1. Dissolve lemon juice (or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid) in half cup of warm water.
2. Bring milk to boil, reduce heat and pour the acidic water all over it. Milk will curdle, stir till milk is fully curdled.
3. Pour the curdled milk over a muslin cloth. Drain out water completely. Squeeze to remove any excess water and hang the whey for about 40 minutes.
4.Take it out and knead evenly for about 7-10 minutes. During the last 3 minutes, add the sugar. Knead the chenna/cheese along with the sugar. By this time the chenna/cheese should be very smooth & not grainy at all. .
To test if it is done & ready for the next step, take a portion of the chenna/cheese & roll it in a sphere between your palms. The sphere should be very smooth on the outside with no cracks.
5. Take a non stick pan, & put the entire chenna/cheese in the pan. Switch on the stove at a low heat. Spread out the chenna/cheese, & cook it on low heat, while constantly stirring with a spatula so it does not stick at the bottom of pan. This should be done for about 12-15 minutes. You will see it slowly change into a slightly darker shade. The texture will change too. When it is towards done, the chenna/cheese will no longer stick to the pan; it will form lumps & kind of gather together.
Once this stage is reached, quickly take it off the heat & transfer it to a bowl. If the chenna/cheese is heated beyond this, it will form crumbs & you will not be able to mould it into shapes
6.The Chenna/Cheese is now ready to be given shapes. This is called “Makha” – the prepared but not yet moulded Sandesh. You have to mould it right away while it is still warm to touch. If left alone for long, it cannot be moulded anymore.Give desired shape.
7. Sprinkle crushed pistachios and cardamom over each sandesh, cool and serve.