4 Minute Microwave Peda

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Subho Bijayar Priti O Suvecha

And, the 5 days of celebrations come to an end with Dashami. Every year the day marks a bitter sweet farewell to the biggest festival of Bengalis. Dashami marks the end of Durga puja, and bijaya starts. Bijaya is the time to visit your relatives and gore on some delicious sweets and snacks.


To extend the Dusshera festivities I decided to make some sweets.  It was a spur of the moment thought and so I had to resort to whatever I had in the pantry. I decided to make peda or milk fudge. While the ones you get in Kalighat are made from milk boiled for hours and stirred continuously, I resorted to the easier way – making peda in microwave. It took a total of 4 minutes cooking time in microwave to get the exact consistency you need to prepare the shapes.

The peda will remain good in the fridge for more than week if kept in an airtight container and for about 6 months in the freezer.

Micorwave Milk Powder Peda
Yields 15
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 min
  1. 1 can condensed milk
  2. ¾ cup milk powder
  3. 1 teaspoon ghee
  4. ½ teaspoon cardamom powder, extra for garnish
  5. 1 teaspoon saffron
  1. In a microwave safe bowl pour in the milk powder and ghee, give it a good stir to mix, then pour the condensed milk and mix well. Put it in the microwave and cook on high for a minutes.
  2. Take it out and add the saffron and cardamom powder and stir. Put it back in the microwave and cook for another 30 seconds. Take out and stir.
  3. By this time you’ll notice the mixture has taken a dry look on the top, and when you stir it will take a thick soup consistency. Put it back in the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes more in intervals of 30 seconds and stirring in between everytime.
  4. Once done, pour it on a plate or wax paper and let it cool so that you are able to touch it. Grease your palms with ghee and take about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll to make a ball, press in between your palms to flatten it. Garnish with saffron and cardamom
  1. Make sure the bowl is deep, as the mixture will rise while cooking, and in a shallow bowl it will spill.
  2. Instead of flattening the balls, you can also use stone or wooden mold to create shapes of your choice.
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Shrikhand – Indian Saffron Mousse

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Desserts are my weak point, I’m sure its for most of you. So, it was quite a blow to me when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in my third trimester of pregnancy, oh yes, here’s the good news, me and Kalyan are now the proud parents of a 8 week old boy, Samiron Banerjee. Ok, so coming back to my sweet eating habits, so once the baby was I born, I am compensating for the lack of sweets in the last 3 months. I had been eating cookies, cakes, sweets – I mean anything and everything that is sweet.

My friend brought me a bowl shrikhand, her own recipe and I loved it so much that I wanted to make it myself. The first attempt turned out awesome and I just couldn’t help but share this recipe with you all.


Shrikhand is a very popular dessert in Western India and some parts of Kerala. It is a yogurt based recipe, and the best part is it you don’t even need to turn on the stovetop to make this delicious recipe. Even though shrikhand is made generally with yogurt, which is hung almost overnight to drain out any excess water, I used kefir cheese, which is as dense as hung curd and the taste is the same.

Gujrati dessert


1 lb kefir cheese

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

⅛ teaspoon saffron

¼ teaspoon cardamom powder

⅛ teaspoon nutmeg powder

10-12 whole almonds

Handful of almonds and pistachios slivered

1 drop of yellow food color (optional)


Add the saffron to 2 tablespoon of warm milk and keep aside

Coarsely grind the whole almonds in a spice grinder

In a large bowl pour the kefir cheese and beat it gently to get rid of any lumps

Add one cup of confectioners’ sugar and fold in gently, do it till the rest of the sugar is folded in. You can add more sugar according to your taste

Pour in the saffron milk and fold in to the cheese. You can also add the food color now if you are using

Add the ground almond, cardamom and nutmeg powder and give it a good stir to mix everything together

Chill in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours. Serve cold garnished with slivered almonds and pistachios.

Shrikhand Gujrati dessert

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Patol Mishti

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Bengalis are renowned for their sweets. Be it east west north or south – the Bengali sweet has its own niche. Not much sweet, yet not too dull – the sweet has the exact quantity of sweetness as it should be to please anybody, and mind it not just the sweet lovers. It is the birthplace of sandesh. Even though rasogolla or rasgulla was not born here in Bengal, but very few people know that.

From sweets dipped in sugar syrups like the rasogolla, pantua, rajbhog to the dry and fried balushai and from soft and mushy steamed sandesh to the milk soaked rasomalai – Bengali sweet has it all.

There cannot be a meal complete without a piece of sweet at the end. A spoonful of chatni, a papad (poppadam) and a sweet is all you need to make the sweet loving Bengali praise your dinner menu.

