Friday, 16 January 2015


Having Bengali friends around and not posting a single Bengali recipe was not going so well with me. I have tried making a lot of Bengali dishes lately of which Baingan Bhaja and Payesh are my favourites. Aloo Poshto tastes lip smacking too, but i havent tried making it yet. Guess that's this weekend menu, since i do have khas-khas (poppy seeds) in my kitchen! 

Every cuisine have their own distinct flavours and methods of preparation. Let's take Payesh - a kheer made from rice and boiled milk. There are so many different ways of preparing it. Some would boil the rice and milk together, some would boil the milk and then add rice. Some would add jaggery, and some would add sugar or a mix of both. People even make it with condensed milk or a mix of all. A friend of mine doesn't add jaggery but a paste of cashews and sugar. As they say...the food, water, taste changes every few kilometers in India.

I always feel that a particular dish tastes different related to a lot of factors. Lets say a simple bread butter toast would taste different sitting at home or at a dhaba or sitting by the riverside on a picnic or some 5 star hotel. The ambiance, the weather, the people you are with everything matters for the food that we eat. The taste also matters in regard to who is it cooking , and in what frame of mind. The same dish would taste different if i am cooking it with feelings of anger/frustration or so of happiness/ calmness. And it applies to the one eating it too. A dish would taste different if my mind is preoccupied with something else, or if i am watching television while eating or if i am reading a book or watching nature. Don't you all feel so? Give it a try.

Well, coming back to the post. A dear friend of mine got me some nolen gur (Date palm jaggery)during her visit back home. 

Since it was Sankranti yesterday, i thought of making Payesh. I couldn't post any recipe/picture yesterday, since my internet was down for almost 2 days for some reason. Yes, i definitely did make Til-gul (which i had posted last year), and here's wishing you all "Til gul ghya goad goad bola" :)

Payesh, as i made it with Nolen gur (Suggestions from 2 bengali friends):


Full cream milk - 1 litre
Rice (i took Basmati rice) - 1/4 cup
Nolen gur (Jaggery) - little less than 1/2 cup (add according to taste)
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 2

That's it! 5 ingredients and you are done!! You can add nuts, nutmeg powder, sugar etc according to your wish but i preferred keeping it basic.


Wash the rice till water is clear, drain and keep aside.

Bring the milk to boil and keep boiling it on sim to reduce it. 

Make sure you keep stirring it in between, and also scraping the cream from the sides.

After about 10 minutes, add the 2 bay leaves to the boiling milk.

Once milk reduces to 3/4th, add the rice. Now let the milk boil till rice is fully cooked. The milk will start changing colour to little yellowish.

Once the rice is cooked, the milk will have reduced to almost half. Now add the cardamom powder and mix.

Turn off the stove. Now add the jaggery (Add little pieces or grated jaggery and stir - it will melt automatically when you stir- no need to boil/cook it).

Payesh is ready!!! This one was loved by hubby's colleagues at office :) The nolen gur takes the taste to almost another level, but you can add normal jaggery instead too. 

Happy cooking :)


  1. I love your intro because as you have said, it all depends on what you eat where and payasam as we call it over here comes in various varieties. I also love payesh and your version with the date palm jaggery is truly inviting.

  2. Delicious recipe...this form of jaggery is new to me:)

    1. Hi Padma, yes nolen gur tastes awesome! Try it sometime :)

  3. we use jaggery for many recipes.This looks delicious.

    1. Yes Amila, we too... we add it to sabzis and curries too :)

  4. i have never tasted payesh in my life :) but it really seems very interesting to me :) i shall try your recipe :)

    1. Thanks dear, do try it! I am sure you will love it :)


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