Nolen gurer payesh is a Bengali dessert made with Govindobhog rice, milk, and date palm jaggery or nolen gur. It is a very popular dessert in Bengali households, and it is usually prepared during the winter season because date palm jaggery is readily available.
Khejur gurer payesh or jaggery flavored rice pudding is also a dish that is traditionally served during Makarsankranti or Poush sankranti, also known as poush parbon.
Payesh or kheer is a must for any Bengali auspicious occasion. No occasion is complete without it. Throughout the year, chaler payesh or chawal ki kheer (sada payesh) is typically prepared for special occasions such as birthdays, rice feeding ceremonies aka onnoprashon, weddings, and so on.
During the winter, the usual chaler payesh is replaced by nolen gurer payesh on most occasions. Apart from these, Bengal cuisine has wide range of payesh recipes including chanar payesh, luchir payesh, chirer payesh, bonder payesh, etc.
Rice: Traditionally, nolen gurer chaler payesh is made with gobindobhog rice. It is a white, aromatic, short grain sticky rice with a sweet buttery flavor and predominantly cultivated in different parts of West Bengal. Earlier, it was difficult to get this rice outside of Bengal, but thanks to e-commerce, it is now available in the majority of tier 1 and tier 2 Indian cities. It is available in Bangladeshi stores outside of India.
Milk: I prefer to use full fat cow milk to prepare this chaler payesh. This gives creamy and rich texture to the gurer payesh or gur ki kheer.
Jaggery: This is a key ingredient of nolen gurer payesh. For this dish, we use date palm jaggery, also known as nolen gur, a unique variety of jaggery. Nolen gur or notun gur or new jaggery is primarily available in two forms such as solid or patali gur and liquid or jhola gur. Nolen gur is also pronounced as nalen gur.
Others: Apart from the key ingredients listed above, desi ghee, sugar and cashew nuts are required.
How to make Rice Pudding with Date Palm Jaggery
Learn how to make nolen gurer payesh by following the steps below.
Rinse the rice under running water until the water is clear. After that soak the rice for 10 to 20 minutes. Later drain the water completely.
Boil half a liter of milk in a saucepan until it has reduced by half and set it aside. Traditionally, condensed milk or other thickening agents such as mawa or khoya are not used in payesh. Therefore, I evaporated 500 ml milk separately to give the payesh a rich, creamy texture.
Now heat 1 teaspoon of ghee and fry the chopped cashew nuts. Once done, take them out and keep aside. Add the remaining ghee in the pan and sauté the rice for few minutes.
Pour in the remaining milk (750 mL) and allow the rice to cook in the milk over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
As the rice cooks, the amount of milk will also decrease significantly. Continue scraping off the milk fat that has accumulated on the sides.
Now add the previously reduced milk. Also, take a grain of rice out of the pan and press it between the tips of your thumb and forefinger. If the rice is done, then you can smush it almost to a paste.
Stir in the sugar and allow it to dissolve completely. After adding sugar cook for few minutes as sugar adds moisture again. When the rice is visible, and the kheer has reached the desired consistency.
Next stir in the grated jaggery and cook for few minutes. Finally switch off the flame. Add fried cashew nuts and cover the pan for 5-10 minutes. Khejur gurer payesh is ready. You can serve it warm or chilled.
Nolen gurer payesh can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can serve it chilled or warm up in microwave oven or stovetop in a pan.
- Avoid soaking the rice for longer time. It might break the rice grains.
- If you don't want to use sugar, just add the jaggery after the flame has been turned off.
- Always grate khejur gur before adding it to milk. Avoid using chunks of jaggery because they may not dissolve properly and make measuring the sweetness of the kheer difficult.
- You can also include raisins, but make sure to do so only after you've added sugar. If not, milk will split.
Nolen gur is also known as notun gur or khejurer gur. Date palm jaggery is the English name for nolen gur. It's made from the sap of the date palm tree, which only produces sap when temperatures drop below 14° Celsius. As a result, it is the flavor of winter.
I would recommend using gobindobhog rice for this rice pudding. The aroma of this short-grain rice enhances the flavor of payesh. Kolam rice is similar to gobindobhog, and if you don't have access to gobindobhog, you can substitute kolam rice. However, you will not get the same authentic flavor.
Other gurer payesh recipes may not contain sugar. However, I prefer to add sugar for two reasons. One advantage of adding sugar first and then jaggery and cooking the payesh is that there is less chance of splitting milk due to impurities in jaggery. Second, the addition of sugar enhances the sweetness of the jaggery-flavored rice kheer.
More Indian Sweet Recipes
Nolen Gurer Payesh
- Heavy Bottom Pan
- ½ cup Gobindobhog rice
- 1.25 lit Milk full fat
- 1¼ cup Date Palm Jaggery (Patali Gur) grated
- 2 tablespoon Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Ghee
- 8-10 nos Cashew Nuts chopped
- Wash the rice thoroughly and soak for 10 minutes. Later drain the water completely.
- Meanwhile, boil half a liter of milk in a saucepan until it has been reduced by half and keep aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in a heavy bottom pan and fry the cashew nuts and set aside.
- Add the remaining ghee in the pan and sauté the rice for few minutes.
- Next pour the remaining milk (750 ml) to the rice and allow to cook the rice in milk under medium flame. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid the sticking of milk and rice at the bottom of the pan.
- The amount of milk will also significantly reduce as the rice cooks. Continue scraping off the milk fat that has accumulated on the sides.
- Now add the previously reduced milk. Also, take a grain of rice out of the pan and press it between the tips of your thumb and forefinger. If the rice is done, then you can smush it almost to a paste.
- Stir in the sugar and allow it to dissolve completely. After adding sugar cook for few minutes as sugar adds moisture again. When the rice is visible, and the kheer has reached the desired consistency.
- Next stir in the grated jaggery and cook for few minutes. Finally switch off the flame.
- Add fried cashew nuts and cover the pan for 5-10 minutes. Nolen gurer payesh is ready. You can serve it warm or chilled.
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