Chaler Payesh | Bengali Rice Kheer

Now that Ganeshotsav is over, it is time to look forward to Navratri and Durga Puja. I have been thinking of a range of dishes to make to celebrate these festivals and I kick-off the series with the recipe for a traditional Bengali favourite called Chaler Payesh.

Bengali Chaler Payesh | Rice Kheer
Bengali Chaler Payesh | Rice Kheer

It is a delectable Bengali Rice Kheer and I find that there is nothing better than a cup of chilled kheer to round-off a festive meal. I found that this recipe is pretty much the same as the South Indian Pal Payasam or the Andhra Paramannam. It is the rice we use (traditionally Gobindobhog or basmati as a substitute) and the bay leaf that makes it a touch different.

I was not able to buy Gobindobhog rice is small quantities and so used basmati to make this Payesh.

Making the Chaler Payesh once again reminded me of how similar festive dishes and comfort foods are across the length and breadth of India.

This Durga Puja, do try my recipes for Niramish Bhoger Khichuri, Baigun Bhaja, Chanar Payesh, Jhinge Posto, Khejur Tomato Aamshottor Chutney, Shukhto, and more. 🙂

How to Make Chaler Payesh | Bengali Rice Kheer

Bengali Chaler Payesh | A Rice Kheer cooked in Bengal
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Chaler Payesh | Bengali Rice Kheer
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 mins
 

This recipe of Chaler Payesh | Bengali Rice Kheer is very reminiscent of the South Indian Pal Payasam. However, the flavour profile is a tad bit different because of the bay leaf.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
Servings: 6 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 1.25 Litre Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Gobindobhog or Basmati Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 6 Green Cardamom
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Ghee
  • 3 tbsp Chopped Dry Fruits (I used Cashews, Almonds, Pistachios)
Instructions
Preparing the Rice
  1. Wash and soak the rice in 1 cup water for 10 minutes.

  2. Drain the water and leave the rice in a colander so that all the water drains. 

  3. When the water has drained from the rice, add the ghee to the rice grains and mix well till all the grains are coated well.

Making the Chaler Payesh | Bengali Rice Kheer
  1. Using a pestle, crush the cardamom pods till they just split open a bit. Set aside.

  2. In a heavy bottomed vessel, over medium flame, bring the milk to a boil.

  3. When the milk starts boiling, add the bay leaves and cardamom.

  4. Cook till the milk reduces by 1/4 (becomes 3/4 of original quantity). Stir continuously so that the milk does not burn.

  5. Add the rice and cook till the rice is just done.

  6. Add the sugar and cook for about 5 minutes.

  7. Turn off the heat.

  8. Add the dry fruits and mix well.

  9. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

  10. Let the Chaler Payesh cool to room temperature and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

  11. Serve Chaler Payesh chilled!

 

Bengali Rice Kheer
Bengali Rice Kheer

Step-by-Step Method to Make Chaler Payesh | Bengali Rice Kheer

  1. Getting Started
    1. The first step is to get the rice ready. Wash the rice well under running water and then soak it in 1 cup water for about 10 minutes.
    2. After the rice has soaked a bit, drain all the water from it using a colander.
    3. Leave the rice in the colander so that all the water drains.
    4. Next add the ghee to the rice and mix well. This helps the grains remain separate when cooking. However, this is an optional step.

    5. In this Payesh, we use whole green cardamom. To ensure that the flavour is released, crush the cardamom pods a bit till they just split open. Set aside.
  2. Making the Chaler Payesh
    1. Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed vessel and over medium flame, bring the milk to a boil. Use a heavy-bottomed vessel, otherwise the milk will burn.
    2. Wait till the milk starts boiling, and then add the bay leaves and cardamom.
    3. Now is the time for patience. Continue to boil the milk till the volume reduces by 1/4, that is you have about 3/4 of the quantity you started with.
    4. As the milk reduces, stir continuously so that the milk does not burn.
    5. When the milk has reduced sufficiently, add the rice.
    6. Once again over medium flame, cook till the rice is just done.
    7. Stir continuously so that the rice does not stick to the bottom and burn. Be careful and ensure that the rice does not become mushy.
    8. Now as the final step the sugar and mix well.
    9. Cook till the sugar dissolves.
    10. Now turn off the heat.
    11. Add the dry fruits and mix well.
    12. Remove the bay leaves from the Chaler Payesh and discard them.
    13. Let the Chaler Payesh cool to room temperature.
    14. Refrigerate this delectable Bengali Rice Kheer for a couple of hours.
  3. Serve Chaler Payesh chilled!
Bengali Rice Kheer | Chaler Payesh
Bengali Rice Kheer | Chaler Payesh

