Payesh is an integral part when it comes to celebrate Birthday in a Bengali household. I love the sight of making Payesh so much, that I cannot describe my happiness in words, it’s so much nostalgic to see every time that Ma is making Payesh for me. This year I was lucky to have my parents on my Birthday, and Sufi was lucky to have her grandparents on her Birthday. Our birthday comes one after another, in two consecutive months. And I pushed my Mom into the kitchen to make Payesh for us (read me ;)). This ‘Gobindobhog Chaal er Payesh’ (Bengali style Rice Pudding) was cooked by Ma on my birthday, so this is very special to me! Mushy rice grains infused within sweet cardamom flavoured milk with the bites of raisins and cashews, this dessert is something divine. I was dying to put this recipe of my Mom’s on my blog for quite a long time. Finally the right time has come. I don’t know how Ma manages, but every time this bowl of heaven tastes the same. This is called the magic of Mom’s hand! 🙂
Gobindobhog Chaal er Payesh/Bengali style Rice Pudding
- Milk- 1½ liter
- Gobindobhog Chaal (Gobindobhog is a small grain fragrant rice variety, used for Bengali cooking) – 1 cup (minus 2 tbsp)
- Misri/Rock Sugar (read note) – 300g
- Raisins- One handful
- Cashews (optional)- 2 tbsp
- Bay leaf- 2
- Green cardamom- 4-5 (lightly crushed)
With a heavy object break Misri in small chunks. Now wash the rice well and keep aside. Take a deep bottomed pan. Pour the milk in it. Boil on high flame. Once it boils, reduce the heat. Add the rice and bay leaves, mix well. On medium flame cook the rice until boiled. Stir in between, to prevent burning from the bottom of the pan.
Add misri chunks at this stage. Mix well, the misri chunks will be dissolved in the milk quickly and nicely, don’t worry about that. Add cardamoms, cashews and raisins. Mix well. Remove from heat.
Serve after cooling. Enjoy!
- Misri is crystallized sugar lump, a type of confectionery mineral, which has its origins in India and Persia, also known as rock sugar elsewhere. In old style Bengali cuisine it was used for making Payesh. It is believed that Misri has the ability to give payesh a thick body, it gives a much thicker consistency than sugar. I was told by Ma many times that not to make Payesh with sugar, that way Payesh tend to become watery. It’s an old school theory though, many people make Payesh with sugar. If Misri is not available then you can use sugar. But with Misri Payesh tastes always authentic.
- If Gobindobhog rice is not available, then basmati rice can be used. But for this kheer, Gobindobhog Rice is strongly recommended.
- If you feel that the kheer is thickening too much at the end of cooking, as it should not be very thick, then you can add some more milk at this stage. In my case I didn’t add any milk and the consistency was just fine.