We are well into the festive mode by now. After indulging in the revelry of Navratri, Durga Puja and Dussehra, we are here celebrating the festival of lights Diwali today and can't be more excited. The festival of lights is all about wearing new clothes, decorating the house and loading up on delicious home-cooked foods with the loved ones. Diwali is a huge affair in India and that is why, it isn't just a one-day festival but a five-day extravaganza. It begins with Dhanteras, followed by Chhoti Diwali, Diwali, Govardhan Puja and ends with Bhai Dooj on the last day.
Desserts play a crucial part in any Indian festival, and Diwali being one of the biggest festivals is no different. A huge variety of decadent Indian sweets and desserts are available in the market and also made in homes to relish and even offer during the pujas. While khoya barfis and ladoos make for the most popular options, there is one amazing ingredient that is used in some of the most indulgent sugary treats and that is - Chhena.
Chenna is a star ingredient in some of the most magical Indian sweets that includes Rasgulla and Rasmalai. A lot of people often confuse chhenna with khoya since both are milk derivatives and differ only with the treatment given to milk. While the last stage of thickening milk would give you khoya, the precipitation of milk with slightly acidic whey yields solids in the form of chhena that makes for innumerable melt-in-the-mouth sweets. While you can always opt for market-bought chhenna to make sweets at home or rather buy sweets from the market, but the fresh homemade ingredients and sweets can truly transform your experience. We have a list of five delectable chhena sweets you can prepare at home to serve your guests or to offer in the puja.
5 Chhena Based Sweets To Prepare At Home:
A true blue Bengali dessert, Sandesh (or sandesh) is one dessert without which your festive celebration would be incomplete. Be it Durga puja or Diwali, this festive treat is sure to make you drool for long. Find the recipe of sandesh here.
Is there any celebration without a generous serving of sugar-laden rasgulla?! Another takeaway from the rich Bengali cuisine, rasgullas (or roshogollas) are spongy balls made of chhena and dipped in sugar syrup. Find the recipe of rasgulla here.
3. Chhena Murki
Bite-sized sugary delights, chhena murki is a popular sweet that would simply melt in your mouth. It is a simple and quick sweet recipe that requires just a few ingredients and would be perfect to prepare for the upcoming festival. Find the recipe of chhena murki here.
4. Channar Payesh
Relishing a luscious kheer or pudding is never a bad idea during the festive season. Channar payesh is a quick and easy pudding recipe made with chhena, milk, cardamom, rose water, sugar and loads of dry fruits. Here is a recipe of channar payesh by Chef Ananya Banerjee shared on her Youtube channel.
1 litre milk (boiled and reduced to 1 cup)
250 grams grated paneer or chhena
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch cardamom powder
2 tbsp rose water
2 drops of kewra essence (optional)
Rose petals/dry fruits
Boil and reduce milk in slow flame till it is thick. Add the grated paneer/chhena to the reduced milk.
Let it cook for a few minutes. Add cardamom powder, rose water and kewra essence and mix well.
Cook it for a few minutes. Garnish with rose petals/dry fruits.
Aren't you already slurping at the mere mention of this delectable Bengali dessert? Rasmalai literally translates to 'juice' from 'ras' and 'cream' from 'malai', and makes for a mouth-watering treat no matter what the occasion is. The creamy, luscious rabdi with semi-flattened rasgullas dipped in it is exactly what dessert lovers dream of. Find the recipe of rasmalai here.
Prepare these delicious delicacies at home this Diwali and let us know how you liked it in the comments section below.
About Aanchal MathurAanchal doesn't share food. A cake in her vicinity is sure to disappear in a record time of 10 seconds. Besides loading up on sugar, she loves bingeing on FRIENDS with a plate of momos. Most likely to find her soulmate on a food app.