A disciplined row of custard apples rests on my kitchen counter. Luscious and plump, from a farm, not far away from home.
To get started on my favourite Atar Payesh.
Atar Payesh ? An amused friend asks, when I tell her what’s on my mind, bewilderment stark in her voice. And when did you dream that up ?
Not me, I retort, Atar Payesh is a quintessential Bengali delicacy that’s been around for centuries. Ever since the Portuguese arrived on the shores of Bengal with their paraphernalia of tropical fruit.
Well, yet another classic, I heave a silent sigh, that is fading fast into oblivion. Soon to be forgotten and relegated to the realms of history.
A mellifluous symphony of custard apple and milk.
Milk that has been languorously reduced till the pristine white wears a sheen of subtle gold.
Luscious custard apples fresh from the farm.
Oh and some cream, for indulgence. And that is yours truly’s touch. Grandma who religiously cooked an Atar Payesh every year with the season’s first crop of custard apples to offer to her gods would have frowned though, considering it as an extravagant luxury.
Cream or no cream, the payesh is pure bliss !!!
And if you love your custard apple as much as I do, this is a must-try before this year’s custard apple season runs out !!