Bengali cuisine is a culinary style originating in Bengal, a region in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, which is now divided between Bangladesh and the West Bengal state of India. Other regions, such as Tripura, and the Barak Valley region of Assam (in India) also have large native Bengali populations and share this cuisine. With an emphasis on fish, vegetables and lentils are served with rice as a staple diet.
Bengali cuisine is known for its subtle (yet sometimes fiery) flavors, and its spread of confectioneries and desserts.
In a daily meal it is likely that some of the courses might get missed, for instance the 'Shak', the additional course, Chutney and Papor. In some cases, the dessert might be missed as well. The courses overall are the same at home or at a social function (e.g. marriage feast). Rice, which is the staple across the meal gets replaced by 'luchi' or luchi stuffed with dal or mashed green peas. The replacement is a relatively recent phenomenon and has been seen in practice only from about the early 20th century.
Payesh is a form of Indian style rice pudding or kheer or ari payasam which is often made in our houses. It is a tasty and flavorful bengali dessert. Chaler payesh is a tasty bengali dessert which is prepared during all auspicious occasions in Bengali families. This payesh is made with jaggery and lots of nuts.
Gobindobhog is a rice variety which is cultivated in Bengal which is sticky and aromatic with a buttery flavor. This rice variety is used in the preparation of chaler payesh. But I couldn’t find the rice variety here, so used basmati rice instead. You can also make use of any short variety of rice like jeera rice. If you can find gobindobhog rice in your area, I would suggest you to use this rice variety to get tasty flavorful payesh.
Check out the recipe below and enjoyyy the flavors.
1/4 cup basmati rice, (In this payesh bengalis normally use Gobindobhog rice)
4 cups full-fat milk
1/2 cup Jaggery
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped mixed nuts ( cashew nuts , almonds and pistachios)
1. Wash and soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
2. Heat the milk in a deep non-stick pan with bay leaves and cardamom, boil on a medium flame for 8 minutes.
3. Add the rice, mix gently and cook on a medium flame for 20 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
4. Add the jaggery, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 4 minutes, while stirring continuously.
5. Switch off the flame, discard the bay leaves and add the mixed nuts and mix well.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve chilled.