Happy New Year!
Pathir Payni is an over the top kind of dessert that is served at weddings along with almond milk/ kheer. It takes great skill to make something that is as big as a roti /chapathi, when fried puffs like a puri, but is flaky like a puffed pastry and the flakes resemble the shredded phylo dough. This sweet when prepared perfectly is such a treat to enjoy after it has been soaked in hot or cold almond milk. This dish is such a specialty that it is not very easy for the home cook to make it like the chefs at the wedding. Not that it is impossible, but to get it like the pro all the tools and tricks are necessary. Though most Indian sweets are available in the stores here, payni is hard to find. So for all of who like it as much as I do here is the easy version of the recipe for you to enjoy any time.
The idea for this recipe came to me when I tasted the baklava made with shredded phylo dough. Its texture and taste reminded me of payni. On deciding to make the payni I got a box of the shredded phylo dough from our local Mediterranean store. I baked the phylo dough instead of deep frying because I felt it would be easier to work with the shredded dough. The result is a healthy version of the payni though not a 100% of the original version, but still is the closest relative of it. It was a breeze to make this payni and was a delicious dessert to have on any occasion.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Heavy Bottom Pan or Milk Cooker
Ingredients: ( Makes 8 Payni's)
Shredded Phylo Dough (Kataifi) - 1 packet
Oil -3 tbsp
Ghee/ Melted Butter - 3 tbsp
For Almond Milk: ( 3/4 cup per payni = 5 cups)
Cashew Nuts - 1/2 cup
Almonds - 1/2 cup ( skin removed)
Sugar - 12 tsp of sugar ( increase if you have a sweet tooth)
Milk - 5 cups
Saffron - a pinch
Cardamon - 2 pods
Pistachios - a few for garnish
Preparation of Payni:
1. Buy a packet if Kataifi ( available in Mediterranean Stores) and allow it to defrost as per the instructions. I left it on the kitchen counter for 2 hours and it was ready to be used.
2. Set the oven to 375 degrees F.Place the shredded phylo dough on a parchment paper cut to the size of the cookie sheet and uncoil the phylo dough and spread them out. Take some ghee and oil in your hands and spread it on the dough almost as if you are massaging your hair and coat the ghee and oil well without breaking the strands.
3. Once you feel that you have spread the grease well, take a rope of the shredded dough and start shaping into a circle or coil so that it has 1 inch thickness and is about 6-7 inches wide. This is very important because if you make it very thin they tend to roast faster and turn too brown. So please pay attention to this step.
4. Place it on the cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes on one side. Flip and bake it for 10 minutes on the other side. Turn off the oven and allow the payni to sit keeping an eye to flip after 5 minutes. You might see white areas here and there but that is fine,they will be toasted.
Preparation Of Almond Milk:
1. Soak the cashew nut and almond in warm water for 10 minutes.Grind together the soaked nuts and cardamon into a grainy paste.
4. Add sugar, saffron and allow the milk to simmer for 5 minutes.The milk should not be very thick like a kheer.
5.It must be more of a milky consistency. Please test for the sweetness and pour 3/4 th cup over each payni, garnish with a few pistachio's and serve it hot or cold.( Allow the payni to soak up the milk and then taste)