India is a diverse land filled with diverse sweets and the sweetest land would be Bengal. Either it’s sandesh or mishti doi, Bengal has won everyone’s heart with their sweets. And nolen gurer payesh is something really delicious and here are the details about this basic yet amazing dessert.
Nolen gurer payesh, a winter specialty
Bengali nolen gurer payesh is the most favoured desserts in Bengali homes for any occasions. Commonly known as paramanna or payesh or kheer whatever you name it.
Rice and milk boiled together and sweetened with sugar cane was the food that has been the traditional offering to the gods for thousands of years.
It is a traditional dish that a child is offered as the first food. Children are fed with mother’s milk till 6-7 months of their age.
The first food that the child eats in Indian culture is kheer or payesh. And thereby every birthday celebration remains incomplete without this.
The most celebratory of all forms of kheer is nolen gurer payesh or khejur gurer payesh, especially in Bengal.
With the raw materials available locally, the dessert is very special and common at Bengal. Starting from the lush green fields of paddy to the gentle and breezy sway of date palm, milk from the cows, everything is an ingredient of the dessert.
The initial process of preparing nolen gurer payesh:
Nearly around autumn and winter, date palm saps or Rosh is collected slowly in the pots tied securely to the sky touching tall date palm trees.
The earthen pots are built new for the purpose and the huge iron cauldrons or kadhai are put on the fire and slowly the collected saps in clay pots are emptied out in the kadhai.
With slow heat, the saps or the khejur Rosh is cooked and is left in the vessels to turn into gur or jaggery.
- 100g Basmati rice or Gobindo Bhog rice
- 1l milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cardamom
- 1/2 cup Nolen Gur or more according to sweetness preferred
- Mixed chopped and roasted nuts for garnishing
- To make nolen gurer payesh, wash and soak rice for half an hour and then drain it.
- Pour milk in a heavy-bottomed pan and add bay leaf and cardamom to bring more flavors. Heat the milk over a high flame.
- Wait until the milk starts to boil and then simmer it and stir in between regularly so that milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of char.
- Do the same till the milk thickens a bit and add the drained rice and mix. Continue to stir in between.
- Once the rice is almost done, switch off.
- Add the jaggery into it and stir slowly and take care that the milk doesn’t clot more.
- Switch on and bring to boil just once and lastly add chopped nuts in it.
- Lastly, let the nolen gurer payesh cool down completely, and serve it chilled for dessert or enjoy it yourself.