Khejur Gurer Payesh is a Bengali comfort dessert prepared with short grain aromatic ‘gorinbobhog rice’ or ‘kalijeera rice‘. It is often sweetened with sugar but on special occasion the white payesh is turned into mild brown by using kejur gur (date palm jaggery).
Khejur Gurer Payesh is a celebratory rice pudding
Growing up, I don’t recall any special occasion when khejur gurer payesh was not prepared.
Be it a birthday, after exam celebrations, any festival or a family get-together, this creamy comfort-in-a-bowl always made an appearance. This ritual is still followed religiously.
And I still lick the bowl clean, every single time.
Payesh is auspicious for Bengalies
At home, payesh is not only just a casual indulgence but it’s auspicious as well. Payesh is the first solid food baby tastes. Khejur Gurer Payesh is prepared during weddings, birthdays and every festive occasions.
It is not a short cut dessert, but one that needs attension and time. There cannot be any rush and we take our payesh very seriously. So, presure cooking or instapot cooked payesh can satisfy a bengali soul.
What kind of rice is used?
What is Khejur Gur?
Khejur Gur is date palm jaggery which is also referred to as Patali Gur or Nolen Gur.
The jaggery is derived from the sap of Date Palm Tree, which is cooked to bring that striking burgundy color. It’s then stored in earthen pots that boosts its flavor and eventually solidifies. At the end, you get two versions of jaggery. One is a thick liquid form called notun gur or nolen gur and the other kind in a rock solid form called patali gur. In either case, the flavor is immense.
If you are lucky to locate a Bangladeshi store, than you will find Khejurer Gur or Patali Gur.
Steps to prepare Khejur Gurer Payesh
- Wash and soak the rice for sometime.
- Simmer the milk with bay leaves and cardamoms until it reduces a little and then add the rice. Slow cook the rice until it’s cooked through but still retains shape.
- Add Khejur Gur (Date palm jaggery), cashew, raisins and stir it around to incorporate.
Can you prepare Payesh in Instapot
If you want the authetic creamy taste, take the old fasion way of slow cooking on stove top.
While you can prepare in Instapot or pressure cooker and it will be tasty but dishes like payesh and risotto needs a perfect creamy texture that comes only from slow cooking.
- 1/3 cup short grain rice
- 1 liter whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated jaggery
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup cashew
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 green cardamoms
- Wash the rice a few times and then soak it for 15 minutes.
- In the mean time pour the milk into a heavy bottom pan. Drop the bay leaves and the cardamoms.
- Now bring the milk to boil and then reduce to medium heat. Keep stirring occasionally as you simmer the milk for 15 minutes.
- Drain the soaked rice and pour to the milk and keep stirring occasionally as the rice cooks. (DO NOT ADD SUGAR or JAGGERY AT THIS MOMENT)
- As the rice cooks do not increase the heat, keep stirring occasionally. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes for the rice to be cooked through. You don't want the rice to get mushy so keep an eye.
- Once the rice is completely cooked through, switch off the heat and add the jaggery, raisins and cashew. Stir it to incorporate the jaggery completely and then cover the pan for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, stir it around and give a taste. If you prefer payesh much sweeter then feel free to add more.
- As the payesh cools down it will thicken a little bit more. So if at this point it already looks very thick, then add little milk to loosen the texture.
- Enjoy Khejur Gurer Payesh warm or room temperature.