Chhanar Payesh is a delectable Bengali dessert made with homemade cottage cheese (chhana), milk, and sugar. It is a rich and creamy dessert often enjoyed during festive occasions. Here's a recipe to make Chhanar Payesh:
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar
- 1 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
- 4-5 green cardamom pods, crushed
- A few strands of saffron (optional)
- Chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios) for garnishing
- Rosewater or kewra water (optional)
- To make Chhana (Cottage Cheese):
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the milk over medium heat and let it come to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the milk simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the sugar to the simmering milk and mix well until it dissolves completely.
- Add the crushed cardamom pods and saffron strands (if using). Stir well to infuse the flavors.
- Add the crumbled chhana to the milk and mix gently. Allow it to simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- The milk will reduce, and the chhana will blend into the milk, creating a creamy consistency.
- Add a few drops of rosewater or kewra water (if using), for a hint of fragrance and flavor. Stir well.
- Remove from heat and let the Chhanar Payesh cool to room temperature.
- Garnish with chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios) on top.
- Refrigerate the Chhanar Payesh for a few hours to chill before serving.
- Serve chilled Chhanar Payesh in dessert bowls or cups.
Enjoy the creamy and indulgent Chhanar Payesh as a delightful Bengali sweet treat!
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