My preparation was Parboni Payesh, the special winter time payesh (the Bengali variant of kheer), made royal with khejur patali gur, grated coconut, milk and condiments.
The good ol’ Bengali Payesh, a staple for all auspicious occasions proved its mettle once more when it got me the 2nd Prize in a cooking competition, judged by celebrity chef and author Neeta Mehta. The competition, organized by Radikal Rice to introduce their rice varieties, had some enthusiastic participants and excitement was nothing less than what you see in those TV shows.
In fact, I was the only one cooked a sweet dish. But then, the time was ripe for that! It was winter, the best time for khejur patali gur (date molasses). My preparation was Parboni Payesh, the special winter time payesh (the Bengali variant of kheer), made royal with khejur patali gur, grated coconut, milk and condiments.
I enjoyed making this dish thoroughly. You will enjoy it too!
1. Basmati (Radikal Product) – 3 to 4 handfuls (Usually I use Gobindabhog, which smells much better and with smaller grains, ideal for payesh)
2. Milk – 1.5 ltr full cream milk
3. Coconut – 1/2 cup, grated
4. Date molasses (Khejur Patali) – 1.25 cups, finely chopped
5. Sugar – I tsp
6. Bay leaf – 2
7. Clarified butter (Ghee) – 1tbsp [Optional]
8. Raisins – About 20
9. Cashew nuts – 10 (halved) [Optional]
Clean, wash and soak rice for 30 minutes. Then drain off the water.
Chop date molasses finely.
a. Take a thick based dekchi / handi / saucepan / wok and put on the low flame.
b. Add milk and bring to boil.
c. Add bay leaves, stirring it regularly and thicken till it comes to half the amount.
d. Heat ghee in another pan and add rice and stir-fry for a minute or two over very low heat.
e. Add rice to boiling milk. Cook till the rice is ¾ cooked.
f. Add sugar on low flame and stir till dissolve.
g. Add the date molasses and stir regularly to dissolve. Allow for cooking for about 5-6 minutes over medium flame till the cooked rice show up on the surface.
h. Reduce flame and add grated coconut, half the raisins and nuts. Stir and take off from flame.
i. Shift it to a serving bowl and garnish with the rest of raisins and nuts.
j. Parboni Payesh is ready.
k. Cool and serve.
It is a perfect winter delicacy.
1. While boiling milk you need to stir preferably with a flat tipped spatula and prevent it from sticking below the pan / pot.
2. While adding rice you must stir from below in a dorso-ventral (aage-pichhe)movement which will prevent rice to stick together or on the base.
3. Add sugar on low heat (I learnt this from my mother) and allow it to dissolve by gently stirring, before adding the molasses. This prevents the molasses from separating the milk (doodh phatna). As you know that sometimes agents are added to molasses to make it look brighter, but it sometimes disturbs the milk itself.
4. Finally, to avoid making doodh-bhaat (rice in milk), never precook the rice in water. ALWAYS boil it in milk.
5. I prefer earthen pots for traditional sweet dishes for serving… it adds to the wow factor.
Enjoy happy payesh making experience…
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