West Bengal, particularly Kolkata, is dotted with mishti’r dokan (sweet shops). Walk 2 steps and you will find one. Every lane and by-lane of the city has a sweet shop, each boasting of its speciality. Some make the best roshogolla, some darbesh, sondesh and so on. Then a few sweets are available in all shops around the year. And a few seasonal sweets. Chandrapuli is one such. You will not find chandrapuli in all sweet shops, nor will you find it round the year. Durga Pujo onwards, a few sweet shops display this sublime mishti.
Most of our Bengali sweets are made of pure chhena, whether it is roshogolla, shondesh or pantua. Amongst them, there are a few mishits that are mixed with khoya or milk solids to give it that creamy and hard texture. Most of the sondesh with khoa is hard in nature but soft as you bite into it- like a peda. Chandrapuli pitha is also characterized by its particular shape and design that remains a standard. It is made using coconut paste instead of chhena and khoya. You need to use wooden moulds to make it. And like all sondesh, this one too is not that easy.
Tips to make Chandrapuli:
- You will need fresh coconut for this and not desiccated coconut.
- A very important step is to grind the coconut to a smooth paste. The smoother the texture, the better it will be to hold shape and will taste better too.
- Although the ratio of khoa to coconut should be the same, in case you need to get that smooth texture, you can add more khoya
- Adding milk powder to the final mixture before taking it down from the pan helps in better binding
- You will need to brush the wooden moulds with ghee each time.
- This mishti is delicate to handle in the beginning and they are soft. They harden as they cool down. So you will have to refrigerate this for a few hours before serving.
Here are a few mishti recipes that you may like:
- Lobongo lotika or laung latika
- Bhapa doi- an alternative to mishti doi
- Pantua- The Bengali gulab Jamun
- Besan Laddoo
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Chandrapuli | Chandrapuli Pitha
- 300 gms grated coconut
- 300 gms khoya
- 1 pinch of camphor optional
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 2 tbsp milk powder if needed
- 150 gms sugar
- 2-3 tbsp ghee
- Grate the coconut and grind it into a smooth paste using little water.
- take sugar and 1 cup of water in a pan and let the sugar melt.
- After that, add the coconut and the khoya.
- Stir this continuously till the mixture thickens. Keep stirring and folding. This requires a lot of patience.
- After about ten minutes, add 1 tbsp ghee, camphor powder, cardamom powder and milk powder and continue stirring.
- You will know it is ready when the mixture has become sticky and can be shaped in the hand.
- Take it off from the heat and let it cool down a little bit before you can start working.
- Rub the palm of your hands with ghee. Rub the wooden mould with ghee.
- Now take a portion and press on the mould to 2 mm thickness.
- After shaping, gently release it from the mould and place it on a plate greased with ghee.
- Repeat this for the entire mixture.
- Leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours and then serve it.