Nikhuti Payesh is my choice for N. The other N I had was Nalen Gurer Payesh, so many to do with the Nolen Gur Jaggery. Since this is a winter ingredient and on top, I have read many Bengali Food Bloggers in Chennai lamenting that they don’t get it here, I knew it was not a recipe I can try. I don’t think there is anybody was traveling down as well. So I settle with a recipe that I read in some roundup, and only later went on to read the recipe.
I haven’t asked anybody, however, I made a smart judgment of what Nikhuti means in Bengali, based on another recipe that’s coming up. I think it means tiny deep fried milk balls. Mostly oblong in shape. So here’s another shaped Bengali sweet for you.
In this Nikhuti Payesh, tiny oblong chhana balls are deep fried, soaked in sugar syrup much like the Jalebi/ Gulab Jamun types, then once it’s soaked, drain it out, and then soak it in rich creamy milk base, that is the Payesh. It is served chilled with loads of nuts in it or that’s what I understood.
Anyway, here’s another rich loaded dessert that you can’t eat more than a couple of these tiny ones if you are like me. As you munch on the Nikhuti, the soaked sugar oozes out and then you also get to taste the creamy milk.
One major taste difference I found is that the milk is also cooked with Cinnamon. Again as with other deep fried paneer sweets, the chhana has to be kneaded very well. The flour is added only as much as it can hold the shape and not more. You can either boil and reduce the whole milk or use condensed milk for a quick kheer.
So this is the second Payesh of the series and I hope you enjoy the rich kick this gives!
In this A to Z Bengali Sweets for Protein Rich dishes:
A for Aam Sandesh
B for Bhapa Sandesh
C for Channar Puli
D for Danadar
E for Elixir Sandesh
F for Fruit Sandesh
G for Gajarer Sandesh
H for Hot Chocolate Sandesh Truffle
I for Ice Cream Sandesh
J for Jilapi
K for Khirkadam
L for Lyangcha
M for Malai Sandesh
Step By Step Pictures for making soft Chhana for Bengali Sweets
Step by Step Pictures for kneading the chhana to a soft texture.
Step by Step Pictures for making Nikhuti
Step by Step Pictures for Making the Sugar Syrup
Step by Step Pictures for Making the Malai
Nikhuti Payesh | How to make Nikuti Payesh
For the Nikuti
1 cup Paneer / Chhana Crumbled
1 tsp All Purpose Flour / Maida
A Pinch of Baking powder
Cooking Oil for deep frying
For the Sugar Syrup
1 cups Sugar
1 cup Water
3-4 Cardamoms / Elaichi
For the Malai/ Payesh
2 cups Milk
1/2 cup Cream
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Mixed Nuts for garnish
How to make Nikuti Payesh
For the sugar syrup
Take the sugar with water and let the sugar melt and remove the impurities if any. Then boil the sugar with the water and crushed cardamoms till one string consistency or a thick syrup is formed. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
For the Nikuti
Prepare the soft chhana for making Bengali Sweets.
Take the crumbled paneer on a plate and with your heel, knead till there are no coarse grains or lumps and the Chenna becomes very soft.
Add the flour, baking powder to the soft chhana and knead it for nearly 10-12 minutes or till it starts releasing oil to make a smooth textured dough. You can start by adding very little flour to the dough.
Cover the bowl and keep it aside for 10 minutes and divide the mixture into tiny oblong pieces.
Heat a kadai with oil and reduce the flame when it reaches smoking point.
Gently drop in the Nikuti and deep fry in batches, till it turns golden brown.
Drain the Nikuti and soak them in the prepared warm sugar syrup for 2-3 hours.
Then drain the Nikuti and serve in the chilled Malai/Payesh you will prepare.
For the Malai/ Payesh
In a heavy bottom pan, boil the milk along with cinnamon, cream, and sugar.
Cook on a medium heat and keep stirring. Cook the milk and cream mixture till reduced to 3/4th. Switch off the heat. Remove the cinnamon stick.
Add the drained Nikuti to the Malai. Garnish with finely chopped nuts along with some soaked saffron
Refrigerate and let it stand for 1-2 hrs.
If you want to save time in making the Malai, you can use Condensed Milk instead too.
Add flour only as much as it is required. Else the Nikutis will turn hard.