Bengalis are known to be foodies and that is evident with their bulging bellies (of course, I am not talking about a Bipasha Basu or Sharmila Tagore). Be it summer, monsoon, or winter – their plate is always ready with something special! Every season has some kinds of a special dish that are cooked on festive moments in those seasons and sent to people as greetings. So, winter is here and the kitchen of Bengali households are smelling of jaggery – made from date palms! The sweet fragrance of this jaggery is mesmerizing and a particular dessert item called “Nolen Gurer Payesh” is made out of this jaggery. The fresh jaggery from date palms are available in plenty during the winter season and thus wear your chef cap and enjoy this sweet & nostalgic ride.
Recipe of Nolen Gurer Payesh:
What All You Require?
- Gobindo Bhog Rice (For Best Results) or Any Rice – 200 gms
- Date Palm Jaggery – ½ cup
- Clarified Butter or Ghee – 1 tsp
- Full Cream Milk – 1 Liter
- Bay Leaf – 1 Piece
- Cardamom Powder – ½ Tsp
- For Garnishing, use Chopped Nuts & Raisins
How To Proceed?
- Soak the rice first for at least 30 minutes after cleaning it once or twice.
- Take a thick bottom pan and pour milk and boil it on low to medium heat.
- Stir continuously as the milk should not stick at the bottom.
- Add bay leaf and cardamom powder for that nice fragrance.
- Check the consistency of milk after some time.
- Once the milk starts to thicken, add the soaked rice and keep stirring.
- The rice would cook in this boiled milk and once the rice is cooked or becomes soft, add jaggery.
- Let this mixture boil for 10-12 minutes.
- The enticing fragrance would fill your kitchen.
- You need to check the sweetness at this stage. If you want it sweeter add more jaggery.
- Also, check the consistency at this stage. If you like the payesh to be thicker in consistency, then let this mixture boil for some more time.
- Once you get the desired consistency of the Nolen Gurer Payesh, add the chopped nuts and raisins.
- Some like this Nolen Gurer Payesh warm while some like it cold. So, serve in nice designer bowls as per that choice.
How & When Nolen Gurer Payesh Is Eaten?
Traditionally, Nolen Gurer Payesh is served after a “Bengali Bhuribhoj” – a scrumptious platter of at least 10-12 items. During the winter season, all the biyebari or wedding occasions are incomplete without this unique dish. Nolen Gurer Payesh is generally cooked on Makar Sankranti with the new rice that is produced in this season. Then it becomes a weekly treat and every Sunday it is served either after that overloaded Bengali lunch platter mentioned before or at breakfast or dinner. At breakfast or dinner this Nolen Gurer Payesh is served with a triangle or round-shaped Parathas or those white, innocent, & hot luchis (the Bengali version of Bhatura but crispier in taste & smaller in size).