Notun Gurer Payesh – a traditional Bengali rice pudding flavoured with date palm jaggery. This Bengali Khejur Gurer Payesh is typically made during festive or auspicious occasions. This simple date palm jaggery dessert tastes just heavenly.
Kheer or Payesh is a rice pudding prepared with milk, rice/vermicelli/broken wheat and sugar/jaggery and flavoured with cardamom, cashew nuts, raisins, pistachios, almonds or saffron. It is an indispensable dish in most Hindu feasts/festivals and celebrations.
Kheer is usually made for special occasions. The term Kheer comes from the Sanskrit words Ksheeram, meaning milk. Similarly, Payesh (Bengali) or Payasam (Telugu) originate from the Sanskrit word Payasa/Payasam meaning milk.
Khejur Gur (date palm jaggery) is available in two forms – the liquid form is called Nolen gur while the solid form is called Patali Gur. Nolen gur, the delicious gooey liquid jaggery can’t be preserved for long, while the solid Patali Gur can be preserved for many months.
Notun Gurer Payesh Recipe Bengali Step By Step:
Bengal’s favourite jaggery – Notun Gur – is a winter specialty. Since this date palm jaggery is usually available in wintertime, it is called as Notun (New) Gur (Jaggery).
How to make Notun Gurer Payesh:
In this traditional Notun Gur er Payesh recipe, Kejur Gur (date-palm jaggery) is used as the sweetener.
1. Typically, the rice used is Gobindo Bhog – a short-grained sticky rice variety grown in West Bengal.
2. Heat milk in a large pan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and add pre-washed rice to it.
3. Allow to simmer till the milk reduces in quantity and turns a pale ivory colour. Check if the rice is cooked. Once the rice is done and the payesh attains a semi-thick consistency, put off the flame.
4. Stir in the Khejur Gur (date palm jaggery) and mix the chaler payesh well.
5. Garnish Bengali Notun Gurer Payesh with almond and pistachio slivers.
6. Serve chilled Khejur Gurer Payesh.
Kejur Gurer Payesh Recipe details:
- Gobindo Bhog Rice – 2 tbsp
- Full Cream Milk – 500 ml
- Notun Gur Date palm jaggery – 2-2 ½ tbsp
- Raisins – 1 tsp
- Cashew nuts – 1 tsp
- Almonds – 1 tsp
- Pistachios - 1 tsp
- Ghee – ½ tsp
Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain and mix in one tsp of ghee to the washed and drained rice.
Soak raisins and cashews in water for 10 mins. Blanch almonds and remove skin. Slice almonds and pistachios into slivers. Keep aside.
Heat milk in a large vessel. Once it starts to boil, add the rice and cook till the milk reduces in volume and starts to thicken. Keep stirring intermittently to prevent the milk from boiling over and to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the vessel.
Once the rice is done, and you get the desired consistency, add the cashew nuts and raisins. Mix well and remove from stove.
Slowly blend in date palm jaggery till the payesh takes on a uniform brownish colour. Garnish with almond and pistachio slivers.
Allow the rice pudding to come to room temperature, pour in serving bowls and refrigerate.
Serve Bengali Notun Gurer Payesh chilled.
* You can add bay leaf and crushed green cardamoms to the milk while boiling. However, to enjoy the distinct flavour of notun gur, it’s best avoided.