Bengali payesh recipe – bengali birthday special sweet or dessert

Bengali payesh recipe with step-by-step pictures – Payesh is a Bengali birthday special sweet dish or dessert prepared at every home in Bengal. Payesh is a sugary concoction of flavourful gobindobhog rice/basmati rice & milk flavored with cardamom and bay leaves. Apart from West Bengal & Bangladesh, this sweet is popularly known as rice kheer(in Hindi language)or Payasam (in South Indian languages).

Bengali payesh is quite different from other Indian rice desserts. Just because it is made with special flavourful rice named gobindo bhog.Though instead of gobindo bhog rice, good quality flavored basmati rice also can be used. However, fine & flavourful rice is a must for making payesh. Apart from flavourful rice,full cream milk & sugar are 2 must-used ingredients for making this dish. Traditionally payesh is generally prepared with sugar or chini. Though except for this chini’r payesh we have a separate gurer payesh recipe if you want to replace the sugar with gur.

For making payesh, the first rice needs to soak in water for 30 minutes. Then boil one-liter full-fat milk with crushed cardamoms and bay leaves or tej pata for another 30 mins. Later soaked rice should be added to boiled milk and cooked until gets soft. Lastly, add dry fruits and sugar for cooking a little while to make this chaler payesh ready for eating.

In our bengali cuisine, several payesh recipes are there. However, this chaler payesh(rice kheer) is prepared to celebrate anyauspicious days like birthdays, rice ceremonies (annaprashan), and upanayana(thread ceremony in English).According to our Indian culture, birthday is incomplete without this sweet kheer. Though payesh is tagged as a Bengali birthday special sweet though this homemade dessert is good to serve after lunch or dinner too.

bengali payesh sweet is served

According to Bengali tradition,at rice eating ceremony or annaprashan(when a baby first time eats rice), we serve payesh or kheer with food at lunch. Even this homemade sweet is also served with our pujar bhoger khichuri or bengali khichdi recipe.

For making a quick payesh recipe instead of slow cooking you may add mawa or khoya kheer or condensed milk or milkmaid to get a thick consistency. We don’t serve hot, rather we believe it tastes scrumptious if it serves cold. Old people say payesh goes awesome with luchi or bengali poori though I never taste this sweet dish that way.

You may try other bengali desserts from my website

Even you may try some of my bengali sweet recipes

Sankh Sandesh recipe, Chocolate sandesh recipe, Mango sandesh recipe, chanar jilipi, narkel sandesh(chandrapuli) recipe

I got this easy and delicious payesh recipe from my own experiments in my kitchen by using little tricks. Those tricks are described through the recipe and in the tips section below. I hope those tricks and steps will help you to make it at home. And let me know your valuable comment by writing it down in the comment section below.

Bengali payesh recipe – bengali birthday special sweet or dessert

Prep time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 1 hr 10 min

Served in: 1 hr 15 mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Bengali

Served for: 7-8 people

Author: Moumita Paul

Ingredients of payesh

  • 1 lit Milk(Full fat or full cream)
  • 1/4 cup Gobindo bhog rice/Basmati rice
  • 6 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Green Cardamoms 
  • A handful of Raisins or Kismish
  • 10-12 pcs Cashew nuts
  • 2 pcs Bay leaves/Tej pata

How to make bengali payesh recipe with step-by-step pictures


  • Take 1/4 cup of gobindo bhog rice in a bowl. Wash it for 3-4 times and soak it with 1 cup of water. Soak it for 30 mins.
soaking gobindho bhog rice in water for making this bengali sweet kheer
  • Turn on the heat and place 1 lit milk(full-fat milk) on the medium flame. When the milk starts to boil, slow down the flame and maintain the flame to low to medium.
milk is going to start boiling
  • In the meantime add 2 bay leaves and 4 crushed green cardamoms to the milk.
crushed green cardamom and bay leaves in the milk
  • When the milk reaches its 3/4 of its actual amount, then strain the soaked rice and add it to the milk.
adding rice into the milk for making this kheer recipe
  • Boil the rice in milk till it gets soft and easily mashes by pressing with fingers. While rice is cooking into the milk, stir the milk frequently, especially stir its bottom.
rice is perfectly boiled and easily mashed
  • Then add kismis or raisins (soaked in water for 10 mins) and cashew nuts to the milk one by one. Mix it well.
adding raisins(soaked) and cashew nuts for making this rice pudding
  • Just within one minute add the 6 tbsp sugar to it and mix it nicely. In this stage stir well the bottom of the pan. And scrape the sides of the pan while requires.
adding sugar to this bengali payesh sweet
  • Let the sugar completely melts down. Then keep it on the flame for 1 to 2 mins with continuous stirring and then turn off the heat. Or when it’ll be about half of its actual amount. 
turned off the heat when this bengali chaler payesh is ready
  • Keep the pan in a place to make it completely cool down. Once it cools down, serve this bengali sweet dish payesh or rice kheer. Or serve it chilled, after reaching room temperature you may keep it in the refrigerator for 30 mins to 1 hr before serving. You may serve with luchi(poori) or muri(puffed rice) too.
bengali rice kheer payesh is ready and kept to cool down

Important tips about payesh

  • Soaking rice is one of the important tricks, that soften the rice quickly
  • If you don’t like bay leaves in this recipe, just skip this portion.
  • Milk needs to boil till it gets thickened up and reaches its 3/4 amount. This is the most important part of this recipe, which makes it more creamy.
  • From the beginning to the end of this recipe, continuous stirring is a must.
  • Its consistency must be medium not too thin or too thick.
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