I was pleasantly surprised, when you remembered my favorite foodstuff and put up the recipe.

    And thanks for putting me in your blogger hall of fame.

    Its been seriously a long time and I am still amazed its been only a year! I think I am the one of the oldest readers :)

  45. shivapriya, Linda
    Thanks :)

    Check out the links I have before the recipe, for pressure cooker

    Ha, ha...didn't know that one :D

    Really, a year is an awful lot of time. Did you get to eat Chinese BTW

  46. Ohh she is so sweet and cute...
    Congratulations on the anniversary. I absolutely love your blog. All I knew abt Bong cooking before visiting this blog was "pathrano machi". Thanks for this wonderful blog. All the very best for future.

  47. no Sandeepa, I'm not doing a PhD...both of us are completing our Masters..:)

  48. Happy Blog Birthday Sandeepa :) Ektu kaajer fronte besto cholche tai comment charte pari nilast time. Any special plans for durga puja ?

  49. Hi Sandeepa,
    Happy 1st birthday!!! I really love your blog and eagerly wait for each new entry. While I do not write comments often, I make sure that I do not miss any of your recipes. I have refered your blog to many of my friends and they love it too :-) Also loved the "sal-patar" plate...onek din por dekhte pelam....brings back old memories.

    btw, why did you put the water in the bottom rack of the oven for the Bhapa Sandesh?


  50. Shilpa
    Thanks :)

    All the best. You will soon be out in the bad world :)

    Ami bhebechi tumi Pujote Kolkata gecho, ticket khujchile na ? Pujoy biseh plans nei, as usual. Meye ki niye are function o dekha hoy na ar D is not interested either. Tobe ekhane Bharat Sevashram ache, oder Pujote roj i jabo. Oder Pujo follows Indian standard, mane same days etc. ar khub bhalo o hoy.

    Thank You :) Jol ta bollam, keno na "bhapa" to, tai oven er modhye moisture ta maintain korar janya. Tobe eta amr first try, played it safe. Khete kintu bhalo hoyechilo, tumi ki anyarokom koro ?

  51. happy blog Anniversary sandeepa! its a pleasure to visit your blog everytime esp i shd say you have a very unique way of presentation which i love to read and keep pulling to your blog :) little S looks so cute its a marvellous idea to show her at such an ocassion to all of us! many more years of blogging to come !

  52. Hi Sandeepa,

    This is Apurba,a Bong away from home..I do sneak into your blog every now & then ..but i'm too lazy to post a comment.. I like your blog so much especially because of the lucid & humourous style u use.I feel the unique scent of Bengal whenever I visit your blog.So even if i'm not searching for a recipe..i end up reading your blog.Congratulations on your 1st Blogging Anniversery..
    Pls do keep it up as it has finally provoked me to write so much..Little S is so cute..& the Bhapa Sandesh looks yummy..

  53. I am so late to this momentous occassion - but Happy One year, blog!!! and little S - you are a heck of a gal - we love hearing tidbits about you...thanks for being so supportive of mommy's "office work"! wish you many more happy blogging years, Sandeepa.

  54. Hi sandeepa,:)) I know you as asha's friend and a part of Desi Moms Club!:)) Never visited your blog! You see I am new to computers. Thanks for all the nice words in my blog!
    Loved your daughters write up!:)) Some how all hubby's under estimate their wives!:))
    Your sandesh recipe is great and the pictures are very tempting! Congrats on completing one year of blogging!:)) Wish you many more years of sucessful blogging!:))

  55. Roopa & Kodi's Mom

    Thanks :)

    Nice to hear from you. Unless you comment i do not get a clue about my non-blogging readers :)

    Thanks for stopping by. I think you got confused about me, I have not met Asha in real life, but yes she definitely is my blog friend.
    And yes I did start Desi Momz Club:)

  56. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! ........ that was for the mom part. :) And one more Awesome for the cookbook ;) Don't you ever stop writing about your daughter! I think I come here more for S than for you :P Everyone is congratulating you so I am cheering for her!! :)

    Congrats dear...... stopping by here is a pleasure always. :)

  57. Congratulations! Nice 'Zorro' touch; she's cute. :-)

  58. Bah, besh bhalo to tomader Durga Pujo. Ami Decemebere Kolkata jabo. We had one pujo here this weekend and the Vedanta Society one will be next weekend. So enjoying the pujas :).

