The joys of returning to the kitchen to experiment and learn! I’ll be honest, I’ve been avoiding kitchen duty for a while now, pleading exhaustion, but in honesty, it’s laziness. So the credit of pushing me back into the kitchen must be given to Kamini Patel and her challenge of creating a recipe using a product from her line, Nature Therapy.
Which accounts for a quick recap of how things have unfolded in the last few months. The story of the Nature Therapy Challenge or the snazzy sounding #NTChallenge begins somewhere in mid-April over one of our calls. We talk about almost everything under the sun, the moon and the stars. During this particular call, Kamini mentioned her concept of the #NTChallenge, and I was super excited. Kamini shared her thoughts, we exchanged numbers and ideas, and she was all set to announce the challenge when the dread that was April-May descended upon us.
Whether you are an Indian living in India, an NRI or even remotely updated on world news, the tragedy called the second wave is something you’ve definitely heard of. No one had time for tea. Or to deal with challenges. Everyone was dealing with the challenge of staying safe, stepping up where we could and lending a helping hand, even if that meant using social media to amplify needs or making calls into the wee hours of the day to help a friend.
Things seem to have calmed down for now – perhaps not the best choice of words because nothing can allay the tragedy of these two months. But yes, we are limping back into this semblance of normalcy. And Kamini’s #NTChallenge is the best way to start the fun again!
So what’s the challenge? Use the Plum + Rose Brew to add a twist to a recipe or create something new. Enter the parents’ favourite dessert, the kaone chaal’er payesh.
Kaone chaal, also called shyama, moraiya, sanwa, oodalu and what Google identifies as barnyard millet, is a common ‘fasting’ food in India. Technically a seed, the barnyard millet is low in calories, fibre rich and gluten-free, easy to cook and a favourite in our house. So I knew the parents would be okay with me turning them into guinea pigs for this recipe!
Thank God they loved the final result!
With its subtle notes, Nature Therapy’s Plum and Roses Tea lends beautifully to this humble paayesh (or kheer), turning the ordinary into unique and, well, exotic. Since the base of this brew is black tea, steeping it in milk and boiling it in the milk base for the paayesh adds to the flavour profile. Sweet, floral, fruity with a slight tinge of the bitterness of black tea, this one is definitely one worth trying.
You can shop for your own bag of this beautiful Plum +Roses Brew at the Nature Therapy Shop.
To know more about Kamini Patel – a blogger and recipe developer among other things – head over to read an interview I’d featured on the blog HERE. You can also follow her blog Kitchen Therapy for beautiful recipes.
A take on the Bengali sweet dish paayesh or kheer made with barnyard millet and flavoured with a Plum + Rose brew.
- 700 ml full-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons moraiya/barnyard millet
- 2 tablespoons Nature Therapy Plum + Roses Brew
- Sugar to taste
- Almond slivers
Remove the Nature Therapy Plum + Roses Brew in a bowl and set aside.
- Clean and wash the moraiya/barnyard millet and keep ready. I’d recommend pouring the millet in a sieve to wash in. Easier!
- Put the milk to boil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan.
- Once the milk is warm, remove 1/2 cup of milk and pour over the tea leaves. Set aside to steep for 5-7 minutes or until the milk comes to a boil.
- Into the boiling milk, pour in the steeped milk tea – along with leaves.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently.
- Cook for 10 minutes. Strain the milk to remove the leaves.
- Pour the strained milk back into the pan and simmer till it has reduced to half the amount.
- Pour in the barnyard millet into the milk while stirring to avoid lumps.
- Cook till the millet pearls are soft. Add sugar to taste, stir well.
- Remove from flame, garnish with almond slivers and serve immediately.
- If you can, use brown sugar.It enhances the taste of the dessert.
- The kheer will thicken as it cools. To change consistency, add warm milk (as required) and mix well.