October 27, 2008

This Diwali it's homemade sandesh!


Indulge me a little bit as I tell you about choti diwali and the ritual of 14 saag and 14 baati. I grew up with this ritual - lighting 14 diyas mostly one for every entrance and doorway and eating a special Diwali dish from 14 different leafy vegetables. Fourteen signifying the 14 years of exile for Lord Rama.

Since I have never been back to India for Diwali, I have not done this for many years. But this year is different as you already know. :) So, this time when my mom wanted to make 14 saag, we scrounged around the market and the backyard but we were still short of 14. So we improvised including mint, celery leaves and cilantro as part of the 14 saag. It turned out pretty good :)

And for Diwali mithai (sweet), we made sandesh, that too from scratch. Yes, we boiled whole milk, made channa (paneer) and then made the sandesh. It takes time, but the end result of soft sweet, melt in your mouth sandesh is worth it.


1 ltr whole milk
2 tspoons lime juice
sugar - equal amount as channa
2-3 cardamoms - powdered
pistachios and almonds for garnish

Boil the milk and add the lime juice. Put it in a cheesecloth and drain the water.

Once the channa is drained, pulse is lightly in a mixer till it becomes smooth. Add an equal amount of sugar (as the channa) and mix it well. Then heat a deep bottomed and stir it constantly over low heat. The mixture will first turn liquidy and then start thickening. When the mixture becomes a creamy thick paste and leaves the sides of the pan, stir in the cardamom powder. Roll it in to small balls and garnish it with pistachios and almonds.


Happy Diwali to family, friends and readers.
Have a joyous festival filled with happy memories.


  1. Happy diwali to you and ypur family.

  2. looks yum. i love any kind of milk sweet!!

  3. Wishing u and ur family Happy Diwali.
    My huby and daughter loves milk sweets.

  4. Mandira, that is a great looking sweet, absolutely delicious. Hope you had a great Diwali celebration. And the 14 leaf saag is interesting to know as well.

  5. Yummy loooking sandesh.. never dared to try them b4 :D
    Wish u a very Happy Diwali.

  6. Happy Diwali to you and family! Thank you for visiting my blog. :)

  7. That looks very beautiful Mandira...so delicious..

    Happy Deepavali to you and your family!

  8. Sandesh looks divine..Wish I could pick one rite now..

  9. Mandira,
    hope u had a wonderful day! love that sweet.. :P

  10. a bit late in wishing you....sorry....anyway, sending you hugs and festival greetings....:)

  11. Mandira thanks for dropping by....
    Sandesh looks rich and irresistible...
    Wishing u and ur family Happy Diwali

  12. that looks beautiful mandira! and Sandesh is my fav sweet:0

    wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali too girl!:)

  13. Wow, this sounds delicious with lime flavor! I know I would love it!

  14. Mandira,
    wish you and your family happy diwali .
    sandesh dhekhe khob lobh lagche, wish I could have them.
    Hugs and smiles

  15. Happy Diwali Mandira!14 saags .. I consider myself lucky if I get even 3 ... sandesh looks so good! :-)

  16. wooo sandesh!! The most missed sweet from back home.

    I have added u to my links.

  17. Happy Diwali to you and your family, Mandira. I can imagine how special it is with having parents around.:)

  18. mandira, belated diwali wishes to u and ashwin. and those sandesh look absolutely delicious... u know i can always send u my postal address ;)

  19. Mandira, hope you had a great Diwali...well, I'm sure you have had a lovely one. And the sandesh is to die for :-)

  20. Just found your blog. Great photos! These look absolutely delicious.

  21. Sandesh looks really yummy.. hope you had agreat time

  22. Looks absolutely yummy...

  23. hey Mandira, very yummy looking sandesh. its my all time favorite. stunning pics!

  24. Thank you everyone - the sandesh was great and was gone by the next day. I showed my mom all your comments and she enjoyed reading every single one :)

  25. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog and I will definitely be back! I will bring my partner in cooking and blogging, Margo, as well. I loved the detailed instructions for making ravioli's, something we are anxious to try, but most of all I love the way you share about your culture and traditions. Namaste~Jill


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