Muger Mithai | Bengali Moong Dal Laddu

Today I present Muger Mithai or a Bengali Moong Dal Laddu for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop theme of Festive Recipes.

Bengali Moong Dal Laddu | Muger Mithai
Bengali Moong Dal Laddu | Muger Mithai

I chose this recipe for a special reason; today is Raksha Bandhan and yesterday was Friendship Day. So, I wanted a sweet that was celebrate both my sibling and my friends. First, since this is a blog hop, I chose to make a sweet that learnt about from one of my blogger friends, Jayeeta Basu. We became friends through our blogs and she did one of the earliest guest posts on my blog; Radha Ballavi with Cholar Dal.

When she posted the recipe for Muger Mithai, I was fascinated because to me it was like Moong Dal Halwa as a laddu. I have been wanting to make it ever since I read about it. Raksha Bandhan seemed the best time to try it because one of brother’s favouritest desserts is Moong Dal Halwa, especially the one offered as Prasadam at ISKCON. So I knew he would love this Muger Mithai, which is a close cousin.

So without much ado, I present to you this wonderful recipe for a Bengali Moong Dal Laddu. It is rich, it is delicious, it is not too sweet, and just perfect for any festive occasion. Also, because it is shaped as a laddu it is easy to serve and eat in small portions.

Thank you, Jayeeta, for this wonderful recipe. Anand, I hope you do love it.

Do visit Jayeeta’s blog Cooking Delight for delicious Bengali recipes!

How to Make Muger Mithai | Bengali Moong Dal Laddu

Muger Mithai is a delicious Bengali Moong Dal Laddu
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Muger Mithai | Bengali Moong Dal Laddu
Prep Time
4 hr
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
4 hr 40 mins
 

I learnt this recipe for Muger Mithai from my blogger friend Jayeeta Chatterjee. I absolutely love it as it is like delectable Moong Dal Halwa in a laddu form.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
Servings: 16 Laddus
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 150 gms Dhuli Moong Dal
  • 150 gms Sugar
  • 100 gms Ghee Original recipe used 150 gms
  • 100 gms Mawa
  • 8-10 Whole Cashews
  • 1 Pinch Saffron Strands
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • Pistachio Slivers for Garnish
Instructions
Preparing the Moong Dal Paste
  1. Wash and soak moong dal in 2 cups water for 4 to 6 hours.

  2. Drain all the water from the soaked dal. I left it in the colander for 30 minutes.

  3. Grind the moong dal to a smooth paste without adding any water.

  4. Set aside.

Making the Sugar Syrup
  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, over a medium flame, heat the sugar and water together till the sugar melts.

  2. Turn off the heat.

  3. Add saffron and cardamom powder.

  4. Mix well, cover, and set aside.

Making the Muger Mithai | Bengali Moong Dal Laddu
  1. In a kadhai, over medium flame, melt the ghee.

  2. Add the moong dal paste.

  3. Fry the moong dal paste in the ghee till the raw taste disappears. It took me about 20 minutes. Stir constantly because the paste has a tendency to stick to the bottom and burn.

  4. When the dal paste is fried, add the crumbled mava and cashew pieces.  

  5. Mix well.

  6. Now add the sugar syrup and cook till the syrup is absorbed.

  7. Transfer the sweetened, cooked moong dal into a plate and let it cool to room temperature.

  8. Start rolling into laddus.

  9. Garnish the laddus with pista slivers.

  10. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  • You need to fry the Moong Dal paste well in ghee on a medium flame so as not to have a raw taste. It needs patience but do persist.

 

Moong Dal Laddu | Muger Mithai
Moong Dal Laddu | Muger Mithai

Do you want to see other festive recipes that my fellow Foodie Monday Bloghop bloggers have shared? Hop over to our Facebook page by clicking on the logo.