  59. Me too never met Asha!:)) But I have made a lot of friends here, Including Asha and you!:))

  60. Happy 1st Birthday Sandeepa! You are an inspiration to all, especially moms like me with all your enthusiam, hard work and talent. Love the sandesh, i have all the ingredients.. have it to try it soon.

  61. Hi Sandeepa,

    Happy birthday. I was browsing through your blog and it is amazing. Good recipes. Thanks Sandeepa for your time and effort.

  62. Hope you and your family have a great time during this festive season..enjoy the Durga Pooja celebrations.Btw, are there any pandals where you live.

  63. Sandeepa, can I pls have your mail id? You can leave it at my blog...

  64. Hello, the sandesh looks beautiful. I'd like to make some a bit ahead for a party; will it keep well in the fridge for a day or two?
    Thank you! -RM

  65. Rm

    Yes does keep well. Try using some essence too like mango, kesar etc. And while taking out from the oven, run a knife to check if it is set properly. Time may vary from mine

    Let me know how it turned out.

  66. Great! Thank you so much! I am thinking of some rose-water or almond extract...I'll let you know how it goes. We're having a small party for Durga Pujo, just a couple of friends. -RM

  67. LOL...loved the way you have portrayed abt the Knw all dads you proved it wrong..:D


    Wishing you many many more..

    Your blog is a pleasure...and keep up your Great work!!

    Enjoy, dear!!

  68. I'm back - and the sandesh has turned out great! We tried a sample and it was really good - this is the first time I successfully made a milk-sweet! :-D I have a small convection oven, which took longer, but the knife-test method made it clear when it was done. Cheers! RM

  69. sent you an email...pls check the DMC gmail address...thanks.

  70. Congrats!!!!!! Keep up the great job for more years ahead.

  71. Happy Birthday bong mom cook book!!!!A big Congrats to u Sandeepa!!!!All the best for upcoming years!!
    I can't see Little S pic...:-(
    My daughter had also turned 4 this October only.when is little S's b'day??A big hug to her!!

  72. Thanks for the great recipe.
    The only sweets I enjoy are Bengali sweets. Rasogulla, Sandesh, Malai sandwich, chamcham, Rasmalai - Oh! Why am I torturing myself? I am drooling!!!

  73. I had tried to make bhapa sandesh following the steps. But at the end of 45 mins, when I too out the bowl from the oven,I found the mxture to have completely melted like water.I don't understand where I could have gone wrong!

  74. Mou

    How did the mixture melt ? That defies science :-)

    The mix that you make does not have a water like fluidity. Also you DO NOT put water in the mix at all.

    You put a bowl of water on the bottom rack and then the sandesh mix in a separete bowl on the top rack of the oven. The water in the bottom rack is to ensure the moisture balance

    So the heat in the oven kind of bakes the mix, I don't understand how it could melt !!!

  75. Hello Sandeepa,

    Prothomei kaajer kotha, I am planning to make your bhapa sandesh for a party. Can you please tell me how many sweets will I get from your mentioned quantities?

    Now, your blog is the first Bengali recipe blog that I came across while looking for some recipes on the internet. And after a couple of weeks of frantic blog hopping, I must say, yours is still the best, or second best may be :)......

    Take care and keep posting.

  76. Kuntala

    I don't remember the quantity, this was way back.

    Check this link

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  79. Hi,

    I am planning to make this recipe for a party. How many pieces of sandesh did your recipe make? I need to know this in order to expand/contract the ingredient portions.



  80. I made this..wonderful recipe...

  81. As long as you have a well-maintained kitchen, it's really easy to come up with different meal variations. Another tip is to buy durable appliances as well.

  82. Delicious recipe! What do you think about prepare this for the new years night?

  83. wow..It is tempting..i will try it at home..

  84. I have read many blogs in the net but have never come across such a well written blog. Good work keep it up

  85. oh you are a sandeepa too ? My sisters name is sandeepa i miss her very much as she stays in USA. Well you made my day i made bappa sandesh but i used pineapple pulp and added some lemon. it turned out yummy. This is a healthy good recipes. thanks


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