Many places are closed for the time being due to the unrelenting nature of the current epidemic, and that means losing out when searching for your favourite sweets. The conventional ice-cream or chocolate cake is easy enough to get in convenient stores and supermarkets, but if your sweet tooth beckons for handmade local dishes, you’ll want to have the know-how to make some yourself. With easy to find ingredients, here are three Bangladeshi desserts you can do yourself.
South Asian deserts have a ton of milk-based desserts; but Rasgulla is one of our favourites and has simple ingredients and steps to follow. It is true that you’ll have to curdle the milk and put some time in to bring the cheese out, but the rest from there should be simple. Boiling milk and adding lemon juice with vinegar is the first step. This will sit till it curdles – cool off the pot with some ice after.
To get the best bits out, pouring the mixture into a thin cloth will filter out all the lemon flavour as you proceed to prepare the Chenna. The goal is to squeeze out as much water as possible and let it sit for up to three hours. It’ll have to be moist until then so that you can begin to knead. This process will take some attention to detail, as kneading for too long will shrink the rasgullas after it has been reheated.
After popping in sugar and cardamom seeds into a boiling pot, the final result should be satisfying. It is critical to maintain the consistent temperature when boiling so that the Rasgulla texture can be just right. This entire preparation is no quick task, but the required ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store and it can be done with nothing but a boiling pan and a cloth. It’ll take practice to knead perfectly, but as the old adage goes – practice makes perfect! You can find the steps here.
Shemai is one of the most satisfying desserts to have after a heavy meal. And since it isn’t a solid dish, you won’t have to worry about texture and kneading at all. This treat wil take significantly less time to prepare and it starts with stirring butter with vermicelli with some sugar, raisins and almonds thrown into the mix when the aforementioned has turned brown.
The heat will have to be reduced for about 10 minutes before adding the whipping cream. The final step is to put the result into the refrigerator. Yes, that is all there is to it, but holds its own among the best despite such simplicity. If you are looking for a more decadent version, you can replace the milk with condensed milk or even powdered milk! You can find the ingredients and steps here.
Saving the most sinful for last, Malpua is a Bangladeshi staple that can look akin to a pancake to the untrained eye, but this dish is deceptively easy to prepare and requires very few ingredients to get started. Malpua is meant to be deep fried, which means it would be highly advisable to make this a less-than-frequent treat.
The first step is to create the batter by preparing all-purpose flour or maida with semolina, sugar, crushed fennel seeds and evaporated milk – regular milk is also possible but boiling will be required. You’ll want to mix the batter thoroughly enough that there won’t be lumps. It’ll need to rest for a couple of hours after. The sugar syrup part comes after, where you’ll mix water with sugar and green uncrushed cardamoms.
The deep drying part is pretty straightforward and you can use your favoured oil for this part. Some eyeballing is required as you’ll have to pour the batter to form a pancake shape of about 2”-2.5” in diameter. When flipped and fired till brown, your prepared sugar syrup comes in and is fried for an extra 30 seconds. Other than perfecting the pancake-like shape, this dish will require minimal effort with a juicy payoff! You can find the recipe and instructions here.
Source: United News of Bangladesh