Chennar Payesh | Bengali Cottage Cheese Kheer | Paneer Kheer

Ugadi 2017 falls on March 29, 2017. On this day food rules the roost starting with traditional Ugadi Pachadi, and traditional favourites like Chintapandu Pulihora and Bellam Paramannam. As I was contemplating a “different type of payasam” I could make this day, I thought of the Bengali Chennar Payesh | Paneer Kheer.

Bengali Channar Payesh made with reduced milk and freshly made paneer. Can also be called Paneer Kheer.
Bengali Channar Payesh | Paneer Kheer

Made with freshly made cottage cheese (Channa/Chenna), this dessert is rich and just perfect for festive occasions. I also like it because it is something different to serve, especially in a South Indian home.

The Chennar Payesh is very easy to make. All it needs is some patience because we have to make the Chenna (fresh cottage cheese) and then reduce the milk while constantly stirring. The result is absolutely worth it. 🙂

I will update this post with step-by-step pictures. I was just rushed off my feet this weekend.

Also try the Chaler Payesh | Bengali Rice Kheer.

How to Make Bengali Chennar Payesh | Paneer Kheer

 

Bengali Channar Payesh (Chennar Payesh) garnished with dry fruits
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Bengali Chennar Payesh

Bengali Chennar Payesh is a rich kheer made with freshly made cottage cheese (Chenna) and reduced milk.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 1.75 litres Full-fat milk
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Large Pinch Saffron Strands
  • 4 tbsp Slivered Almonds and Pista
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Instructions
Making Chenna
  1. Boil 3/4 litre milk.

  2. When the milk starts boiling, turn the heat to low.

  3. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice.

  4. Stir till milk curdles and the whey separates.

  5. Turn off the heat.

  6. Drain immediately into a fine soup strainer or a thin cotton/muslin cloth. Collect and save the whey; you can use it for soups or to knead roti atta.

  7. When most of the whey has drained, wash the Chenna well under running water to remove traces of the lemon. If you do not do this, the Chenna Payesh may curdle.

  8. Set aside so that the water drains out. Do not remove all the water, because then Chenna will become Paneer. 🙂 Just let it drain naturally and leave behind soft, pliable, Chenna.

Making Chennar Payesh
  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, over medium flame, boil 1 litre milk.

  2. When the milk starts to boil, remove 2 tbsp into a small cup. 

  3. Add saffron strands to the 2 tbsp milk. Set aside.

  4. Continue to boil the remaining milk while stirring continuously till it reduces by 1/3. I cannot emphasise the keep stirring enough. If you do not, the milk will start sticking to the bottom of the vessel and char.

  5. When the milk has reduced, add the sugar and saffron milk. 

  6. Mix well till the sugar has dissolved.

  7. Crumble the Chenna and to the hot milk.

  8. Turn off the heat and keep covered for 15 minutes.

  9. Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios.

  10. Chill.

  11. Serve cold.

Shukto | Bengali Style Mixed Vegetables for Durga Puja

With Durga Puja festivities in the air, Bengali food is on my mind. Today I present Shukto, which is a whole load of vegetables cooked in a mustard and poppy seed paste and milk. The result is a very different tasting vegetable that tastes phenomenal with hot rice and ghee. My colleagues at work polished it off and asked for the recipe immediately. 🙂

What I loved about Shukto was that it used loads and loads of vegetables, just like Avial from Tamil Nadu or Pindi Miriyam from Andhra Pradesh. Also, it is very lightly spiced with just some ginger and Panch Phoran, yet rich because of the Mustard and Poppy Seed paste and milk that is used in cooking.

Here is a Collection of Recipes for Durga Puja that you may want to try!