While milk and milk products constitute more than ninety percent of the main ingredient in sweets. There are exceptions to this rule too. The patol misti, a one of a kind seasonal sweet is prepared with an outer covering of pointed gourd stuffed with khoya and small bits of sugar cubes (michri/mishri/misri) to give a nutty feel to it.

Makes 8 patol misti
Preparation time: 30min
Cooking time: 20min

8 Pointed gourds
200gms khoya
2 generous tablespoon of michri
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
5-6 green cardamom
Silver foil for garnishing (optional)


• Peel the pointed gourd/ patol with the back of a knife.
• Slit open the patol and take out the seeds from the inside, while doing so try not to puncture the outer coat
• Mix the water and sugar together and start boiling
• Let it boil till the sugar dissolves
• Gently place the pointed gourds inside the boiling syrup and boil till the coats get softened, but not absolutely gooey
• Take out, drain the excess syrup and let the coats get completed cooled
• Mix the khoya with the michri and stuff the coats gently with the khoya mixture
• If using the silver foil, wrap the sweets with the foil
• Keep the sweets on the upper rack of refrigerator till before serving

Hot Tips – While boiling the patol, don’t let it touch the base of the pan for long, it will change color then. Also if the syrup starts becoming too thick and caramelizing then pour in more water to make it thin. A syrup of one thred consistency is the best for boiling the pointed gourds. Thicker than that the sugar wont get inside the gourds.

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Beginners guide to Preparing Rajbhog quickly

Cooking can be stress buster for bachelors. More so if you don’t cook so well but can lay your hands on a book with an easy but mouthwatering recipe. Well, I had Satarupa Banerjee’s The Book of Indian Sweets (affiliate link) for help.

Missed my swimming lesson yesterday and so was desperate to put the evening to good use. I received the book yesterday from Kwench, and not having cooked for a while I decided to start with what a Bong outside Bengal craves for – The Oh-so-Awesome Rosogolla.

The Giant Rasgulla

Satarupa’s book on Indian sweets starts off with the unputdownable (yeah Telegraph, I borrowed your subtitle, but I hope you would take it as flattery) Rasogolla. Since the book looked pretty handy, I thought of starting off sequentially. But then it would have been too Bong for comfort. The next one was Rajbhog and I chose it immediately. Satarupa calls it The Giant Rasogulla, with a little different texture. Followed instructions to the T and ended up with this:



You can search the internet for several videos, recipes and prep styles for Rajbhog so would include just the basic style (without the jazz).

What you need (Ingredients of Rajbhog)

Note: I prepared 12 giant balls (no pun intended :P) with these. So, if you want more/less, extrapolate the figures accordingly.

  • 250 gm Paneer (softer the better. If you find Chhana, or Chhena, all the better)
  • 60 gm Khowa (not many stores would give you this amount though)
  • 1 tsp flour (maida), 1tsp semolina (suji), 1 cardamom (you just need the Elach, or Elaichi, seeds)
  • 1 kg sugar (yes, you need that much Chini for the sugar syrup)
  • 750 ml water (hopefully, you have one of those 1 litre mineral water bottles at your house, it would help in the measurement)
  • Edible Yellow color (or, 1 gm saffron, or Kesar, if you have some extra dough. Mind you, not many stores would give you 1gm of this costly stuff, so be prepared to be set back by 150 odd rupees. Else, edible colors work just well. What do you think they give you in the Sweets shops anyways?)
  • 1tsp rose water (if you already have all the other stuff at home, but not this one, don’t worry too much about it)

How to make Rajbhog (preparation steps of Rajbhog)

  • Ensure that the Paneer doesn’t have too much water (yeah I know that sounds a little moronic), and knead the Paneer with your palm well until it becomes smooth.
  • Then mix 1tsp (maida) and 1tsp semolina (suji) with the kneaded Paneer and knead again
  • Make 12 smooth balls, and ensure that there isn’t any crack
    • Tip 1 (For Beginners): at the start you may not know the optimum size of each ball, so don’t worry. Once you start making a few Golas, you would get a hang of how much Paneer to put in each Gola.
    • Tip 2 (for all) : if you want the Rajbhogs to look yellow, while kneading the Paneer, mix some edible yellow color with it
Slightly kneaded paneer

Slightly kneaded paneer

Smoothly kneaded Paneer

Smoothly kneaded Paneer

Paneer balls

Paneer balls

Now, that we have Paneer Golas, we need to make some Khowa/Cardamom balls and put it inside the Paneer Golas. Lets get started.

  • Mix Khowa and Cardamom (Elaichi) seeds and divide into 12 portions (I made 12 balls).
  • Stuff one portion of the Khowa/Cardamom mix into each Paneer Gola, and roll the balls into your palm so that the Paneer covers all the Khowa
    • Tip 3 (For Beginners): if you don’t, while boiling the Golas in sugar syrup, the Khowa would drain out. It happened to 2 of my Golas.
The Khowa balls

The Khowa balls

Preparing sugar syrup

Preparing sugar syrup

Okay, now we need to prepare sugar syrup and then boil the Golas in it. Lets do it.

