There are not many Indians you will find who do not have a knack for Bengali sweets. From Mishti Doi to Rasgulla and Sandesh, Bengalis definitely know how to do their desserts right. No surprise there, since they are renowned to have a sweet tooth! From simple dessert puddings to intricate confections, Bengali sweets have a lot to offer. From their names to their individual presentation, each dessert is complex and unique. Malai sandwich is one of those Bengali desserts that almost all of us remember eating. It may not be as common as rasgulla but that adds to the novelty of it.
The process is a little complex since it involves a lot of steps, right from preparing the chena, but the end product is absolutely fantastic. Chena is made by adding citric acid to milk and letting it curdle. The whey is then drained by hanging it in cloth till you are left with a soft cottage cheese-like consistency. This chena is then kneaded till it is smooth and not grainy. Once the dough is smooth, you shape it into desired pieces and boil it in sugar syrup. For the filling, usually, mava is mixed with a little bit of sugar syrup and on some rare occasions, they are flavoured using fruit flavours, although those are not too popular. The chena pieces are then taken out from the sugar syrup and lathered with the filling mixture, before squishing the filling between two pieces, just like a normal sandwich.
The process may seem a little tedious at first glance, but malai sandwiches are still very much prevalent in Bengali sweet shops. They are just not usually bought unless it is for a special occasion due to their very rich flavour and a higher price tag. Malai sandwiches are still the number one choice for gifting on occasions like Bengali New Year. As for non-Bengalis, the malai sandwich falls short in front of the glamorous crowd favourites rasgulla and chom chom. But that in no way means that the malai sandwich is going anywhere! Owing to its authentic and delicious taste, the malai sandwich will always remain a Bengali classic.