BM # 69
Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Sweets from Indian States
Can anyone resist Bengali sweets ? No , they are a treat by themselves. Most of the Bengali sweets are made of chenna and sweetened with sugar or jaggery. Today we move a little from chenna and make a Bengali Kheer.
The Bengali Kheer is made from a special rice called Govind Bhog. The rice is small and thick with a very sweet smell. Our neighbour, Bawa Aunty in Delhi is a Punjabi but has lived in Calcutta for years. On my every visit to Delhi, Aunty invites the complete family for a lunch or dinner.She is a excellent cook and has knowledge of practically all cuisines. The last time we were in her house the Bengali Kheer was one of the desserts. I was awed by this kheer, it had amazing flavors, and had to ask aunty about it. She was the one who told me about this rice and infact packed the rice for me. The rice has been in my pantry for a while and when the theme of Indian states came up I immediately made this kheer.
The rice lends a sweet aroma and for this reason it should not be washed, it should be wiped with a wet napkin and then added to the milk. Bay leaf is also an important ingredient of this kheer, which enhances the flavor and can be removed before serving.
So here is the Bengali Chaler Payesh.
Bengali Chaler Payesh
1 lt milk
1/3 cup Gobindo Bhog rice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
1 bay leaf
Boil the milk, add bay leaf and cardamon powder.
Take a wet kitchen towel and wipe the rice.
Add the unwashed rice to the boiling milk.
Let cook till done.
Cooking rice in milk always takes longer than cooking it in water.
Stir gently in between, we do not want to break the rice.
Once the rice is done, add sugar and remove the bay leaf.
At this point one can add a tsp of ghee, which is optional.
Remove , cool and garnish with nuts.