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18 April, 2014

Patali Gurer Payesh (Rice Pudding with Jaggery)

Comments : 6 Posted in : Drinks & Desserts on by : Ratna

 

Payesh

The  travel  itinerary  remained  the  same.  The  last  day  of  March.  Every  year,  without  fail.  The  Canada  geese  came  first.  The  Trumpeter  swans  and  the  Mallards  touched  down  a  couple  of  weeks  later.  All  are   busy  marking  their  territories,  house  hunting.  A  new  season,  a  new  chapter  in  their  lives.  The  buds  in  the  Willow  trees  are  growing  too.  It  feels  as  if  someone  has  waved  a  magic  wand.  There  will  be  flowers  and  fruits.  The  birds  will  start  their  families  soon.  Slowly,  imperceptibly,  nature  is  getting  ready  to  wake  up.  There  is  the  occasional  flurry,  a  little  tease  from  mother  nature.

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spring

With  this  change  of  season  came  the  14th  of  April.  The  Bengali  new  year.  It  was  my  husband  N’s  birthday  too.  We  always  celebrate  it  with  Payesh,  not  cake.  Birthdays  and  Payesh  go  together  as  hands  and  gloves.  I  remember  Ma  ordering  extra  milk  from  the  milkman  the  day  before.  The  washed  rice  spread  out  on  the  old  newspaper  to  dry.  The  Patali  gur  was  available  only  during  winter,  so  she  would  lovingly  hoard  some  to  be  taken  out  on  special  occasions.  Once  the  Payesh  was  done  she  would  always  make  an  offering  to  God  first.  A  prayer  would  be  said  for  a  long  and  healthy  life   and  then  individual  bowls  would  be  served.

“Aajke  kar  jawnmodin  Boudi”?,  Whose  birthday  is  it  today  Boudi,   Aaroti  kakima  our  tenant  would  enquire  as  she  saw  Ma  patiently  stirring  the  milk  on  a  slow  fire.  It  didn’t  matter  that  we  had  moved  away  from  home,  Ma  would  not  forget  to  make  the  Payesh  offering  for  each  of  our  sibling’s  birthdays.

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Unlike  in  the  Prairies,  April  in  India  would  be  warm.  The  Krishnochura  ( Delonix  regia )  and  Radhachura  ( Peltophorum  pterocarpum )  in  full  bloom.  The  mature  trees  on  either  side  of  the  road  with  their  red  and  yellow  flowers  would  almost  form  a  canopy.  The  Mango  trees  laden  heavy  with  fruits.  A  rainstorm  would  bring  down  a  few  of  these  small  green  tart  fruits,  much  to  the  delight  of  the  neighbourhood  kids  who  would  waste  no time  in  collecting  them  to  be  devoured  later  with  some  salt.

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Different  times,  contrasting  climates.  The  caramel  like  taste  and   smell  of  ‘ Patali  gurer  Payesh’  evokes  the  same  sense  of  anticipation  as  it  did  many  many  summers  ago.   I  served  N  in  heart  shaped  ramekins.  As  for  everybody  else  they  got  theirs  in  tulip  glasses.

Shubho  Nawboborsho  (  happy  new  year  ),  friends.  The  greeting  is  late  but  the  wish  is  as  good  as  it  was  on  the  day.

Friends  how  do  you  prefer  your  rice  pudding?  Just  sugar,  cinnamon  or  any  special  flavours?  I’d  love  to  hear  from  you.

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Recipe:

Ingredients;

Homo  milk                                             1  Litre

Basmati  rice                                           Half  cup

Sugar                                                      One  cup  (  or  to  taste  )

Ghee                                                       One  and  half  Tbsp

Patali  Gur  (  jaggery )                            Cut  in  small  pcs,  half  cup  or  to  taste

Bay  leaf                                                  Couple

Method;

Wash  the  rice  with  water.  Spread  it  out  on  kitchen  towel  to  dry.  Smear   the  dried  rice  with  ghee  and  set  aside.

Take  a  deep  bottomed  saucepan.  Rub  the  inside  with  a  layer  of  Ghee.  Pour  the  milk   and  heat  it  on  a  high  flame.  Throw  in  the  bay  leaves.   When  the  milk comes  to  a   boil,  lower  the  gas  to  medium.  Add  the  rice.  Keep  stirring  the  milk  continuously  so  that  it  doesn’t  stick  to  the  bottom  of  the  pan.  This  step  takes  around  half  hour  or  so.  The  milk  will  reduce  about  an  inch  from  the  side  of  the  saucepan.  The  rice  will  be  done  by  then.

Now  add  the  sugar.  Keep  stirring  until  the  Payesh  thickens.  Once  the  sugar  has  been  added  the  rice  won’t  cook  anymore.

Turn  off  the  gas.   Add  the  jaggery  and  mix  well.  Let  it  cool  down  before  you  serve.

Inside  scoop;

Add  the  sugar  only  when  the  rice  is  done.  Remember  once  the  sugar  is  added  it  would  stop  the  rice  from  cooking  any  further.

I  wouldn’t   slack  on  stirring,  if  the  milk  sticks  to  the  bottom,  it  will  add  the  burnt  milk  odour .  The  only  option  then  is  to  start  fresh  again.

Boudi            Term  used  to  address  elder  brother’s  wife.

Kakima          Aunty  in  Bengali.

Patali  Gur     Special  jaggery  extracted  from  the  sap  of  Date  Palm  trees.  Available  in   winter  in  West  Bengal,  India  or  in  Asian  stores  here  in  Canada.

By  Ratna

6s COMMENTS

6 thoughts on : Patali Gurer Payesh (Rice Pudding with Jaggery)

  • ranjan nag
    January 18, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Lovely recipe, is it nessesari to add sugar? Any way like the writing ☺

    • Ratna
      January 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Only if the patali gur is rationed, like I had lol.

  • pankaj
    April 20, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Super didi..thanx for sharing that wonderful reciepe

    • Ratna
      January 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      You are v welcome Pankaj.

  • April 20, 2014 at 12:48 am

    As always, Ratna, I love reading your descriptive write up catered to the season,
    and those delicious recipes which do not call for major cooking expertise.
    Shubho Nababarsher aashirbad ebong preethi shubecha thomader shokolke.
    I am going to try the Patali gur payesh next week when we get home – currently
    at Ranita’s place for the weekend.
    Mashi

    • Ratna
      April 23, 2014 at 3:48 am

      Let me know how it turned out, thanks Mashi.

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