Bong Mom’s Cookbook needs no introduction in the blogosphere. Her food is always spiced up with the wonderful stories she tells us about home and bengali food. A couple of months ago , while browsing the isles of a local asian store , K came across Khejur gur ..err.. Palm Jaggery. Trust her and me, if you taste it once, you will never get back to cane jaggery. The flavour is hard to describe, but I can assure you its the best. If you are a regular on this blog , by now you must have realized how much I resist , detest sweets , but this one is a keeper in my pantry forever.
I wrote to Sandeepa a few months ago asking her permission to reproduce and print this recipe on this blog and she allowed it. Since then, we have made it atleast 10 times ,but couldnt take pictures. I am sorry sandeepa , I couldnt do this earlier. This dessert is a keeper folks , I urge you to try it if you can find palm jaggery.
Thank you Dear Sandeepa for sharing this wonderful recipe with us. Here is the original recipe which we tweaked a bit to suit our palate.
The jaggery I found in the local store was light in color unlike the one we find in India which is darker. We also tried variations to the dessert, like adding rose water or using only the jaggery as the sweetner instead of adding sugar too. We like the version which has only the jaggery as the sweetner. We also tried using whole milk only instead of using half and half, but we realized that using half and half reduces the cooking time a lot. If you are an impatient cook like me, especially when it comes to favorite dishes, I suggest you go the half and half way. One more thing would be to use Whole milk for this dish, fatfree doesnt do justice and 2% was satisfactory.
1 and ½ litres of Whole Milk
1/2 a litre of Half and Half
2/3 cup Basmati Rice
1 and half cups of Khejur Gur / Palm Jaggery
A fistful of raisins roasted in ghee ( I used black raisins)
A fistful of cashews , roasted in ghee
2 -3 bay leaves
Wash Rice , drain and keep aside.
Pour Milk in a boiling pan, usually a deep heavy bottomed pan and boil over medium heat. This is important , else the rice might stick to the bottom and brown
Add the bay leaves and let the milk come to the boil and then add the rice. Make sure that you dont over boil the milk.
Stir intermittently and check if the rice is done. One has to keep stirring it frequently , else the milk will scald and brown at the bottom.
Once the rice is cooked , the consistency of this mixture will thicken too* ,lower the heat , almost to the lowest gas mark and mix in the gur. Do not add before the rice is cooked or it will hinder the cooking process, we dont want half cooked rice. Stir well and cook on the low heat until the milk has thickened. almost 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the raisins and desired nuts. Serve warm or cold. I prefer cold versus the warm payesh K prefers.
It is indeed ” Pure Bliss !”
*Sandeepa’s tip : When the Milk has thickened to the right consistency, to check this take a spoonful of liquid and pour it on a flat plate, the viscosity of the milk should be such that it does not flow. By this time the milk would have also reduced from it’s original volume. Approx. time to reach this stage is almost an hour or so at a medium flame setting on my gas range.