Foods

Nolen Gurer Payesh | Bengali Rice Payesh helobaba.com


Payesh is to Bengal, what payasam is to South India and kheer is to rest of India. Come winters, and there’s a certain revelry that engulfs the atmosphere in West Bengal because it means the season of nolen gur (date palm jaggery) has arrived. Thus, the Nolen Gurer Payesh too, a decadent kheer/pudding made with fresh date palm jaggery and rice. Though, a winter special, there are other variations of this dish made with different varieties of this typical jaggery available all year round.

nolen gurer payesh garnished with chopped cashews served in 2 bowls with 2 spoons kept on the left side and text layovers.nolen gurer payesh garnished with chopped cashews served in 2 bowls with 2 spoons kept on the left side and text layovers.

More on Nolen Gurer Payesh

Translating the words in English, the recipe name of this Bengali winter specialty would simply mean:

Nolen Gurer – Nolen gur or the date palm jaggery (the suffix ‘-er’ means ‘of’)

Payesh – Is the Bengali cousin of the Indian style sweet rice pudding, also called kheer

Since this Payesh recipe uses the quintessential date palm jaggery/nolen gur/khejur gur, it has a very rustic, earthy flavor to it and an exceptional fragrance too. This also makes this kheer stand out and be really different than the regular Chawal Ki Kheer that is made with sugar.

As you savor this delicious Nolen Gurer Payesh, the taste of it slowly grows on you. Only leaving you with a longing to have more and more. You see, it’s very easy to go excess with this dessert. So, watch out that intake of yours. Have it hot, warm or chilled, your choice. Just remember that on cooling, it will thicken more.

A classic Nolen Gurer Payesh recipe will always have the special variety of gobindo bhog rice in it. Though, you can make this Payesh with the basmati rice that you have at your home.

In this Payesh, there is no need of any extra flavorings too as the date palm jaggery is enough to elevate the flavors. But sometimes, I do add a tej patta and a bit of cardamom powder. You can also some nuts or dry fruits.

Making this particular Payesh is easy, but takes time and attention. You should always use a heavy kadai or pan in making recipes like these where milk is boiled for a long time. This helps in preventing the milk from getting burnt at the bottom.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Nolen Gurer Payesh

Preparation

1. Rinse ¼ cup basmati rice or gobindo bhog rice a couple of times in water. Then, soak rice in enough water for 20 minutes.

soaking rice in water for nolen gurer payesh. soaking rice in water for nolen gurer payesh.

2. Take 100 grams date palm jaggery (nolen gur).

date palm jaggery kept in a box for nolen gurer payesh. date palm jaggery kept in a box for nolen gurer payesh.

3. Chop and keep aside. You will need ½ cup of chopped date palm jaggery.

chopped date palm jaggery for nolen gurer payesh. chopped date palm jaggery for nolen gurer payesh.

Preparing milk

4. Take 1 liter milk in a heavy kadai or pan.

milk added in a heavy pan. milk added in a heavy pan.

5. Keep the flame to a low and begin to heat milk.

heating milk in the pan for nolen gurer payesh. heating milk in the pan for nolen gurer payesh.

6. As the milk is being heated, stir occasionally.

stirring hot milk. stirring hot milk.

7. Let the milk come to a boil. Then, simmer for 8 to 10 minutes more after it comes to a boil. Stir often.

milk coming to a boil. milk coming to a boil.

8. The milk will start reducing in this period of time.

milk getting reduced while boiling. milk getting reduced while boiling.

Making Nolen Gurer Payesh

9. After 8 to 10 minutes of simmering, drain all the water from the rice and add to the milk.

adding drained rice to the boiling milk. adding drained rice to the boiling milk.

10. Then, add 1 small bay leaf (tej patta) and ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder.

bay leaf and cardamom powder added to the milk. bay leaf and cardamom powder added to the milk.

11. Mix very well.

spices mixed well with the milk-rice mixture. spices mixed well with the milk-rice mixture.

12. Simmer on low heat till the rice grains are cooked. Stir often.

simmering till the rice grains are cooked. simmering till the rice grains are cooked.

13. As the rice grains are cooking, the milk will also thicken and reduce more. Stir often so that the rice does not stick to the pan. Also, scrape the dried milk solids from the sides and add to the simmering milk.

rice getting cooked and milk thickening and reducing. rice getting cooked and milk thickening and reducing.

14. By the time the rice grains are cooked well, the milk will thicken well.

rice getting cooked and milk thickening and reducing. rice getting cooked and milk thickening and reducing.

15. Simmer on low heat. The rice grains have to be cooked well. So, you can taste or mash a few rice grains to see if they are cooked well.

simmering the milk-rice mixture well for nolen gurer payesh. simmering the milk-rice mixture well for nolen gurer payesh.

17. Once the rice grains are softened, switch off the heat.

cooked nolen gurer payesh. cooked nolen gurer payesh.

18. Next, add 2 tablespoons cashews and 1 tablespoon raisins. You can also add almonds or pistachios instead of cashews. For toddlers, you can skip adding dry fruits altogether or add cashew or almond powder. Dry fruits are optional and can be skipped too.

chopped cashews and raisins added to the cooked nolen gurer payesh. chopped cashews and raisins added to the cooked nolen gurer payesh.

19. Mix very well.

dry fruits mixed well in the payesh. dry fruits mixed well in the payesh.

20. Remove the pan from the stovetop and keep on the counter top for 3 to 4 minutes till the heat reduces a bit. Also, scrape off the dried milk solids from the edges and add to the payesh.

cooked payesh. cooked payesh.

21. After 3 to 4 minutes, add one part of the chopped date palm jaggery.

chopped date palm jaggery added to the cooked payesh. chopped date palm jaggery added to the cooked payesh.