  • In 750 ml water, put ½ kg sugar and boil it. When the sugar seems dissolved, pour another ½ kg sugar and continue with the heat. A while later (say 5-7 minutes), you have Sugar syrup with you.
  • Put your Golas one by one into the heated sugar syrup and continue with the boil. You’ll see that the Golas increase in size (I mean they will get puffed).
  • Continue for another 7-8 minutes and you might see some crack appearing on the Rajbhog’s surface. Remove them from fire.
  • Add (rather sprinkle) 1tsp rose water
  • You’ll have let the Golas soak in sugar syrup for a few hours (say 3-4 hours) before you can have them.

Tada, your Rajbhog is ready.

Expert Eater Challenge

Try having one Rajbhog in one mouthful J. If you can, send us a photo, we’ll publish it here.

Eating Rasogolla

Eating Rasogolla

Apple Crumble for your Valentine

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For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

  • Rosemonde Gerard

Wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day. It may be a regular day for most of us, but still at the back of the mind, this day may seem to be a little different from the other 364 days of the year – a day to love and of course to express your love for the one person who has made all the differences in life.

Though the history of this day has no connection with romance and was celebrated to commemorate the Christian martyrs who were named Valentine. The romantic tinge of this day came with Saint Valentine. Roman Emperor Claudius II, supposedly ordered that young men to remain single as he felt that married men did not make good soldiers. On the other hand, Saint Valentine secretly performed marriage ceremonies to young men. When the emperor came to know about this he persecuted Saint Valentine. Want to know more about the history of 14th February, click to see the wiki page.

This day is celebrated all throughout the Western world. Thanks to globalization 14th February has become a day of celebration for the non-Christian countries too. Though a candle light dinner would be the perfect choice to celebrate this day of love and passions most people remains content with flowers and chocolates. We at Cook Like a Bong would love to share our part of celebration with a dessert – the apple crumble. This dessert is just perfect for Valentine’s Day – rough and course from outside, soft and gooey from inside – just like your Valentine. Choose more of our Valentine’s Day recipes.


  • 2 apples, peeled, stoned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • Vanilla ice-cream or fresh cream for serving (optional)


  • In a thick bottom flask take the chopped apples and mix well with ½ cup icing sugar
  • Stew the apples over low flame with occasional stirring
  • The apples should become soft but not totally pureed
  • Place the apples in an oven proof pan
  • Mix the remaining sugar with the all-purpose flour and butter until it looks like bread crumps
  • Cover the cooked apple with the flour mix
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C
  • Place the pan in the middle rack of the preheated oven and cook for 30 min or till the upper layer turns light brown
  • Take out and serve hot with fresh cream or vanilla ice-cream

This recipe goes to Cooking with Fruits event hosted by Smita of  Tastebuds, also to Bake-off event . As this recipe is very easy to prepare and requires few ingredients, I’m sending it to Any One can Cook under the categories FB and WLI. This apple crumble is on its way to Monthly Mingle: Food for your loved ones hosted at Paulchens Food Blog?!, the event being the brainchild of Meeta of Whatsforlunchhoney.

The Calcutta Cookbook: A Treasury of Recipes From Pavement to Place

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Meringue Filled Tartlets for Christmas

Just a couple of days back a friend from school wrote on her Facebook update “My epitaph should read – here lies the drummer boy who grew up to be a lady!” Perhaps half the school remembers M as the drummer boy from the Christmas Carol competitions held every year in school during December. Christmas brings back loads of old memories, especially those days in school. Brought up in a Missionary school (read Carmel Convent) , Christmas meant a lot – Christmas carols, decorating the school with fake snow (Kolkata temperature never gone below 8°C), preparing the model manger and of course getting a share of the Christmas cake on 25th morning.

Clicked by Kalyan - St. Patrick's Church, Bangalore

School’s over and so is the innocent madness. These days Christmas has become synonymous to a partying late night on Christmas eve and perhaps a visit to the church mostly to see the Winter Fashion of the year (chuckles…). But, this time just thought of doing something a little different – planning to have a gala dinner on the 25th night. What’s your plan for the day?

Decided on the dessert for the night – tartlets with meringue filling decorated with red cherries and sprigs of mint just to retain the colors of Christmas – white, red and green. I have used marzipan to make the crust along with maida, but you can omit the almond powder and use only all purpose flour.


