Kitchen Mishap Gone Right AKA How I Made Sandesh by Accident

I had some khejur gur (date jaggery) sitting in my fridge for quite some time and thought I will use it up by making some payesh (Bengali kheer, payasam) with it. But what I ended up with is some lovely Gurer Kachagolla (Bengali sweet).

Here is how it happened.

I brought the milk to boil and added khejur gur to it.

And it immediately began to curdle!

This is how it looked. I was utterly mortified!

Then I remembered my mom making chhana at home which looked exactly like this।। Chhana is the raw material for most Bengali sweets. And this one had all the fabulous flavour of khejur gur in it! So I decided to roll with it.

I let the whole thing come to boil once before switching off the flame and letting it cool down.

The liquid separated as it cooled down.

Once it was completely cool, I poured it through a sieve to separate the chhana from the liquid.

Then I realized that this sieve was not fine enough to get all the liquid out of the chhana.

So I used some cheesecloth and let it drip for couple of hours।

Lovely khejur gur flavoured chhana, all ready to be shaped into sandesh.

Voila, Gurer Kachagolla!

Mussels in White Wine Sauce

Mussels are one of those things that I love to eat but were always apprehensive to cook. Mussels and crabs. So when I finally worked up the courage to make them I wanted to start with a pretty uncomplicated recipe. I wasn’t in the mood for anything spicy plus there was an open bottle of white wine sitting in the fridge which I wanted to use up. The result, Mussels in White Wine Sauce.

Mussels in White Wine Sauce

Mussels are best if served as quickly after purchase as possible. If you must store them, keep them in icy cold water in the refrigerator. When you are ready to prepare them, check to see if any of the mussels have opened. If so, discard them.

• 1kg of mussels, washed and beards removed
• 1 tablespoons butter
• 1 cups chopped onion
• 1.5 cups light white wine
• 2 garlic cloves

Place the mussels in a large colander or strainer in the sink. Rinse the mussels well, taking care to remove any hairy growths on the mussels, sand, and other dirt. Throw out any mussels that are already open and will not close, as uncooked mussels that stay open before being cooked, are a sign of being bad.
Mince the garlic for your mussels, and chop the onion. Place both in a large pan with about a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Sautee until the onion is mostly translucent, stirring often. Add some fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. Add wine to the pan, and stir well. Let wine mixture heat through for a few minutes to properly incorporate the flavors. Add mussels to the garlic wine sauce, stir mussels to coat well, and cover to let mussels steam for about 5 minutes. Uncover, and stir mussels again. Repeat this process until the vast majority of your mussels are open. Any cooked mussels that do not open, are bad, discard those. You will be cooking mussels for about ten to fifteen minutes total.
To serve your mussels, place mussels shell and all into bowls. Ladle several spoonful of garlic wine sauce over mussels. Garnish mussels with chopped fresh rosemary.
I learned a nifty way to eat mussels. Empty one shell, but make sure the hinge stays intact. Then use that shell almost like tweezers to pluck the meat from the other shells. Use some bread to soak up the fantastic garlic wine sauce.