|"Notun Gurer Payesh"|
"Notun Gur" in Bengali means "New Jaggery" the gur or jaggery used is made from Date Palm and is only produced during the winter months hence Notun Gurer Payesh is a winter specialty from Bengal.
There are numerous ways of Preparing payesh, every family has there very own recipe and method of cooking. Some like to add a little bit of sugar along with the Gur and also flavor it with cardamom and bay leaves as well. At our house its sweetened with just Notun Gur and no cardamom or bay leaves added as that's how my grandmother used to make it and she never added any nuts or raisins too.
Here is the simple recipe to making Notun Gurer Payesh....
Full Cream Milk - 1 liter +1/4th cup
Rice - 1/4th cup (Gobhindo bhog Rice is the best for this recipe)
Notun Gur - 1/2 cups to 2/3rd cup (depending on how sweet you want it to be)
Clean and wash rice until the water is clear. Soak rice in water for 30 - 45 minutes.
Adding Jaggery to milk is a bit tricky as at times the milk tends to cuddle and spoiling the Payesh and yes it has happened to me and believe me its really very disappointing....So as suggested by my mom, what I do is put the required quantity of gur in a bowl and add around half a cup of boiled milk to it. Mix well, this will help the gur melt and confirm that the gur is fine to add to the Payesh. In case the milk cuddles just discard it and try again.
Add rice, stir and let the rice cook in milk, keep checking and stir the rice occasionally to avoid the formation of any lumps. This will also avoid the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Keep scraping the dried milk from the side of the pan and add to the milk in the pan.
Once the rice is cooked turn off the heat and let it cool for 5-10 minutes and then carefully add the Gur and milk mixture. As we add the Gur mixture to the Payesh, its consistency will become runny, so once again turn on the flame and put the pan over the stove on low heat and let the payesh simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the payesh thickens . During this time continue stirring the Payesh, as at this point the milk tends to stick to the bottom of the pan and leaves a smoky flavor which is not what we want.
Turn off the heat and let the Payesh cool, pour into individual servings and serve.
Wishing everyone "Happy Winter's and a Very Happy New Year".
I have used Gobindo bhog rice for making the Payesh, This is a short grain aromatic rice from Bengal, however if this is not available then you could use Basmati rice.
If you are using Basmati rice then reduce the quantity of rice from 1/4th cup to 3 tablespoon, let it soak well and before adding the rice to milk just crush the soaked rice, so that the grains are broken. Doing so the rice will cook faster and the Payesh will have a thick creamy consistency.
This is a traditional recipe and is made using date palm jaggery, I have never used sugarcane jaggery for this, but yes you could substitute the jaggery with date palm syrup.
For this Payesh recipe I have used full cream milk as we want the kheer to be thick and creamy, but if you want you could use low fat milk too.
Please note that the Payesh will thicken up even after you turn off the flame so I suggest that you turn off the flame before it reaches the desired consistency.
In case you want to make the Payesh with the spices then do add 1 bay leaf and 2-3 crushed cardamons,once the milk come to a boil, reduce flame and let it simmer and continue with the recipe.
Nuts and Raisins can be added if desired, however at my home its avoided as we love the rich taste of Gur.