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