Gujiya - a forgotten sweet of Bengal
By Barnali Dutta , published by Prasadam
The favourite sweet-meat market of the Bengalis that of the Sandesh is presently on the incline, though the size of the item has reduced considerably and prices rocketed, the quality is still a matter of high priority at the few famed sweet-meat vendors of the culture. The reduced availability and unfair prices of full cream milk Chhana [like ricotta cheese] at present is the main reason behind the current situation of this market. Even if correctly prepared chhana for perfect sandesh is available, its price is that of the kings. Hence it is natural that the price of the Sandesh has increased exponentially or as much. The Sandesh which was once the traditional ceremonial sweet offerings for the gods is now on the verse of extinction from being one and is restricted to just a mere trophy of our culture and this is due to the steep rise in prices of full fat milk. The Gujiya [a type of sandesh] falls under the products of this category and which was once to be found in almost every sweet shops and temples has to be searched with a detective's eye now.
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 40 min | Yield: 10
- Thickened milk : 2 cups ,
- Sugar : 1 cup
- All purpose flour : 3 tsp
- Rose water and cardamom powder : to taste, optional
Directions:1. Take a heavy-bottomed nonstick pan and heat the milk on low fire.
2. After boiling the milk for about 5 minutes add sugar and stir continuously.
3. After dessolving the sugar completely put fire to medium high and adjust as necessary to simmering low heat, take a long-handled wooden spoon and stir continuously. Do not let the milk burn.
4. Put off the heat and move to the cool place. Do not stop stiring it. After cooling to some degree add flour little by little with a spoon, stir and make it mix. Optionally you can add cardamom powder 1/2 teaspoon and rose water 1 teaspoon here while mixing.
5. Again put the pan on the fire and stir continously. It will make a lump.
6. Put off the stove. Let it cool a little until you can touch comfortably.
7. Grease your hand a little, take one spoon of the milk solid, make small 1 and 1/2 inch cylindrical pipes by rolling it between two hands, press to flat a little, and close both ends with a little pressure of your thumb.
8. Make your diwali mithai, offer the God first and distribute in the family and friends a very adorable homemade sweet, where you can adjust the sweetness with a sugar substitute.