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.
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 Chennar Payesh is a rich kheer made with freshly made cottage cheese (Chenna) and reduced milk. It is also called Paneer ki Kheer in North India.
- 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
Boil 3/4 litre milk.
When the milk starts boiling, turn the heat to low.
Add 1 tbsp lemon juice.
Stir till milk curdles and the whey separates.
Turn off the heat.
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.
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.
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.
In a heavy bottomed vessel, over medium flame, boil 1 litre milk.
When the milk starts to boil, remove 2 tbsp into a small cup.
Add saffron strands to the 2 tbsp milk. Set aside.
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.
When the milk has reduced, add the sugar and saffron milk.
Mix well till the sugar has dissolved.
Crumble the Chenna and to the hot milk.
Turn off the heat and keep covered for 15 minutes.
Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios.