ORANGE CHENNA PAYESH/ ORANGE KHEER FOR BASANT PANCHAMI
Orange chenna payesh, how to make orange kheer, how to make chenna payesh, Basant Pachami recipes, Indian traditional sweets, easy Indian sweets, Orange and cottage cheese pudding
In India, festivals are integrally related to seasons. We mark onset/change in seasons as auspicious days and are thus celebrated in their own unique ways. Basant Panchami, ( Basant/vasant is spring; Panchami-fifth day) is one such auspicious day, widely celebrated by worshipping Goddess Saraswati, the epitome of knowledge and wisdom. Basant Panchami, a much awaited holiday at home, begins with worship to Goddess Saraswati followed by cooking and savouring of the prepared delicacies, and a deep slumber there after.
The spring air at our place jolts us out of the cosy cold wintery endeavours, preparing us for the harsh summer in store. For a place which suffers nearly three fourths of the year with harsh heat and humidity, Spring is probably the most cherished time. The winter blooms giving away to some springy pink, yellow and orange orchid sticks on the terrace garden brightens up the place for some time before the cruel heat locks us up all indoors.
Spring is also the time when we bid a painful goodbye to the sweet oranges. This year, I decided to flavour the delectable Bengali dessert Chenna Payesh ( Cottage cheese pudding/kheer) with the flavourful oranges. This scrumptious dessert , with the cottage cheese cooked in milk, flavoured with sweetened orange pulp and sprinkled with loads of nuts tastes as festive as it looks.
Recipe for Orange Chenna Payesh ( orange flavoured cottage cheese pudding)
For the Chenna Payesh:
- Home made chenna/ Ready made- 1/2 cup
- Milk- 6 cups
- Cardamom – 2 to 3 pods
- Sugar- 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Chopped nuts ( I used blanched pistachios and roasted almonds)- 1/4 cup
For Orange compote/sweetened orange reduction
- Orange Wedges ( peeled and deseeded)- 2 to 2.5 cups (roughly from 4 big oranges)
- Sugar- 1/2 cup
- Orange zest (outermost orange part excluding the white pith of orange peel)- 1 teaspoon
To make orange compote:
- Add all the peeled orange wedges to a thick bottomed pan, add sugar and start cooking .
- After few minutes the oranges will release juices, and will start bubbling. Add orange zest and mix well.
- Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes with intermittent stirring on low flame.
- Once the mixture thickens, switch off the flame and allow the mixture to cool down.
To make chenna payesh:
- Make chenna by splitting milk, drain out all the water and keep aside.To make home made chenna, please refer here. Roughly 1.5 litres of milk will give 1/2 cup of chenna.
- Heat 6 cups of milk, bring it to boil and allow it to simmer and reduce to half its quantity.
- Keep stirring in between , remove the cream and mix it into the milk.
- Once the milk thickens and reduces, mix in sugar, cardamom powder.
- Mash the prepared chenna/cottage cheese and add it into the boiling milk.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes switch off the flame.
- Allow the chenna payesh to cool down completely.
Note: Wash the homemade chenna under cold running water to remove remnants of any splitting agent (like lemon/vinegar) as after adding the chenna, the milk may start to curdle.
Assembling Orange Chenna Payesh:
- Once both the orange compote and chenna payesh have cooled down, mix both , add in dry fruits and chill for few hours.
- While serving, mix in some more chopped orange wedges, sprinkle some dry fruits and garnish with orange zest.
- Tastes best when served chilled overnight.