Bengali Bites: Payesh


Morgan Kong

Wingspan’s Ananda Ghoshal delves deeper into the world of Bengali food and shares her thoughts.

Ananda Ghoshal, Staff Reporter

Every year for our birthdays, my mom makes Payesh, which is a type of pudding. It’s so creamy, sweet, and a great dessert to have after dinner. With that being said, my mom made me Payesh with oat milk and all of my favourite toppings like cardamom, cashews and raisins. I want to reiterate that she made it with oat milk this time.

I guess she really wanted my eighteenth to be special. But it’s less about the fact that it’s Payesh, but more about the fact of how constant it has been in my life on special occasions, that makes me appreciate this dish in particular. Normally, on my birthday, my parents are still working so we don’t celebrate, but having Payesh is such a nice way of ending the day; especially because my mom works so hard to make it how I like it.

I don’t know if Payesh has a cultural significance in this way, but it definitely has a familial significance. When we hear there’s Payesh, we come running; especially my sister, who lives almost thirty minutes away. It’s literally a pudding dish, and it is easier to make, but the way it brings my family together (sometimes, as a peace offering if we had been arguing) is something I had been thinking about yesterday. All I could think about was how my mother would not let me sleep until she made Payesh, prayed and offered it to the gods, and served a portion of the offering to me while wishing me a very happy birthday.

Needless to say, this was a very happy birthday.