Pantua (Bengali sweet)
After Rasogolla, Pantua is the arguably the most popular traditional Bengali sweet. Unlike Rasogolla, Pantua is not famous outside Bengal. Only Bengalis know how highly Pantua is rated among Bengali sweets.
First prepare chana
- Boil milk in pan
- When the milk starts boiling, squeeze in the lemon juice or yogurt slowly bit by bit, till the water separates out from milk. You will have milk solids and greenish liquid left behind
- Stop the flame and wash the milk solid with cold water (tap water will also do) quickly, so the cooking process stops in the chana (cottage cheese). It also washes the stain of lemon juice
[Keep in mind, we need to quickly cool down the chana (cottage cheese) else it will lose its softness]
- Once you complete washing, dry the chana (cottage cheese) in the clean cloth by squeezing out the water
- Smash khowa into small particles [You can use mixer grinder]
- Sprinkle with little water and keep on mixing until it is smooth dough. Make sure that it does not become too wet and too soft.
[It took me around 5 minutes]
- Mix chana (cottage cheese) dough, khowa dough, rose water, baking powder and flour well and beat it for 2-3 more minutes.
- If you find the mix little hard, sprinkle little water and make it soft. But, do not make it too soft.
- Also make sure that the mixing is done well.
- Now, create small balls from the dough.
- Put one elaichi (cardamom) seed inside each ball.
Preparing sugar syrup
- Take water in a small kadai and start boiling it.
- Put sugar as soon as water starts boiling.
- Slowly the liquid will start becoming dense and get colorized. The solution will also become sticky. A proper syrup drop when dropped in plain water, it will settle at the bottom of water and will not mix readily with water.
Frying pantua balls
- Start heating oil in a pan
- When the oil gets heated, turn the flame into extreme low.
- Carefully put the chana (cottage cheese) balls in the heated oil. The balls should get covered fully with heated oil.
- Keep on rotating the balls carefully, so the balls get heated evenly. Else skin of the chana (cottage cheese) balls may get burned. Again, vigor stirring may crack the balls.
- After frying 2/3 minutes in low flame, increase the flame to medium and fry the balls till its attends the reddish brown color.
- Stop frying, when the fried balls get proper color of the pantua.
[Once cooled down and get soaked in sugar syrup, the color will become darker]
Final processing with syrup
- Take out the fried balls from oil and put them in hot sugar syrup and boil.
- After boiling for 3/4 minutes, keep the balls in the sugar syrup for 4-5 hours. Keep it covered. No harm if kept for longer time.
Your delicious pantua is ready.