Patali aka Khejur Gurer Chaler Payesh | Bengali Rice Pudding with Date Palm Jaggery
Every year when winter comes, there comes the liquid gold for every Bengali, the sweet nectar of the Date Palm tree known as Khejur Gur. In the rural Bengal, every morning he sap would be collected by the expert people who would climb up the lofty Palm Trees. Then this liquid would be boiled down to make Patali or the Date Palm Jaggery, which goes into the making of gurer payesh.
And with patali comes the wide range of Bengali sweets and desserts which makes every Bengali await for the entire year! This khejur gurer payesh is somewhat a winter delicacy, especially made during the Sankranti when the date palm jaggery is available in the markets. So, around 15th of January, you will see most Bengalis making a variety of delicacies using the season’s fresh khejur gur, including this chaler payesh.
Now, I know there are millions of payesh recipes on the internet. But I will tell you how to avoid the curdled payesh which nobody likes. Honestly, I have had my shares of disasters, and it was one of office colleagues who taught me the tricks to get the absolute creamy and luscious payesh, everytime!
View this post on Instagram
Fool-proof patali gurer payesh recipe – tips & tricks
- Quality of Rice – One of the deal breaker or maker of a payesh recipe is the rice in use. Stick with Gobindobhog Chal, ALWAYS. There is no substitute to that. Its aroma is unparalleled. In my opinion, no basmati rice can ever be a match to our very good ‘ol gobindobhog chal.
- Cow Milk only please – However, full fat milk you use, it can never come close to the payesh made with cow’s milk. That pale texture, its very own sweetness and just the right amount of fat gives you the best outcome in a payesh recipe. If you have to, then use Full Cream Milk, but no Toned Milk please or Reduced Fat Milk.
- Crush the Patali – Don’t just drop in the big clumps of patali in the payesh or kheer. This way, they take more time melting, and you won’t be able to control the sweetness in the payesh.
- Never boil after adding the gur – NEVER. EVER..always remember this. Otherwise you will be left with a curdled mess instead of creamy payesh. Always turn off the heat and then add the gur. Let it melt on its own in the residual heat of the payesh. Just give it an occasional stir to mix it up uniformly.
For this recipe of payesh, I used my previous year’s stock of patali that I got from Gariahat Market in Kolkata. Whenever I visit Kolkata in the winters, I make sure to buy some khejur gur as well as gobindobhog chal. I keep both these things in my fridge and they stay quite well in air-tight containers. In Delhi, Chittaranjan Park also offers good quality Bengali products.
This payesh recipe is a small batch recipe, so you can multiply the ingredients for a bigger batch. If you are like me and like having some homemade dessert in the fridge for just-in-case-hungers, make a big batch of it and refrigerate. It tastes amazing even when served chilled, topped with some shavings of patali.
Related Sankranti Recipes
This khejur gurer payesh is somewhat a winter delicacy, especially made during the Sankranti when the date palm jaggery is available in the markets. So, around 15th of January, you will see most Bengalis making a variety of delicacies using the season's fresh khejur gur, including this chaler payesh.
- 1 litre Full-fat Cow's Milk
- 2 tbsp Gobindobhog Rice Bengali short grained rice
- ¼ cup Khejur Gur Patali coarsely crushed
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tbsp Cow Milk Ghee
Take the heavy bottom non-stick pan and pour the milk in it.
Drop in the bay leaf. Turn on the heat and let this come to a boil.
Meanwhile, wash the rice nicely and keep it aside. Once the milk comes to a rolling boil, add the rice and the ghee. Now, keep stirring until the milk thickens and the rice has cooked till its centre.
Now, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove top. Add the crushed date palm jaggery or patali and give everything a gentle stir. Cover with the lid and let it sit for a while.
After 10-15 minutes, give the payesh another stir. The patali would have melted, giving it an amber colour. Also, as it cools down the payesh will thicken.
Serve with a topping of shaved patali or chopped nuts and raisins.
The amount of patali I have mentioned will give you a payesh with mild sweetness, just as we prefer it. However, if you want to have it sweeter then add more of the patali.
You will not know the resultant sweetness until the jaggery has melted down completely, so wait till it does. And by that time if you find the payesh too cold to melt any more jaggery then, either melt the jaggery before adding it to the payesh. Or, add the jaggery and microwave the payesh to melt the gur.
DO NOT BOIL THE PAYESH AFTER ADDING JAGGERY. It will curdle otherwise.
Pin this recipe for payesh for later!