The festive season is just around the corner in India. Most of us who have just hopped on to the Keto wagon, get ready for a tough time, trying to resist the sweets and goodies that will be cooked at this time. I have for you today Keto Sandesh, a Cottage Cheese Dessert, that is unique, easy to make and low on carbs.
No festivity in India is complete without a platter of sweets or mithai. We have special sweets for special occasions, each one more delicious than the other. Sadly, they all loaded with sugar and carbs. Besides this, festivals are occasions when families come together and celebrate these occasions with joy. In those times sitting on the table with a platter of meat might not be seen in good light. For this same reason I will try and give you some vegetarian Keto dishes which you can enjoy with the rest of the family, without feeling guilty. As I always say Keto is a way of life, not a punishment. Enjoy the change with the people who matter to you most.
I decided to really push my limits this time and tried making a ‘sandesh’, a world famous specialty from the state of West Bengal. You will find many versions of it on the internet. I have tried to make the most basic version today. The key to a good sandesh is the freshness of its keys ingredient which is cottage cheese or paneer. So I must tell you that if you plan to make this after reading my experience, don’t even think of making it with a ready made packet from the market. Please make the cottage cheese at home.
Keto Sandesh/Malai Peda Recipe
1. Start by making the Paneer/Cottage Cheese.
2. Strain the paneer in a muslin or cheese cloth. Wash it under cold water to remove any traces of lemon.
3. Press it down, in order to drain all the whey from it.
4. After an hour or so the cottage cheese should be ready for the next step.
5. Now put this cottage cheese in a blender, add the sweetener, cardamom powder and blend well.
6. In a few minutes, the mixture will look very creamy and smooth.
7. Now comes the most important step.
8. Take a thick bottomed pan and put this mixture in it.
9. Keep the heat to the lowest and start blending with a flat spoon.
10. In precisely six minutes, the paneer will start coming together and look much more uniform.
11. Turn off the heat and keep blending more for another five minutes.
12. The paneer will now look like a dough.
13. Please remember that we are cooking the cottage cheese only to eradicate the raw taste and not to cook it as such.
14. If you over cook, it will crumble and fall apart.
15. Now shift this dough to a fridge for about half an hour, till it cools down.
16. Now take it out of the fridge and give it the shape of small balls of whatever size you want. Garnish with a pinch of cardamom powder.
17. You can eat them right away or serve them chilled after keeping them in the fridge for a few hours.
18. They should stay fine in the fridge for a week or so.
Tip: When you get really confident at doing this, make different flavors. Add cocoa to make chocolate sandesh or saffron to make kesari sandesh. The possibilities are endless. And I confess they taste pretty awesome even with the sweetener. And you can eat as many without feeling guilty. For people who might be eating sandesh for the first time, I must share that the sugar in this sweet is always a little on the lighter side.