In our childhood all the local date palm trees were used to collect date palm sap during the early Winter months. Visiting sap collectors would climb up the trees, make cuts in them and then tie earthen pots below it for the sap to collect. Early in the morning around 4:30 a.m. we’d be awaken and offered the super sweet juice that gets collected. By mid-day the sap warmed by the sun would ferment and turn into pretty intoxicating stuff, something we never had access to :)
The same sap was then boiled in shallow vessels to turn them into the nolen guur or date palm jaggery. Date palm jaggery still remains a very season ingredient in bong dishes in spite of our independence from the seasonal supply of the jaggery.
Todays dish is a kheer or payesh made from Rasgulla and the jaggery. I found all of the ingredients from local Indian stores in the US.
- 10 rasgulla or Rossogolla ( I have used canned ones and this is available even online Amazon link)
- 1 lit full cream milk
- 100 gm. of sugar
- 50-100 gm. of nolen guur (Date palm jaggery). Amount depends on the sweetness you like.
Drain out all the syrup from the canned rasgulla and gently squeeze each individual rasgulla to remove excess syrup from them.
Bring the milk to boil and test whether the jaggery is suitable or not. To test take half cup of boiled milk and add 1 spoon of jaggery to it. If it curdles your dish for the day is doomed as you cannot use that jaggery, if it doesn't go ahead.
Boil the milk till it is half its original quantity. During the entire cooking process you have to constantly stir it to avoid scalding. Add sugar to it and stir till sugar gets completely dissolved in milk.
Now do a taste test (how sweet it is) and add jaggery accordingly to the thickened milk. Wait till it dissolves. Very gently add rasgullas to the prepared milk and bring it to one boil. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
Your payesh is ready to be devoured.