nolen gurer payesh | bengali rice payesh

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Payesh is to Bengal, what payasam is to South India and kheer is to rest of India. Come winters, and there’s a certain revelry that engulfs the atmosphere in West Bengal because it means the season of nolen gur (date palm jaggery) has arrived. Thus, the Nolen Gurer Payesh too, a decadent kheer/pudding made with fresh date palm jaggery and rice. Though, a winter special, there are other variations of this dish made with different varieties of this typical jaggery available all year round.

nolen gurer payesh garnished with chopped cashews served in 2 bowls with 2 spoons kept on the left side and text layovers.

More on Nolen Gurer Payesh

Translating the words in English, the recipe name of this Bengali winter specialty would simply mean:

Nolen Gurer – Nolen gur or the date palm jaggery (the suffix ‘-er’ means ‘of’)

Payesh – Is the Bengali cousin of the Indian style sweet rice pudding, also called kheer

Since this Payesh recipe uses the quintessential date palm jaggery/nolen gur/khejur gur, it has a very rustic, earthy flavor to it and an exceptional fragrance too. This also makes this kheer stand out and be really different than the regular Chawal Ki Kheer that is made with sugar.

Nolen gurer payesh recipe is a winter delicacy as fresh date palm jaggery arrives in the markets in winter in West Bengal. This specific jaggery is truly a gem as it imparts a mellow sweetness plus a certain depth of aroma and flavor in whichever preparation it becomes a part of. In addition to this, khejur gur is iron-rich and the micro-nutrients in it help acting as immunity to the system against many infections.

Making nolen gurer payesh is easy but takes time and attention. While making recipes like these where milk is boiled for a long time, always use a heavy kadai or a pan, so that the milk does not get burnt from the bottom.

A classic Nolen Gurer Payesh recipe will always have the special variety of gobindo bhog rice in it. Though, you can make this Payesh with the basmati rice that you have at your home.

In this recipe no flavorings are required as the date palm jaggery gives a really good flavor to the dish. But I do add tej patta and a bit of cardamom powder which makes the payesh have better flavors and tastes great too.

Nolen gurer payesh can be served hot or warm or chilled.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Nolen Gurer Payesh Recipe

1. Rinse ¼ cup basmati rice or gobind bhog rice a couple of times in water. Then soak rice in enough water for 20 minutes.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

2. Take 100 grams dates palm jaggery.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

3. Chop and keep aside. You will need ½ cup of chopped palm jaggery.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

Making nolen gurer payesh

4. Take 1 litre milk in a heavy kadai or pan.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

5. Keep the heat to low and begin to heat milk.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

6. Stir occasionally when the milk is getting heated.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

7. Let the milk come to a boil. Then continue to simmer the milk for 8 to 10 minutes more after it comes to a boil. Stir often.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

8. The milk will start reducing in this period of time.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

9. After 8 to 10 minutes of simmering, drain all the water from the rice and add to the milk.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

10. Then add 1 small tej patta (Indian bay leaf) and ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

11. Stir and mix very well.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

12. Simmer on low heat till the rice grains are cooked. Stir often.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

13. As the rice grains get cooked the milk will also thicken and reduce more. So stir often so that rice does not stick to the pan. Also scrape the dried milk solids from the sides and add them to the simmering milk.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

14. By the time the rice grains are cooked well, the milk will thicken well.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

15. Simmer on low heat. The rice grains have to be cooked well. So you can taste or mash a few rice grains to see if they have cooked well.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

17. Once the rice grains are softened, then switch off the heat.

making nolen gurer payesh recipe

18. Then add 2 tablespoons cashews and 1 tablespoon raisins. You can also add almonds or pistachios instead of cashews.

For toddlers you can skip adding dry fruits altogether or add cashew or almond powder. Dry fruits are optional and can be skipped too.

making Bengali nolen gurer payesh recipe

19. Mix very well.

making Bengali nolen gurer payesh recipe

20. Remove the pan from the stove top and keep on the counter top for 3 to 4 minutes till the heat reduces a bit. Also scrape of the dried milk solids from the edges and add to the payesh.

making Bengali nolen gurer payesh recipe

21. After 3 to 4 minutes, add one part of the chopped dates palm jaggery.

making Bengali nolen gurer payesh recipe

22. Mix very well.

making Bengali nolen gurer payesh recipe

23. Add the remaining jaggery.

Bengali nolen gurer payesh recipe

24. Mix again very well till all of the jaggery dissolves. Check the taste and if you want you can add some more jaggery.

