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Paneer in Sugar Syrup (Chena Murki): An Easy Indian Dessert

Chitrangada has nutrition in mind when cooking for her family. Making tasty nutritious food is a skill she has perfected over the years.

Low-calorie paneer dessert (chena murki)

Low-calorie paneer dessert (chena murki)

‘It's smarter to look at portions than to count calories.’

— Randy Jackson

Delicious and Low-Calorie Dessert

For regular everyday cooking, I prefer recipes that are easy, no-fuss, and that come together quickly. Many recipes I find online are so complicated—they seem to be meant for fancy dinner parties or weddings. I always appreciate it when I find simple recipes that produce tasty results.

In India, desserts are a must-have to complete the meal. And since you eat it daily, I'm always on the lookout for low-calorie desserts that are delicious.

Chena murki is one such dessert.

What Is Paneer?

  • Paneer is a type of Indian cottage cheese. It is a commonly used ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
  • It is readily available in Indian supermarkets, as well as at dairies.
  • It is easy to make homemade paneer, as well, by curdling hot, boiling milk with lemon juice or curd. After curdling, you have to pass the milk through a sieve and discard the liquid. What's left is the paneer. Homemade paneer tastes better than store-bought because it's fresher and softer.
  • Adults and children alike love paneer.
Paneer dessert recipe

Paneer dessert recipe

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

15 min

30 min

4 servings

Because homemade paneer is fresher and softer, it makes the best chena murki

Because homemade paneer is fresher and softer, it makes the best chena murki

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Ingredients

  • 200 grams paneer
  • 2 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry coconut, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon green cardamom, powdered
  • 1 teaspoon raisins
  • 4 to 5 strands saffron, pre-soaked in cold milk

Instructions

  1. To make homemade paneer: Take one liter of milk, and put it to boil. When it is boiled, add lemon juice, and it will curdle. Pass through a sieve and discard the liquid. Let the paneer cool.
  2. Cut the paneer into small pieces (squares, triangles, etc.).
  3. Take a pan suitable for boiling liquids. Place a glass of water to boil on medium flame. After 2 to 3 minutes add grated coconut, raisins, and cardamom powder. By this time, one-quarter of the water will have evaporated. Remove from fire and do not over-boil, as the paneer will become hard.
  4. When the sugar syrup looks ready with a two-thread consistency, add paneer.
  5. Boil for another 2 minutes and then take it off the heat.
  6. Transfer into a serving bowl and add thin shredded almonds and saffron, if you like. You may even decorate it with silver foil, which is how the Indian sweets are traditionally decorated to give an attractive finish.

How to Make Homemade Paneer

Rasgulla is another popular Indian dessert that is also made with paneer.

Rasgulla is another popular Indian dessert that is also made with paneer.

Other Indian Desserts Made With Paneer

In India, no ceremony is complete without sweets, and paneer can be used in a huge variety of desserts. Almost every state in India has its own set of traditional paneer-based sweets. Here are several common ones:

  • Rasgullas: Sweet dumplings in sugar syrup.
  • Rasmalai: Made by soaking flat rasgullas in thick, creamy milk syrup with saffron and pistachios.
  • Sandesh: Pure paneer or chenna mixed with green cardamom or a similar flavour.
  • Chamcham: Made with paneer or chenna. It has a lovely sunshine yellow colour.

How to Store Paneer

It is a good idea to store paneer in the refrigerator. It should be taken out of the refrigerator half an hour before cooking so that it can come back to room temperature.

Interesting Facts About Indian Sweets

  • All of the ingredients used in the preparation of Indian sweets are considered to be satvik, meaning pure.
  • Usually the ingredients in these desserts include. milk, sugar, clarified butter or ghee, dry fruits such as cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, dates, dry coconut, saffron, green cardamom, etc.
  • In India, festivals, weddings, and other celebrations are lavish and decorative affairs. There must be many different kinds of sweets on offer. No auspicious occasion can be considered complete without having sweets.
  • Sweets can be offerings to the gods. The spiritual leaders also consume them.
  • People observing fasts can consume sweets during the fast.
  • Exchanging boxes of sweets with family and friends on special occasions, such as weddings, is a must. This is done to express joy, happiness, gratitude, and admiration.
  • Although these sweets are available in the markets, the tradition is to prepare them at home, in the most hygienic conditions, in order to maintain their purity.
  • Indian sweets are also referred to as mithai.
  • The variety of sweets prepared is so vast that it is difficult to make a complete list. India is a vast country, with many distinct regions, cultures, and traditions. Each region has its own traditional sweets for different festivals.
Chena murki prepared with homemade paneer

Chena murki prepared with homemade paneer

© 2012 Chitrangada Sharan

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