• Bengali cottage cheese dessert (Peray) (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Really sweet and typically Asian, this is a great never-fail recipe. It makes 
a lovely one-off dessert, or another addition to your subcontinental high tea. 
It is best made a day ahead, to give it time to set.






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  • 250 g (9 oz/2¾ cups) desiccated coconut 
  • 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) pistachios 
  • 250 g (9 oz) cottage cheese
  • 250 g (9 oz/2¼ cups) milk powder
  • 240 g (8½ oz/¾ cup) condensed milk 
  • 3 drops of pandan extract

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 30 minutes

In a heavy-based frying pan, over medium heat, roast half the coconut for about 3–5 minutes, until light golden brown, stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn. Remove to a plate and leave to cool.

In the same pan, roast the pistachios until lightly browned, then tip them onto a chopping board. Leave to cool, then roughly chop and set aside.

Place the cottage cheese, milk powder, condensed milk and pandan extract in a blender and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the roasted coconut and mix again until incorporated.

Transfer the mixture to a container and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Spread the remaining desiccated coconut on a tray. With wet hands, shape the chilled cheese mixture into golf ball–sized balls and roll them in the coconut.

Slightly flatten them out and push a small dent into the top. Fill each dent with chopped roasted pistachios.
If possible, leave to set overnight in an airtight container at cool room temperature before serving.

Photography by Alan Benson. This recipe and image is from Lands of the Curry Leaf by Peter Kuruvita (Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99)