For the crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond powder
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoon ghee/butter
  • Water as required

For the filling:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3-4 tablespoon castor sugar
  • Cherries to decorate


For the crust:

  • Add all the dry ingredients together and pour in the butter/ghee
  • Mix these ingredients to make a bread crumb like texture
  • Pour cold water and knead with your hand to make a not-very-moist dough
  • Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Roll out the dough and line 6 small flan tins. Press the dough into the corners and trim off the excess dough with a sharp knife. Alternatively you can use a single 8” flan tin
  • Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 10-12 min or till the crust turns golden brown
  • Take out and set to cool

For the filling:

  • Beat the egg whites till they form soft peaks
  • Add the castor sugar, vanilla essence and continue beating

Put Together:

  • Pour the filling over the tart crust and bake in a preheated oven at 150°C for 5-6 min on the upper rack till the peaks turn a little brown
  • Serve hot or cold decorated with cherries

Hot Tips – You can create your own filling. Use thick custard or soft cream and seasonal fruits like strawberries, pineapple, raspberries, etc to decorate your tart. Do let us know about your favourite tart fillings.

Further Reading – Irish cream and Strawberry Tartlet, Toblerone tart.

Guest Post: Rasogolla (Rasgulla)

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Once upon a time there lived a Bengali who loved sweets. Does it seem to be starting of some fairy tale from Thakurmar Jhuli? I’m not trying to tell you any stories here, but I’m sure if you want to share your thoughts for Bengali and our love for sweets, I can very well start like this.  Sweets in Bengali diet seem to be indispensible. Be it a piece of sandesh and a spoonful of misti doi at the end of the meal or the huge platter of sweets for any social ceremonies. Bengalis can not be complete without sweets.

When we thought of conducting a poll at Cook Like a Bong FaceBook page on which is the best Sweet shop in Kolkata, we actually couldn’t come to a conclusion. With so many comments (of course thanks to all the sweet loving enthusiasts for their valuable comments), but each had a name for a different shop. Starting from Nakur, Bhim Nag and Putiram to Ganguram, Sen Mahashay, Mithai and many more.

Even though these days’ people are calorie conscious and stay away from gorging on those extra calories, but still can you just think of letting go a chance to bite on some white and mushy rasgulla (rasogolla)?

Rasgullas are soft white balls made with farmer’s cheese (chana) dipped in sugar syrup.  Khirmohon, as it was earlier called in Orissa (the actual birth place of this sweet elixir), rasgulla first appeared in the sweets shops of Kolkata during the mid of 19th century. Even though controversies prevail, Nabin Das is said to be the “Rasogolla Columbus” of Bengal who introduced this sweet to the residents of Bengal. Rasgulla was in vogue in Orissa since centuries, but it gained popularity in Bengal and has now become one of the most sought after sweets. Be it presented in a clay pot (handi) or in cans – rasogolla remains in the heart of all Bengalis and I just can’t forget that song “Ami Kolkatar rasogolla….”. If you are not satisfied with only rasogolla, then you can have a taste of a derivative of this Bengali sweet, rasomalai also called rasogolla payes.

If you are just craving to have some of these then here’s the recipe for this coveted Bengali dessert from a special guest, Sohini Biswas. Sohini is a regular contributor to the Cook Like a Bong Facebook page and we thought of publishing this Bengali sweet recipe from her kitchen.


For the Gollas:

2 litre of Full Fat Cow’s Milk (will make about 24 Rosogollas)
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon Semolina/Sooji
1 tablespoon Plain Flour/Maida
1 teaspoon Sugar
Muslin Cloth/Fine strainer

For the Sugar Syrup:

5 cups Water
3 – 4 cups Granulated Sugar (depending on whether u have a sweet tooth or not!)
½ teaspoon Crushed Green Cardamom
2 teaspoon Rose water
1 small pinch Saffron


For the Gollas:

  • Heat the milk in a deep bottomed sauce pan and bring to boil.
  • Add the lemon juice slowly to curdle the milk.
  • Once the milk is fully curdled and the green whey has been released. Place the muslin cloth on a strainer and slowly drain the whey out.
  • Keep the paneer under cool running water for a few seconds (this will remove any smell of lime).
  • Tie the ends of the cloth and hang for an hour. In a large bowl start kneading the paneer.
  • Add the semolina and flour and knead for about 5-10 mins till the dough is soft and smooth.
  • Divide into equal sized round smooth balls (keep an eye on the size of the balls as they will get bigger-about double the original size!!). Make sure the balls are crack free.

For the Syrup and the Rosogollas:

  • Heat water and sugar in a wide mouth stock pot.
  • Add the rose water and cardamom powder after the water starts boiling and the sugar is dissolved.
  • Lower the heat and add the balls one at a time.
  • Cover the pot and cook on lowest flame for about 40-45 mins.
  • Remove lid and add the saffron strands and cook for another 5 mins.
  • Take the pan off heat and let it sit for 5 mins. Garnish with roughly chopped pistachios and serve warm.
    Can be refridgerated upto 5 days in an airtight container.

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