Monday, January 10, 2011

Nolen Gurer Payesh

Friday is Sankranti, which means its time to get Nolen/ Notun/Khejur Gur and keep a flickering tradition alive. The winter sun is at its glorious best today, it reminds me of my younger days in India, when my parents would get this famous date jaggery, Bengalis lovingly call Nolen Gur.

IMG_0630 We would wait in anticipation when my Grandmother and Mum would get busy in the kitchen, breaking the gur down for sweet winter delicacies - pithe, puli, and payesh. All that is a thing of the past for me now.

What remains now, is just a taste in my mouth, and thankfully its not bitter. Its the smoky, sweet taste of Khejur Gur.

All I have today is a bowl of Nolen Gurer Payesh sparkling in the afternoon sun to remember my past and some forgotten traditions. And I’d like to share it with you…

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Ingredients for Nolen Gurer Payesh:

1 liter half and half cream/full cream milk
3 tablespoons Basmati rice, washed and soaked in water
6-7 tablespoons of grated date jaggery/ nolen gur

Begin by doing this test. Boil half a cup of milk and add some nolen gur in it. If the milk curdles, you cannot use that jaggery for your dessert. If it doesn’t you are in for some treat.

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In a thick bottom saucepan, boil the milk on low-medium heat, stirring continuously. When its reduced to half its original quantity, add the Nolen Gur. I grate my jaggery and then add it to the milk. It helps to quickly break it down in the hot milk.

Keep cooking the milk and gur by adjusting the heat from time to time. You literally have to babysit the cooking process. The last thing you want is to burn the milk and your precious gur.

When the milk starts to thicken, add the washed and drained rice.

IMG_0624 Keep the heat on low and keep stirring all the time. Scrape the sides of the pan into the milk, if a skin forms on the top, mix that in as well, the real taste lies there!

Do a taste test and add a little more gur only if necessary. Remember all food tastes less sweet (or salty) when they are piping hot. Do not overdo the sweetness in the payesh, no one likes a sinfully sweet payesh.

IMG_0617 When the rice in the payesh gets cooked, turn the heat off. The milk would have turned thick and adorn a color so rich, only Nolen Gur can flaunt!

Its now time to escape to the taste of tradition with a bowl of Nolen Gurer Payesh.
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Its also legal to make Payesh with plain white sugar. Here is the recipe if you don’t have Nolen Gur this winter.

24 comments:

Preeti said...

Very tempting payesh Pree

Tanvi@SinfullySpicy said...

I can only dream of getting khajur gur in vegas.I m thinking for a long time of trying this payesh with a paste of dates n sugar..what do u think..will it work? P likes the typical khajur payesh only!Yours is lip smacking.

Cham said...

I didn't know the gur will break the milk! We make this sweet with sugar, milk and rice...Gur should give a different taste. Lovely!

Kuntala said...

rannabannar kichhhui na janleo, ei payes ta niye ami sensitive ebong eta niye konorokom compromise e raji noi. tomar payeser chhobita dekhei bojha jachchhe, first class, exactly amar maayer payeser moto.

tomar blog durdanto Pree, chaliye jao.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Sinfully good... I can only dream of it here...

Sassy Fork said...

Yum Yum Yum!!

? said...

Have never tried Date-Jaggery before. We have several dishes which use milk and jaggery and it is difficult to get it right. This looks delicious.

Sharmila said...

Looks wonderful Pree! Ekbar bengali shop ta te jete hobe ... ami chaler payesh khai na ... but winter won't be the same without tasting patali gur once. Lovely snaps. :-)

Sayantani said...

aha ki sundor payes ar nolen gurer gandhe amar bario ma ma korche. ami aj nolen gurer rasogolla ar sandesh baniechi :-)0.

shruti said...

Looks yum !!! One of my friemd's mom prepared this once and I completely enjoyed. Wil try to make it at my place this Sakranthi :)

Gouri Guha said...

Lovely payesh with nolen gur. sankranti aasheee gelo jani na pithe bano ki na kintu payesh nischoi banabo aar gurer narkel naru oo bhabchi banabo kintu jani na. Kano je jani bolchi taao jani na...
maybe not very confident in what I want to do.

purplehomes said...

lovely! pictures & the food...My mil makes yummy pati saptas out of it..

notyet100 said...

slurp this looks so good,..

Priya said...

Payesh looks soo tempting and inviting..

Shilpi Bose said...

Khejurer gur is a distant dream in Bombay. When my brother went on official tours to Calcutta he got loads of gur so as to last us the entire season, now we depend on sweet shops like Sweet Bengal to provide us with some gurer sondesh, rossogolla and kachagolla

Nabanita said...

That was a marvelous post. Thanks Pree, for posting it specially for me. :) Have already made that at home.

PreeOccupied said...

@Preeti, thank you.

@Tanvi, I got the Nolen Gur from a Bangladeshi store here. I wouldn't suggest you making this payesh with dates. Nolen or Khejur Gur is the jaggery produced by date trees in Bengal and Bangladesh only in the winters. Nolen Gur is made by collecting palm saps in earthen pots which are tied to the trees in the night and brought down carefully in the wee hours of the mornings. The sap is then turned into jaggery by special Gur makers.

@Cham, yes, sometimes a bad jaggery can curdle the milk.

@Kuntala, Home Cooked, Sassy, and ? thank you girls.

@Sharmila, emni kheer kor le o bhalo lage aamaar toh.

@Sayantani, bah...you are an inspiration.

@Shruti, do it, its quite easy actually.

@Gouri, you can do it! :-) I know you can.

@Purplehomes, I love pati shapta and cannot make them. :-(

@Notyet and Priya, thank you girls.

@Shilp, I guess I was lucky to find it here in Canada. :-)

PreeOccupied said...

@Nabanita, I am glad you like it.

shooting star said...

mum packed me some fresh khejur gur sourced from our ancestoral village this time while i was at Kolkata whilst returning from mah holidays this winter...
and mum in law made payesh for all of us some days bck...it tasted awesome!!!!

ishmi said...

Saying it again (after FB)....lovely pictures, wonderful writing, and a drool-worthy recipe! :)

GB said...

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm-O. I have regular gur---used it to make those til laddoos and still have half a packet leftover. Never tasted khajoor gur, so I don't know the difference. I'll try my kheer with gur next time I make it (will do the boiled milk test!--such a great tip!!!)

The payesh is looking especially radiant in that lovely dish!

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Pree
How are you? I am just back from Calcutta and manage to get 1 kg pure khejur er Gurh from a friend's bagan BaDi..they make for their own consumption only. I like your paesh...nice to see you have used the traditional ratio of rice to milk.
Actually all pure Khejur Gurh will curdle the milk most of the time, if boiled. Generally we get khejur Gurh with 50 to 80% Akher Gurh mixed into it.
So traditionally the sweetening is done with sugar and Khejur Gurh is added for flavor after removing from fire.
Now Kakima is gearing up for making all kind of pithe for the Posh parban and I am the handy man at the Kitchen,...grating coconut and my palm too, once in a while ha ha
Let me see what all I have missed.
Bhalo theko
Ghosh kaku

nilanjana majumdar said...

Love the droolworthy pics, they make me want to have the paayesh like e RIGHT NOW.. I was looking for more gur er recipies after I got my winter ration of Nolen gur. Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe.

Abriti Nayak said...

I always wait for winters because they bring nolen gur... I just love it. just made my nolen gurer payesh....waiting for it to cool down. I think it tastes best a day after.
I love your clicks. all of them are amazing.