- Posted January 29, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Share your heirloom recipes
Abar khabo is one of the most popular sweets in the Eastern State of Bengal, second only to the all-time favorite Rasgulla or Rasagolla. The term literally means “once more” in Bengali, and got its name because people loved it so much they couldn’t get enough of it, always asking for a second helping. In his simple version, Abar-khabo is made with fresh cottage cheese or chhena, Khoya (thickened milk), sugar, saffron threads (kesar), raisins, and pistachios.
Almost every sweet shop in Bengal has Abar khabo in the menu and it is also widely available in most parts of India. This much-loved sweet dish is a combination of three other favorite Bengal delicacies—rasgolla, sadesh, and mishit doi. The traditional version of aba-khabo takes a lot of time to prepare and requires special skills to master and perfect. Some confectioners specialize in making abar-khabo and other milk-based sweets.
The traditional way of preparing abar-hhabo for commercial purposes involves a kilogram of chhena, 150 grams of mewa (dried fruits and nuts), 200 grams of sugar, and one gram of saffron, raisins, and pistachios. The chhena and the sugar and combined well and then cooked over medium flame until a creamy texture is obtained. The mixture is then cooled and divided into two equal parts. The first part is mixed with the saffron threads, raisins and pistachios and shaped into balls. The other part is also shaped into the same size and amount of balls. The garnished ball and the plain ball are pressed against each other so that they stick together. Mewa is grated and the balls are rolled over it. Abar-khabo can then be enjoyed or chilled before serving.
This recipe is designed for making at home with a few ingredients. Khoya or thickened/solidified milk is used as garnish. The khoya is grated and the balls are rolled over it, adding creaminess and luscious flavor.
35 oz. cottage cheese chhena,
5 1/3 oz. Khoya,
14 tablespoons of sugar,
8-10 saffron (kesar) threads,
1 tablespoon raisins and finely chopped pistachios.
In a bowl, mix the paneer and sugar. Knead well.
Transfer to a pan and cook on medium heat until it is soft and creamy. Divide the mixture into 2 equal parts.
To one part, add the saffron, raisins and finely chopped pistachios. Make small, round balls with the dough and set aside.
Divide the second half of the dough into an equal number of balls. Press two balls against each other so they stick together.
Grate some khoya and roll these balls over it. Refrigerate and serve cold.
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