Shukto | Bengali Recipe for Durga Puja
Shukto | Bengali Recipe for Durga Puja

How to Make Shukto

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Soaking Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Radish – 75 gms
  2. Thin Long Purple Brinjals – 75 gms
  3. Bitter Gourd, Karela – 75 gms
  4. Raw Banana – 75 gms
  5. Potato – 75 gms
  6. Sweet Potato – 75 gms
  7. Beans – 75 gms
  8. Drumstick – 75 gms
  9. Mung Dal Vadi, Bori – 10 to 15
  10. Milk – 1 Cup
  11. Panch Phoran – 1 tbsp
  12. Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
  13. Poppy Seeds – 2 tbsp
  14. Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  15. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  16. Mustard Oil – 4 to 6 tbsp
  17. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  18. Sugar – 1 tsp
  19. Salt to Taste
  20. Water

Making the Paste

  1. Soak the mustard and poppy seeds together in 1/2 cup warm water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Grind into a smooth paste along with the turmeric.
  3. Set aside.

Preparing the Vegetables

  1. Peel the radish, sweet potato, banana, and potato.
  2. Cut them into 2″ long wedges about 1/4″ thick.
  3. Cut the karela, beans, drumstick, and brinjals into similar 2″ long pieces.
  4. Cut the drumstick into 2″ long pieces.

Frying the Vegetables and Bori

  1. Heat the mustard oil to smoking point and turn white.
  2. Lower the heat and wait for the oil to cool a bit.
  3. Keep the heat to medium.
  4. Fry the moong dal vadi/bori.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Except drumstick, fry each of vegetables one at a time, till they start browning at the edges. Fry the karela at the very end.
  7. Set aside.

Making the Shukto

  1. Over a low to medium flame, heat the ghee.
  2. Add the Panch Phoran.
  3. Stir-fry till aromatic.
  4. Add the grated ginger and fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the mustard-poppy seed paste.
  6. Stir-fry till the raw smell disappears.
  7. Ensure that the flame is low-medium.
  8. Add milk and bring to a gentle simmer.
  9. Add all vegetables into drumsticks.
  10. Add about 1/2 cup water.
  11. Cover and cook till the vegetables are cooked and the gravy thickens. Add more milk or water, if required.
  12. Turn off the heat.
  13. Add sugar and salt.
  14. Stir well.
  15. Just before serving add the bori and mix well.
  16. Serve the Shukto warm with steamed rice and ghee.

Tips

  • I pan-fried the vegetables on a non-stick using as little oil as possible.
  • Bengalis use Radhuni in the tempering and recommend Panch Phoran as a substitute. Since I did not have Radhuni, I used Panch Phoran.
  • Use mustard oil if possible as it adds a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi to the Shukto.

Shukto from Bengal for Durga Puja

Durga Puja Recipes

I love Navratri in general. It is a time when Mumbai is all aglow with colour, and there is song, and dance in the air. Towards the end of the Navratri period comes this festival of Durga Puja, that is very special to Bengalis and others in East India. This is a collection of  Durga Puja Recipes to celebrate this holy festival.

Bengalis do everything with passion. This reflects in everything they do at Durga Puja; be it the Pujo and Anjali; the way they dress up; and in the food that is served. Food at Durga Puja is simply divine of course, because it is blessed and is Prasad.  It also reflects the richness and the generosity of the Bengali spirit. Each dish is laden with goodness, whether it is the simple Khichuri or the delectable Rosogulla.

I have just a few recipes and hope to grow this collection of Durga Puja Recipes as time goes by.

 Bhoger Khichuri | Niramish Khichuri

Bhoger Khichuri or Bengali Khichuri or Niramish Khichuri with Baigun Bhaja

Begun Bhaja | Bengali Style Pan-Fried Brinjal

Baigun Bhaja or Bengali Pan-Fried Aubergine

 Mishti Doi

Mishti Doi - Caramel Flavoured Sweetened Yogurt - Bengali Speciality

 Bhapa Doi

Bhapa Doi - Sweet Steamed Yogurt from Bengal

Alu Phool Kopir Dalna

Alu Phool Kopir Dalna or Bengali Cauliflower and Potato Curry

 Bandhakopir Torkari

Bandhakopir Torkari or Bengali Cabbage, Peas, and Potato Curry

 Jhinge Posto

Jhinge Posto or Ridge Gourd in Poppy Seed Paste - Bengali Recipe - 2

Patishapta

Patishapta - Ready to Eat

 Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney

Bengali Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney | Bengali Style Tomato, Date, and Mango Leather Chutney