Bhapa Pineapple Sandesh


I love Pineapples! Add it to any dish, and I will polish it off within minutes. So of course, coming from the land of sweets, I had to experiment with this delicious fruit to make a lip smacking mithai. I combined pineapple with cottage cheese and steamed it to make this wonderful sweet dish. This Sandesh (a famous Kolkata sweet with a twist) is the easiest and the yummiest sweet I have made in a while. I served it to guests on our housewarming and it became such a hit that a friend requested I make a batch for her daughter’s birthday! Her guests loved it too! With pineapples being available in abundance these days, you can serve this Sandesh at the next party you host. Trust me, you will have everyone go gaga when they bite into these melt-in-the-mouth delights stuffed with chopped pineapples! Here’s how you can make it:


3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup pineapple (canned or fresh) (chopped)
4-5 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon pineapple essence
2-3 drops edible yellow color


In a heavy bottomed pan, heat milk and bring to a boil. Add lemon juice and allow milk to curdle.

Strain the cheese and wash well with water to remove the lemony flavor.

Tie in a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the excess whey.

On a flat surface, knead the cheese well with the heel of your palm, gathering the cheese from the sides together, till it becomes smooth and greasy.

Add pineapple essence, yellow color and sugar. Knead again to mix the ingredients well.

Make small balls out of the dough. Flatten each ball on your palms and stuff it with half a teaspoon of chopped pineapple. Seal the edges and shape into a ball again. Flatten the ball gently.

Repeat with the remaining balls.

Top the flattened cottage cheese balls with chopped pineapples and press down gently.

Steam in a steamer for 5 minutes. Once steamed, remove from steamer on to a plate and refrigerate.

Serve these Bhapa Pineapple Sandesh chilled.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

NOTE: You can use skimmed milk and sugar substitute if you are a calorie conscious foodie!


Chhena Kalakand (Kolkata/West Bengal Special)


A childhood friend, who also happens to be one of my biggest critics, called me the other day with a complaint. He had been going through my blog, and was “aghast” because I had not posted a single “Kolkata” recipe. “No Bengali recipe on your blog, not even a single sweet! And you call yourself a Kolkata girl?” he asked me as soon as I answered the call with a “Hi”. As I mumbled to find some excuse, I realised I had none. I told him the truth. That I was so much in love with Kolkata, Bengali recipes, Bengali sweets and the street food that I would need another blog to list them all. “I don’t know anything. I just want your first blog post this year to be a Kolkata recipe,” he said and hung up.

Well, his phone call left me feeling a little guilty. After all, I had been unjust, coming from a city which is famous the world over for its sweets and other delicacies. Since this is the start of a wonderful year, I will begin it by spreading some sweetness, straight from the land of culture, literature, art and, of course, food! Chhena/Chhana Kalakand is a different form of Kalakand, which is found only in the sweet shops in West Bengal. Made of cottage cheese and cream, this sweet has always been a favorite in my family. My husband too has become a fan ever since he was introduced to Chhena Kalakand. So a visit to Kolkata is never complete without gorging on these beauties. Since we live in Delhi, where we find the regular Kalakand (made of thickened milk mixed with cottage cheese) and not Chhena Kalakand, I have started making this sweet at home. It takes me less than 20 minutes to make Chhena Kalakand and thus it is the perfect sweet to prepare when you are running short on time. Here’s the recipe:

PS: Well, since I have taken the plunge, I have decided to introduce a special Category – “Flavors of Joy” (Kolkata is known as the “City of Joy!”) – in A Yummy Green World, which will be dedicated to the sweets and savory delights of Kolkata.


1 liter whole milk
2 tablespoons thick cream
1 tablespoon milk powder
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon green cardamom powder
1 teaspoon rose water
1 tablespoon roasted almonds (slivered)


In a pan, heat the milk till it is just short of reaching the boiling point. Add lemon juice and mix well. Heat for some more time till the milk curdles and the solids separate from the whey.

Strain the whey and run the cheese through water, washing well, in order to remove the lemony taste.

Tie the cheese in a muslin cloth and squeeze out the excess water. Then press the cheese tied in muslin cloth with something heavy. Keep it pressed for 10 mins or till all the water is drained out.

Now take the cheese in a flat tray and knead it well, pressing down with the heel of your palm till it acquires a smooth texture. You know your cheese is ready when your palms start feeling greasy.

In a pan, heat the kneaded cheese on low flame, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add cream, milk powder, powdered sugar, rose water and cardamom powder. Mix well. Transfer the cheese on to a greased tray and spread evenly to make a 3/4-inch thick layer. Garnish with slivered roasted almonds. Refrigerate for 5 minutes before cutting into desired shape. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm or cold.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

NOTE: Chhena Kalakand is usually very delicate to handle, so make sure you have cooled it properly before you attempt to cut it. If you like it warm, microwave for 30 seconds before serving. DO NOT cut when hot!

Gujiya (Holi Special)


The best thing about Holi are the mouth-watering sweets that come with it. Besides of course, the riot of colors this popular Indian festival brings. Gujiya is one sweet that everyone loves. It had been almost a tradition in my house that batches after batches of Gujiyas came out of the frying pan and were gobbled up even before they could cool properly. The same happens now, too. As I fry crisp, sweet khoya filled Gujiyas, and as the aroma wafts through the house, the first one to land at my kitchen door is my dog, drooling and looking at me with pleading eyes until he has got one. Then Hubby. Who wants to “taste” how the Holi special sweet is turning out. And then me, of course, with my particular weakness for Gujiya! 🙂 Well, my Gujiyas are ready to be relished tomorrow (and for many days to come). You can make them too and make your Holi super sweet! Here’s the recipe:



2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup ghee
500 ml cold water
A pinch salt
Refined oil (to deep fry)


1-1/2 cups khoya (grated)
1/4 cup semolina
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon green cardamom powder
1/2 bowl mixed nuts (almonds – blanched and slivered, raisins, chironji, pistachio – blanched and slivered)
10-12 saffron strands (soaked in 2 tablespoons warm milk)


Mix all ingredients for the crust except water. Add water slowly as per requirement and knead into a stiff dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set to rest for 20 mins.

Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan and roast semolina till light golden. Now add the grated khoya and mix well. Stir fry till the khoya is well roasted (about 15 mins) and you get a rich aroma. Add the cardamom powder, nuts and saffron strands soaked in milk and mix well. Finally, add the sugar and stir till the sugar mixes well with the khoya and the stuffing acquires a near dry consistency. Remove from heat and let cool.

Make small balls of the dough and roll each out into circles of 2-3 inch diameter. Place a spoonful of the khoya stuffing in the centre of the circle and fold the circle into halves. Brush the edges with water and seal them well. Twist the edges gently to shape into Gujiyas or simply mark them with a fork.

Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the Gujiyas in batches of 3-4 on medium heat till they are crisp and golden. Drain on a paper towel and allow the Gujiyas to cool. Store in an air-tight container and enjoy on Holi, or whenever you want!

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