The advent of Mahalaya marks the beginning of Matri Paksha and the beginning of Durga Puja preparation. We Bengalis eagerly wait an entire year just to get a glimpse of Maa Durga and that makes the long wait worthy for us. The biggest Bengali festival always demands grand celebration and we literally leave no stone unturned to make it grand. Durga Puja is not just a festival, it’s an emotion for us. It is this time of the year when we forget all our worries and distresses and just “live”. And when we are living to our hearts content, we always indulge ourselves in “good food”.
There is already “pujo pujo gondho” (the fragrance of Durga Puja) in the year and I can feel it. Mahalaya is round the corner and I am already busy with the preparation of marking the auspicious day. While I know that this year is different with the ongoing pandemic, the Bong in me just couldn’t resist the feeling. While I take the oath of abiding by all the social norms to keep myself and others safe, I urge everyone to do the same. Keeping safe distance from other, wearing mask and maintaining hygiene, staying indoors as much as possible and refraining ourselves from random pandal hopping – these are all we need to maintain during this festive season. Difficult, but necessary. Maa Durga knows how we feel and may She heals the world with her arrival.
I know I can make it grand even if staying at home. Good food and positive vibes are all that I need. I have started floating myself with the waves of festivities and here is what I did, I made Luchir Payesh. This is a super delectable dessert made with deep fried puffy bread and reduced milk. The puffy breads get submerged in jaggery infused flavourful thickened milk and the symphony is created. Typically, this is prepared during Makar Sankranti when Nolen Gur aka Patali Gur (date palm jaggery) is available. But, I luckily have some stocked in my fridge and thus I made it. Also, you can happily replace jaggery with white or brown sugar.
Let me quickly tell you how I make my Luchir Payesh and I hope you all love it. Please note that Luchi recipe is already on my blog so I am not repeating it. Make exactly same luchis, just, little bit smaller in size and fry until little brownish. Also, for 1 lit of milk 7 luchis should be enough. Luchi absorbs quite a good amount of milk, so, add accordingly.
- 7 luchi (find the recipe HERE)
- 1 lit full fat milk
- few saffron strand
- 1/2 tea-spoon cardamom powder
- 1 cup grated date palm jaggery (or white/brown sugar), adjust according to taste
- Once the luchis are done, remove them on tissue paper and let the extra oil get absorbed. Keep aside.
- Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil.
- Once milk starts boiling, add saffron and cardamom powder and let it get reduced over low to medium flame. Reduce it to slightly more than half. This should take approximately 40 minutes.
- Add jaggery and stir to mix it properly with the milk.
- Lower the flame and add luchis one by one and with the help of spatula, submerge them completely to the milk. Simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the flame.
- Let it completely cool down to room temperature and your Luchir Payesh is ready to be served.
This is a delicious dessert and I am sure you and your family gonna love it. Do try and let me know in comments how you like it. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.