Bengali nolen gurer payesh recipe

25. Serve nolen gurer payesh hot or warm. You can also refrigerate and serve this rice payesh chilled. 

While serving garnish with a few chopped cashews. Do note that on cooling the payesh will thicken more. 

Bengali rice payesh recipe

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nolen gurer payesh recipe

Nolen Gurer Payesh

Nolen gurer payesh is rice kheer or rice pudding made with date palm jaggery. 
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Cuisine Bengali
Course Desserts, Sweets
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup basmati rice or gobind bhog rice or 50 grams basmati rice
  • 1 litre full fat milk or 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup chopped dates palm jaggery or 100 grams palm jaggery – can add more if required
  • 1 small tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cashews or almonds (kaju ya badam) – optional
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins (kishmish) – optional

Instructions
 

preparation for nolen gurer payesh

  • Rinse ¼ cup basmati rice or gobind bhog rice a couple of times. 
  • Then soak rice in enough water for 20 minutes.
  • Chop date palm jaggery and keep aside. 
  • You will need ½ cup of chopped dates palm jaggery.

making nolen gurer payesh

  • Take milk in a heavy kadai or pan.
  • Keep flame to low and begin to heat milk.
  • Stir occasionally when the milk is getting heated.
  • Let the milk come to a boil. Then continue to simmer the milk for 8 to 10 minutes more after it comes to a boil. Stir often. The milk will start reducing in this period of time.
  • After 8 to 10 minutes of simmering, drain all the water from the rice and add to the milk.
  • Then add 1 small tej patta and ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder. mix very well.
  • Simmer on low flame till the rice grains are cooked. Stir often.
  • As the rice grains get cooked, the milk will also thicken and reduce more. So stir often so that rice does not stick to the pan.
  • By the time the rice grains are cooked well the milk will thicken well.
  • Simmer on low flame.
  • The rice grains have to be cooked well. So you can taste or mash a few rice grains to see if they have cooked well.
  • Once the rice grains are softened, then switch off the flame.
  • Then add 2 tablespoons cashews and 1 tablespoon raisins. You can also add almonds or pistachios instead of cashews.
  • Mix very well.
  • Remove the pan from the stove top and keep on the counter top for 3 to 4 minutes till the heat reduces a bit.
  • Then add one part of the dates palm jaggery. mix very well.
  • Add the remaining jaggery.
  • Mix again very well till all of the jaggery dissolves.
  • Serve nolen gurer payesh hot or warm. You can also refrigerate and serve this rice payesh chilled. While serving garnish with a few chopped cashews. 

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Nolen Gurer Payesh
Amount Per Serving
Calories 339 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 25mg8%
Sodium 109mg5%
Potassium 404mg12%
Carbohydrates 51g17%
Sugar 40g44%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 405IU8%
Calcium 294mg29%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Nolen Gurer Payesh post from the archives first published on November 2017 has been republished and updated in January 2023.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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12 Comments

    1. Yes you can, but cook the rice with jaggery in thin coconut milk first or water like we cook steamed rice when eating with dal etc. When the rice is cooked, then add thick coconut milk and gently heat through on a low flame. You can even just make it warm.

  1. Are there two types of jaggery that you are using? In the recipe you write chopped dates palm jaggery and palm jaggery. Is this easy to get?

    1. this jaggery is known by both names. the sap is extracted from the date palm tree and hence the name date palm jaggery. in bengali language, this jaggery is called as khejur gur. it is not easily available locally if you live in india except west bengal. but you can easily buy it online. if you cannot get palm jaggery, then add sugarcane jaggery or sugar or brown sugar. hope this helps.

  2. wow love to see this dish in ur website…. my mom makes me this an it tastes like heaven…..btw u used solid date palm jaggery in the dish ,while using the fresh date palm jaggery available in winters in bengal,has better taste5 stars

    1. thanks malvika. i am sure it will taste better with fresh palm jaggery.