Chanar payesh is a traditional Bengali Sweet Dish in which chana (soft cottage cheese or paneer) is cooked in thick milk with sugar or condensed milk. It is also known as Bengali Style Cottage Cheese Pudding or Paneer Kheer.
My mother often used to prepare this payesh. Memories of those childhood days are still fresh. Maa (we call mom in Bengali) used to make it often either during festive seasons or just like that sometimes. Chaler Payesh or rice pudding was the most popular sweet then. However, I used to prefer chanar payesh than chaler payesh.
Whenever Maa used to plan for payesh, she would inform the milkman in advance (milk packets were rare affair then) for extra milk. As you need more milk to prepare milk-based sweet dishes.
What is Chana?
Chana or Chena is the crumbled version of the curdled milk. Chena is more moist than paneer. Milk is boiled and curdling agents are added to get chena at home. The process of making chena is similar to the process of making paneer.
However, after adding the curdling agent milk curdles and accumulates together which is then separated from the whey and called chena. Chena is further solidified by putting pressure to make paneer. Click here and learn how to make chana or paneer.
How to make Bengali Chanar Payesh?
Bengali style Chanar Payesh is an easy sweet dish which you would love to relish as your after meal dessert. For making this payesh, milk is boiled in a heavy bottom pan until it is reduced almost half of its quantity. Once the milk reduced, it becomes thick and creamy.
Sugar or Condensed milk is added to the milk for sweetness. Finally, chena is added to the thick milk and boiled for few minutes before switching of the flame.
Many people add crumbled chena in the thick creamy milk while I prefer to add homemade paneer pieces to make chanar payesh. Therefore, you can prepare chanar payesh either way. Why I said homemade paneer, because homemade paneer is soft in nature which gives better outcome.
Can I make Chanar Payesh in advance?
Of course! you can make chanar payesh in advance. If you are planning to prepare chanar payesh for your home-based party, then you can prepare it in a day or two advance. After preparing chanar payesh, allow to cool it and later store it in refrigerator. It is best served chilled.
Can I make THIS Payesh from scratch?
Definitely you can make this payesh from scratch. For that, you have to prepare chana from milk. Read the detailed post how to make chena or paneer from milk.
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Chanar Payesh | Cottage Cheese Pudding
- Heavy Bottom Pan
- 200 gms Paneer or Chana or Chenna
- 1.5 litre Milk
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 no Bay Leaf
- ½ teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- 2 tablespoon Pista or Cashew Crushed
- Cut paneer or chana into small cubes. Alternatively, you can mash the paneer or make small balls using mashed paneer or chana and keep aside.
- Boil milk in a heavy bottom pan adding a bay leaf and reduce it to almost half.
- While reducing the milk, keep scraping the cream from sides and add into boiling milk.
- Once the milk is reduced add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.
- Next add chana into milk and boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Switch off the gas and sprinkle cardamom powder.
- Add crushed nuts and allow it to cool. Later refrigerate it for half an hour and serve chilled.
- Do not add chana before adding sugar, milk might curdle.
- You can adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste bud.
- You can also use condensed milk instead of sugar.
- If you love cardamom, you can add whole cardamom while reducing the milk.
- You can also add raisins or nuts according to your choice.
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