Serving: 8-10 people
Cooking Time: Approx 1 hr
- 8 cups of whole milk (Approx 2 liters)
- 400 gm of paneer grated (14 oz)
- 1 tsp saffron (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews and almonds
- 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 tsp cardamom powder (elaichi)
- 3/4 cup sugar ( You can add more if you want it more sweet)
Take milk in a heavy bottomed vessel/ kadhai. Put it on medium heat. Keep stirring it in between so that it do not stick to the bottom of the vessel. Always keep an eye on it.
Grate the paneer and keep it ready.
Dissolve saffron in 2 tbsp warm milk and keep it aside till it leaves its color. Chop the nuts and keep it ready. Also keep stirring the milk in between.
When milk has reduced to half of its quantity, add chopped nuts in it.
Give it a good stir and let the milk boil again. Keep the gas in medium heat only. We add nuts at this stage so that it gets cooked and become soft with boiling milk. Let the milk reduce more.
When milk has reduced more say up to 70% of it original quantity, add saffron dissolved in milk and cardamom powder in it. Mix it nicely. Milk will get a beautiful light yellow color. Keep the gas on medium heat and keep stirring it in between.
Take a kadhai and add ghee (clarified butter) in it. When ghee will get hot enough add grated paneer in it. Keep the gas on low to medium heat.
Quickly stir it and saute for 2-3 minutes only. We saute grated paneer just to remove the raw aroma and taste of it. Switch of the gas immediately after sauteing. If we will saute it for more than 2-3 minutes, the texture of paneer can get rubbery and it won’t taste good.
In the mean time milk has been reduced little more, now add sugar in it and stir it nicely.
Stir it continuously now till sugar gets dissolved in it completely. Now milk is completely ready for adding grated paneer in it.
Add paneer and mix it nicely with the milk. Now milk will turn thick. As soon as paneer is mixed in the milk switch of the gas immediately. If we will cook it more, the texture of paneer can become chewy and it won’t be soft and smooth.
Delicious Chanar Payesh is ready. Isn’t it too simple to make. Let the payesh cool down completely before serving. Traditionally Chanar Payesh is served in clay pots. After payesh has cooled down it is poured in individual clay bowls and is kept to rest for at least 3-4 hours. Due to the cooling property of the clay pot, it absorbs all the excess moisture from the payesh and makes it cool. Then payesh becomes like a super soft pudding or cake and it has melt in mouth kind of texture.
Now as clay pot is not easily available everywhere, I poured chanar payesh in a glass container and kept it in refrigerator for 4 – 5 hours. When it was chilled and little set then I served it in small glass bowls. You can also garnish it with pistachio and little saffron. It is completely optional.
This is a super simple and flavorful desert. Believe me friends you won’t be able to stop your self from having another bowl of this. This is a very traditional Bengali sweet dish which is made during festivals. Do try this out friends and please let me know how you like it. Enjoy !!
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