Chocolate Sandesh: A Dish from My Upcoming Novel, Before We Visit the Goddess

My new novel, Before We Visit the Goddess, will be out in April 2016.

The birth of each new book is a very exciting event for me. I think I'm looking forward to this one as much as I did to my first collection of stories, Arranged Marriage!

Here is a preview of the book jacket.


The book is about three generations of women–grandmother, mother and daughter–who must each examine for herself what it means to be a successful woman. Here's a link to a more detailed description:

To advance-celebrate the publication of the novel, I thought I would post a recipe that's important in the book. The grandmother, Sabitri, is a renowned sweet-maker in Kolkata and owns her own sweet shop, Durga Sweets. Her daughter's favorite sweet is chocolate sandesh. It used to be one of my favorite desserts when I was growing up, too. I guess life finds its way into art!

I tried various recipes of chocolate sandesh, including one from my mother, but the best one came from this website, Manjula's kitchen. (Sorry, Mom!) I decided I would share it with all of you today. It's an excellent website – you'll find many good recipes there.

Chocolate sandesh, Manjula's recipe

Chocolate sandesh, Manjula's recipe

I did not add pistachios to mine, as I like the flavor of chocolate by itself. I also cheated and used store-bought paneer, and mashed and warmed it in a heavy, nonstick pan on the stove until it became soft! It made the process very quick. The chocolate sauce drizzled on top is optional. The sandesh tastes delicious even without it.

Enjoy – and let me know what you think. As always, I'd love for you to share your recipes with me.