Sudha Sindhu: Almond Paste and Mava Balls in Saffron-Flavoured Milk
Sudha Sindhu is lesser known Bengali Sweet that I discovered during my research. It is essentially Almond Paste and Mava balls cooked in saffron-flavoured reduced milk. The result is a decadent dessert that is delicately flavoured, not too sweet and creamy.It does take some time to make but then the result is simply fabulous.
Soak 1/4 cup almonds in 1 cup water for at least 6 hours.
Peel the soaked almonds and discard the skin.
Grind the soaked and peeled almonds with 2 tbsp sugar to a smooth paste. Add just a little bit of water or milk, if needed. I added 1 tsp of milk.
Transfer the almond paste to a plate.
Add 1.5 tbsp crumbled mava and 2 tbsp rice flour.
Knead to a smooth, soft, and malleable dough. If the dough is very soft, add a little rice flour. Add 1/2 tsp at a time till you get the dough consistency right.
Making the Almond Paste Balls
Make 16 to 20 small balls (about 1" in diameter). I used a 1/2 tsp measure to scoop the dough and got 20 balls in all.
Soaking the Saffron
Add a pinch of saffron to 2 tsp milk and set aside.
Making the Sudha Sindhu
To a heavy-bottomed vessel, add 1/2 litre milk.
Over high heat, bring to a boil.
Reduce the flame to medium, and let the milk boil and reduce to half. Stir at regular intervals. Every few minutes, scrape the milk fats that start to deposit on the side and add them back to the milk.
When the milk has reduced to half, turn the heat to low.
Add 2 tbsp mava, 2 to 3 tbsp sugar, and the saffron soaked in milk.
Now add the almond paste balls. The balls will sink to the bottom of the vessel.
Turn the heat up to medium and let the milk simmer till the almond balls float to the top.
Let the almond balls cook in the milk for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat.
Cover the vessel and let the Sudha Sindhu rest for 30 minutes.
Serve the Sudha Sindhu warm, at room temperature or then chilled as I did.