Jan 14, 2012

Celebrate Makar Sankranti with Nalen Gurer Payesh (Bengali Style Rice Pudding With Date Palm Jaggery)

Makar Sankranti is celebrated in the last day of the Bengali month of Poush. In Bengal, this day is  one of the most auspicious time of the year. Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country gather at Gangasagar, the point where the holy river Ganges meets the sea, to take a dip and wash away all the earthly sins. Makar Sankranti falls on the day of the year when the sun-considered the king of all grahas (planets)-is in the rashi (zodiac sign) known as Makar (Capricorn). This is considered the most beneficial and auspicious zodiac of the sun. The calculations for determining Makar Sankranti are done according to the solar calendar. Therefore, Makar Sankranti always falls on the 14th January according to the English calendar. It is usually the month of Magh of the Hindu calendar, the 'Tithi' or the position of the moon keeps shifting because of the difference in calculations.

Wish You all the Readers and Blogger friends a Very Happy Makar Sankranti and Pongal !!!

Bengali Style Rice Pudding With Palm Jaggery

This sweet is a typical Bengali sweet – it is made from a special type of sweetener called ‘nalen gur’. Bengali nolen gurer payesh or rice pudding with jaggery is the most favoured desserts in Bengali homes for any occasions.The flavor of the final ‘gur’ is a heady one and when it is converted to sweet delicacies like the sandesh, payesh it tastes heavenly and has no parallel in any part of the world.


Milk: 1 ltr
Rice (gobindo bhog) or any fragrant rice: 200 gms
Date palm jaggery / molasses (crushed) : 1/2 cup
Bay leaf: 1 or 2
Cardamom pods: 2-3
Fried Cashew and raisin : 1/2 cup


Soak the rice (gobindo bhog or any fragrant small to medium grain rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain and let it dry for few more minutes.

Pour milk in a heavy bottomed pan and bring it to the first boil. Add the bay leaf and crushed cardamom pods.

Now slowly add the soaked rice and stir continuously. Cook it on a low flame till the rice become soft.

When the milk has changed to a creamy consistency, but not thick and the rice has become soft, take the payesh off the heat. Let it cool for 3-4 minutes.

Break solid jaggery into pieces and add little at a time and stir until it dissolves. Check your sweetness level and then add some more.

Gurnish with fried cashew and raisin.

Serve hot or cold, but I like it cold better. Even it tastes better the next day.


Measurement is very important (specially the ratio of milk to rice).

Stirring continuously means do not leave it for single minute otherwise rice and milk will be separated.

Rice should not be overcooked (rice should be cooked up to 80%).

If you melt the jaggery on a high flame, milk will get curdled.

Sending this recipe to Ramya "ABC Series: DESSERTS " event and Radhika's "Let's Cook #11 ~ Rice" event

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