Hello, Foodies and Buddies!
We’re back this week with an awesome new Dish of the Week. Madhusree Bonick’s authentic Payesh has won the hearts of her foodies and she was kind enough to give us some fascinating insight into the dish as well as her recipe!
When quizzed on what the dish was exactly, this is what Chef Madhusree had to say, “It is traditional kheer that is known as “Payesh” in Bengali; made with rice and jaggery sweetened milk. This dish is made on every special occasion like birthdays or anniversaries or any religious event at home. In Bengal, no Puja is complete without Payesh.”
It is one of Chef Madhusree’s favourite dishes and she says that Payesh is a signature family dish which has been passed down from generation to generation. It is prepared to celebrate special occasions and she herself learnt the dish from her mother and mother-in-law.
She was more than happy to give us her signature recipe which you can find below:
- Start boiling full cream milk in a thick bottomed dish.
- Then add 1 to 1.5 handful of Govindobhog Rice for every litre of milk (you can use Jeera Rice if Govindobhog Rice is not available).
- Then keep stirring the milk with rice till quantity reduces, this can take 2-3 hours, then add date palm jaggery. We get the rice and jaggery from Kolkata.
- The quantity of jaggery depends on the sweetness that you will want and for us, its a matter of estimation and colour of the milk.
- If you want it really sweet, then add a combination of jaggery and sugar but we don’t add sugar.
- Once the quantity reduces to half or less and the kheer is thick enough, switch off and let it cool completely.
She also had a word of warning to be careful while preparing the dish:
“The main thing is that it takes few hours to simmer and one has to keep moving it so that it doesn’t get charred. The final quantity of kheer is nearly half of the quantity of milk that you start cooking with; if not lesser. Its a test of your arms and standing capacity. If milk sticks to the pan bottom or gets charred, the whole kheer is wasted.”
What makes it all worth it, is the joy Chef Madhusree is able to bring to her grateful Buddies, as she narrated this lovely interaction:
“Recently, when we delivered the kheer for a client’s get together; their guests came back and mentioned that the Payesh reminds her of her grandmother back home. This is how its supposed to be. This dish is a symbol of love and tradition and the sweetness comes from the love with which I make it and not the ingredients. I am glad that my patrons can feel the love too.”
On behalf of everyone at FoodyBuddy, we would like to extend our appreciation for the awesome memories you have provided to people, Chef Madhusree 🙂
And in closing, we asked the chef what other dishes she was looking forward to making famous on FoodyBuddy and she replied saying, “Sarsoon Fish, Prawn Malai Curry, and Mutton Kosha.” We have no doubts that this will be just as good as your Payesh!
If you would like your dish to be featured as a Dish of the Week, do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org