Payesh or rice kheer is an indispensable dish in every Hindu feasts or celebrations. It is also prepared in temples and in every special occasion. In our Bengali culture birthdays are considered to be remained deficient without this. Usually during birthdays or any special occasion we prepare it and first offer it to our God and then we all cherish it as God’s Prasad or sacrament.
Rice kheer is usually prepared with milk, rice, ghee, sugar/jaggery, and khoya. Some also add a little bit of heavy cream for a richer taste. It is often garnished using almonds, cashews, raisins and pistachios. There is one more popular version of North Indian kheer which is prepared during festivals and havan in Varanasi which is prepared by using just milk, rice, ghee, sugar, cardamom, dry fruits and kesar.
Today I am going to share the recipe of the typical Bengali version of rice kheer or payesh which my mom prepared on my birthday after eight long years. After my marriage, this was the first the first time I had spent my birthday with my parents. So, you can easily conjecture how exceptional it was for me.
Anyway, let’s come to point and discus the recipe. to makeBengali version of rice kheer or payesh you need to follow the subsequent steps.
- Gobindobhog Rice ( Ambemohar Rice, a special type of flavourful short grain rice which is ideal for Bengali rice kheer preparation) : ¾ th Cup.
- Full Cream Milk: 1 ½ lt.
- Condensed Milk: ½ Can
- Sugar /Jaggery: As per your taste, usually if you use condensed milk, you need to be very careful while adding extra sugar as the condensed milk is extremely sweet. Ma didn’t use.
- Cardamom Powder: 1 sp.
- Ghee ( Indian Clarified Butter) : 1 ½ tsp.
- Cashew nuts: Handful.
- Saffron Starnd : A few.
- Bay Leaves:2-3 nos.
- Soak the rice in 2 cups of water for 15-20 minutes. Drain the water properly then.
- Take a heavy bottomed vessel. Heat half of the ghee and slightly fry the cashew nuts first. Take them out and keep separately.
- In the same vessel add the rice first and stir fry it very slightly on low flame for 2-3 minutes. Take the rice out of it and keep separately.
- Now heat the rest of the ghee and add the milk. Let it boil on a very low flame until it become little thick. I want to mention here that for boiling milk I always like to use non-stick vessel else you need to be very careful so that the milk can’t be burnt.
- Now add the bay leaves and the rice into it. Increase the temperature little and cook until the rice is boiled properly. But be careful so that rice can’t be overcooked.
- Now add the condensed milk and let it boil again. Cook till your desired consistency. Then add the cashew nuts, cardamom powders and mix well. Check the sweetness. As I like lightly sweetened payesh Ma didn’t add more sugar into it. But if you want you may add little more sugar or jiggery into it.
- Turn off the flame. Your rice kheer is ready now. Sprinkle the saffron strands on it. Serve hot or chilled garnishing with more dry fruits of your choice and fresh rose petals.
- Enjoy the blissful dessert.
Enjoy Your Food...!!!