crushed pistachios, sliced almonds, tutti fruttito decorate
Start by lining a strainer with a cheesecloth and keep it ready. Take milk in a heavy bottom pan. Put it on heat to boil. Once the milk comes to a boil, remove pan from heat. Add around 1/3 cup water to the milk and let it cool for 4 minutes.
Then start adding the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time. The milk will curdle. Note: if you milk does not curdle, you may add more lemon juice or try with vinegar.
Let the milk sit for 5 minutes after you have added the lemon juice so that it curdles completely. You will notice the whey separating.
Pour the curdled milk over the lined strainer. Use cold water to wash the chena (that has accumulated in the cheesecloth). Washing the chena is important to get rid of the lemony taste.
After you have washed the chena properly, bring all the ends of the cheesecloth together and squeeze as much water as you can. Tie and hang the cheesecloth (I usually tie to my water tap) and let it hang for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the chena from the cheesecloth and transfer it to a plate. Crumble it with your hands and then start kneading/pressing it.
You have to knead for 4 to 5 minutes or until the chena becomes smooth and soft.
Now add powdered sugar to the chena and mix using a spoon. It will become all soft so use a spoon rather than using your hands.
Put a non-stick pan on low heat. Remember to use a non-stick pan and keep it on low heat only. Transfer the chena-sugar mixture the the pan.
Keep stirring continuously as you cook the chena. Cook for no more than 4 to 5 minutes. It will thicken up and leave the sides of the pan. If you cook for more than 5 minutes, the chena is going to crumble and turn grainy again.
Transfer to a plate and let it cool down for 15 minutes. Then add cardamom powder and mix well.
Make small balls from the mixture, I got around 7. Roll between your palm to make it round and then press slightly.
Decorate sandesh with chopped nuts/chocolate chips or tutti frutti. Keep it in the refrigerator for couple of hours before serving and enjoy! Keep it refrigerated.