Kheer, payasam or payesh, whatever you may call it, this Indian rice pudding is a staple across all Indian households. From the north to the south and from the west to the east, many variations are popular. In West Bengal, gobindobhog rice is used to make payesh, while in the northeast black rice is used to prepare the famous forbidden pudding. Whatever the variation may be, one thing is constant: the nostalgic memories surrounding it. My favourite kheer is the one my mother makes every Diwali. The ingredients are the same as on any other day, but the spirit of Diwali makes it so much more!
Today we talk about one such variation, gur ki kheer or gurer payesh. Gur or jaggery is made by cooking sugar cane juice or palm juice down to a thick syrup. Refined sugar is jaggery that has been refined and “molasses”, the part which contains all the flavour imparting compounds, are removed. Hence jaggery naturally brings in an extra level of flavour to any dish that it is incorporated in, along with increasing its nutritional value as compared to using just sugar.
- Short Grain Rice- 50gms
- Full Fat Milk- 1L
- Tassyam Pure Jaggery Cubes- ½ cup or according to taste
- Green Cardamoms Powder- 3 tsp
- Tassyam Whole Bay Leaf 100g - 1
- Chopped W240 Mangalore Cashew Nuts - 2 tbsp
- Chopped Oil-Free Roasted Salted Almonds - 1 tbsp
- Soaked Seedless Afghan Green Raisins - 2 tbsp
- In a saucepan heat milk up to a boil with bay leaf.
- Add rice that has been soaked overnight. Do not add jaggery at this step, as sugar delays the cooking of rice.
- Add the cardamom powder and let the rice cook till its mushy on a low flame while constantly stirring.
- Once the milk has boiled down, add soaked fruits and nuts. Mix the jaggery in at this point.
- Feel free to add more milk to adjust the consistency.
- Serve warm or cold, garnished with chopped nuts.
Tip: For the Bengali version, Nolen gurer payesh, use jaggery made from date palm i.e. Nolen gur or khejur gur.
And that’s it. Now you get to enjoy another unique variation of India’s favourite dessert.