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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Chooshi Pithe'r Payesh - Traditional Bengali Kheer / Payasam / Pudding


          Shubo Nobo Borsho (Happy Bengali New Year) to you all. On this auspicious day, here comes a traditional and a long forgotten Bengali dessert. Pithe is generally made during Sankranti and there are a number of varieties. And one of them happens to be "Chooshi Pithe'r Payesh".

          Try making it with date palm jaggery, the authentic way, it is simply mouth watering. This dessert has not been commercialized yet and remains purely a homemade one. So check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare this amazing delicacy.












          I had the opportunity of relishing it at the hands of my late grandma in law more than two decades back. And this is my very first attempt at making it. It turned out simply delicious. You need to have a lot of patience to dish out this sweet, but it is worth all the effort. These days you get store bought Chooshi in Kolkata, but it is absolutely nothing compared to the satisfaction you get from home made chooshi.








  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 cups full cream milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 5-6 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp. pistachios, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp. rose water










          To make the Chooshi - In a bowl add the rice flour and pinch of salt. knead into a dough by adding lukewarm water, little at a time. Cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

          Divide the dough into several small portions. Take each portion and roll lengthwise on a flour dusted surface.

          Divide it further into very small portions. Pick each portion and roll it lengthwise again. Take a small piece of the dough and roll out into chooshi shapes, around 2-3 cm. long  (as shown in the picture below) in between your palms. 

          Keep dusting with rice flour so that it does not stick to your hands. Transfer to a bowl and keep aside.

          To make the payesh (Kheer) - Heat ghee in a pan and saute the prepared chooshi for a minute. Keep aside. 

          Bring the full fat milk and the bay leaves to a boil in the same pan. Simmer on a low flame for 10-15 minutes by continuously stirring.

          Now add the evaporated milk and sugar. Simmer further for 5-10 minutes till the sugar is dissolved. 

          Now add the fried chooshi, chopped pistachios and coconut. Mix everything well and simmer on a low flame for 10-12 minutes by stirring continuously. 

          When done, add the cardamom powder and give it a stir. Take off the flame and allow it to cool down a little. Add the rose water and serve them chilled.
          




                               Take the rice flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl.




                               Knead into a dough by adding lukewarm water, little at a time.





               Divide the dough into several small portions. Take each portion & roll lengthwise
               on a flour dusted surface.




                               Divide it further into very small portions. 




                Pick each portion and roll out lengthwise again. Take a small piece of dough 
                and roll into chooshi shapes.....
               



                               .... in between your palms as shown.



                               This is how the chooshi's are shaped.




                               Transfer to a bowl.






Heat ghee in a pan and saute the chooshi in it. Keep aside



                Bring the full fat milk and the bay leaves to a boil in the same pan. Simmer on
                a low flame for 10-15 minutes by continuously stirring.



                 Now add the evaporated milk and sugar. Simmer further for 5-10 minutes till
                 the sugar is dissolved. Add the chopped pistachios,




                                the fried chooshi, 




                 and coconut. Mix everything well and simmer on a low flame for 10-12 minutes
                 by stirring continuously. 



               When done, add the cardamom powder and give it a stir. Take off the flame and 
               allow it to cool down a little. 




                               Add the rose water and serve them chilled.
          



















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