22. Mix very well.

date palm jaggery mixed well in the payesh. date palm jaggery mixed well in the payesh.

23. Add the remaining jaggery.

some more chopped date palm jaggery added to the cooked payesh. some more chopped date palm jaggery added to the cooked payesh.

24. Mix again very well till all the jaggery dissolves. Check the taste and if you want, you can add some more jaggery.

date palm jaggery mixed well in the payesh. date palm jaggery mixed well in the payesh.

25. Serve Nolen Gurer Payesh hot or warm. You can also refrigerate and serve it chilled. While serving, garnish with a few chopped cashews. Note that on cooling, the payesh will thicken more. 

nolen gurer payesh garnished with chopped cashews served in 2 bowls with 2 spoons kept on the left side and text layover. nolen gurer payesh garnished with chopped cashews served in 2 bowls with 2 spoons kept on the left side and text layover.

What is nolen gur

One of Bengal’s prized possessions is the nolen gur, also referred to as notun gur or khejur gur which is the fresh date palm jaggery. And yes, one of the most important reasons for a Bengali to anxiously wait for winters to arrive is truly because it also brings along the nolen gur with it. Food is an extremely integral part of the Bengali culture, and a true-blue Bengali will always take pride in their specialties.

As already mentioned, nolen gur is typically a winter delicacy. One of the things that makes it unique is that it is available in 2 forms – the liquid one known as jhola gur and the solid one known as patali gur.

Although, a Bengali would swear by jhola gur (almost liquid gold for them!), the solid nolen gur is also a preferred choice because of its ease of availability during non-winter months as well.

The world of nolen gur

Just like this Nolen Gurer Payesh, the date palm jaggery is used in many more traditional Bengali dishes. A typical Sandesh called the ‘jolbhora sandesh’ has a gooey center of the liquid jhola gur, encased in a chenna/paneer mixture that also has the nolen gur. Trust me, that’s an overdose which anyone would love to have!

Other classics like Narkel Naru, Mishti Doi, Rasgulla, patisapta, etc. can also be made with the nolen gur. These days nolen gur ice creams are also famous.

This specific jaggery is truly a gem as it imparts a mellow sweetness plus a certain depth of aroma and flavor in whichever preparation it becomes a part of. In addition to this, khejur gur is iron-rich and the micro-nutrients in it help acting as immunity to the system against many infections. Consuming it also helps curbing cramped calf muscles and sore eyes. 

More Kheer Recipes To Try!

paal payasam garnished with dried rose petal chiffonade in a brass bowl with text layovers.paal payasam garnished with dried rose petal chiffonade in a brass bowl with text layovers.

Moderate1 hour

Paal Payasam | Rice Payasam

seviyan kheer served in a glass bowl with text layover.seviyan kheer served in a glass bowl with text layover.

Easy20 minutes

Seviyan Kheer (Vermicelli Kheer)

jackfruit payasam garnished with fried cashews and served in 2 bowls with 2 spoons kept on the left side and text layover.jackfruit payasam garnished with fried cashews and served in 2 bowls with 2 spoons kept on the left side and text layover.

Moderate30 minutes

Jackfruit Payasam | Chakka Payasam

badam kheer served in a bowl with a bowl of almonds kept on the top left side and text layover.badam kheer served in a bowl with a bowl of almonds kept on the top left side and text layover.

Moderate50 minutes

Badam Kheer

Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

nolen gurer payesh recipenolen gurer payesh recipe

Nolen Gurer Payesh

Nolen gurer payesh is rice kheer or rice pudding made with date palm jaggery. 

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 1 hour

Prevent your screen from going dark while making the recipe

preparation for nolen gurer payesh

  • Rinse ¼ cup basmati rice or gobind bhog rice a couple of times. 

  • Then soak rice in enough water for 20 minutes.

  • Chop date palm jaggery and keep aside. 

  • You will need ½ cup of chopped dates palm jaggery.

making nolen gurer payesh

  • Take milk in a heavy kadai or pan.

  • Keep flame to low and begin to heat milk.

  • Stir occasionally when the milk is getting heated.

  • Let the milk come to a boil. Then continue to simmer the milk for 8 to 10 minutes more after it comes to a boil. Stir often. The milk will start reducing in this period of time.

  • After 8 to 10 minutes of simmering, drain all the water from the rice and add to the milk.

  • Then add 1 small tej patta and ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder. mix very well.

  • Simmer on low flame till the rice grains are cooked. Stir often.

  • As the rice grains get cooked, the milk will also thicken and reduce more. So stir often so that rice does not stick to the pan.

  • By the time the rice grains are cooked well the milk will thicken well.

  • Simmer on low flame.

  • The rice grains have to be cooked well. So you can taste or mash a few rice grains to see if they have cooked well.

  • Once the rice grains are softened, then switch off the flame.

  • Then add 2 tablespoons cashews and 1 tablespoon raisins. You can also add almonds or pistachios instead of cashews.

  • Mix very well.

  • Remove the pan from the stove top and keep on the counter top for 3 to 4 minutes till the heat reduces a bit.

  • Then add one part of the dates palm jaggery. mix very well.

  • Add the remaining jaggery.

  • Mix again very well till all of the jaggery dissolves.

  • Serve nolen gurer payesh hot or warm. You can also refrigerate and serve this rice payesh chilled. While serving garnish with a few chopped cashews. 

Nutrition Facts

Nolen Gurer Payesh

Amount Per Serving

Calories 339 Calories from Fat 90

% Daily Value*

Fat 10g15%

Saturated Fat 5g31%

Cholesterol 25mg8%

Sodium 109mg5%

Potassium 404mg12%

Carbohydrates 51g17%

Sugar 40g44%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 405IU8%

Calcium 294mg29%

Iron 0.8mg4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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