Easy Indian Pudding (Chenar Payesh)
If I try to translate Chenar Payesh to English it will be Cottage Cheese Pudding. But that’s not exactly correct, as Chena or Paneer is a specific form of Cottage Cheese. It is an acid-set form of cottage cheese. Never the less, the Chenar Payesh is a very popular traditional dessert among Bengalees. It is very delicious and the recipe I will share today is extremely easy. This is one of the few Indian desserts that can be part of a fancy meal but can be cooked in less than half-hour. This is a milk-based pudding, made with a handful of ingredients. I often play around with it and make different variations.
The traditional Indian Pudding takes a long time to prepare, it is baked for hours till the milk condenses to desired consistency. My Mother-in-law is one of the finest cooks I have ever met. I have seen her preparing Payesh/Kheer (Pudding) for hours on special occasions like Birthdays and Anniversaries every year. Even though we would enjoy the Payesh to our hearth’s content knowing the fact the amount of effort she has put into it, I often wondered if I could keep up with that tradition. But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention 😉 I have found my ways to improvise the process without compromising the taste at all 🙂
The starting point of this recipe is Chena or cheese curd. You can make it following the Cheese Curd recipe or you can use store-bought Paneer from any local grocery stores or even on amazon. I have tried both versions and they both taste good. In the original recipe, the flavor is from green cardamom seeds. But you can use Saffron, rose water, green cardamon, or any flavor of your preference. You can also add nuts (like Pistacio, sliced almonds, etc) to add some crunch. I have tried this recipe in a slow cooker as well as in an Instant Pot. Both have pros and cons. But using an Instant Pot this can be made in a half-hour with store-bought Paneer.
5 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 4 Cups of Whole Milk
- 2 Cups of Chenna or Paneer
- 1 Cup of Refined Sugar
- 3-4 Green Cardamon
- Pinch of Saffron (optional)
- Pour 1/4 cup of water in the Instant Pot
- Pour Milk into the Instant Pot
- Crumble the Chenna or Panner and add with milk
- Add crushed green cardamon seeds
- Add sugar and mix all the ingredients.
- Set Instant Pot to Sealing
- Set the mode to Porridge Mode
- Set the timer for 25 minutes
- Once timer is over, wait a few minutes
- Turn the Sauté mode, to adjust sweetness and consistency if needed.
- Chill it before serving.
This can be made on Slow Cooker. Follow the instruction as below : Start slow cooker in High Add milk and cardamon seeds. Do not cover. Let it sit for 6 hours till the milk is almost half. Add Paneer and cook for another 2 hours Add sugar and mix all week. Cook for another 1/2 hour. Chenar Payesh is ready.