Gur Payox or Rice kheer made with date palm jaggery. This is a traditional rice pudding or a dessert or sweet dish whatever you may call it made with joha rice( a small fragrant variety of rice) with milk and date palm jaggery, prepared in almost every Indian homes. In Assam, we make it with Joha rice which is quite similar to Govindobhog rice in Bengal and Vadi ki chawal or bhagad rice in Mumbai.
I started my day by making payox and offering to god and thanking for another blessed year for Biman. Oh yes! It was Biman’s birthday yesterday and it is customary to prepare payox or kheer on any good occasion. I haven’t seen any birthdays without payox since childhood. Quite obvious that traditions continue. The cake becomes a secondary thing but wishing the person with a spoonful of kheer on his/her birthday will always remain the first and foremost birthday ritual. Well, I also made a cake later in the afternoon for him, and more importantly for my girls.
It is a common sight in any Assamese household, people make payox when there is a religious ceremony, birthdays, a wedding and so on. Payox, Payesh, payasam, kheer is quite a commonly made dessert in almost every part of India.
Well this version of payox( kheer) is more delicious than the regular payox or kheer made with sugar. Joha rice gently simmered in milk, nuts, and raisins along with it for almost an hour. Then finally the aromatic date palm jaggery, very different and distinct in taste and texture added to it gives out that irresistible luscious bowl full of Gur payox or Gur kheer.
Some of you must be thinking what this date palm jaggery. It is very different in taste, texture, and color from the regular cane sugar jaggery. The sap of the date palm tree is collected and cooked on fire to make this Gur, and that’s how it gets its unique dark, dense texture and the slightly smokey aroma.
Since it is usually available during the winter months, Maa keeps sending me a stock of Khejur Gur from time to time.
It is a really simple recipe but the only thing you need here is patience and a loving heart for that perfect Payox or kheer.
Prep time 5 mins Cook time 45 mins Total time 50 mins
- 1-liter full-fat milk
- 50 gm around 3 tbsp Joha rice or any other fragrant rice.
- 120 gm Date palm jaggery melted or grated
- A handful of raisin
- A handful of chopped nuts of your choice like cashew, almond, pistachios
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Soak the rice for 10-15 minutes, then drain the rice and keep it aside.
- In a deep heavy bottom saucepan bring the milk to boil with the bay leaf. Now reduce the heat to low-medium and let it boil further until it is slightly reduced in quantity for approx 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid milk from burning in the bottom of the vessel.
- By now you can see milk has been reduced a little, add the washed and drained rice and keep stirring on a simmering low heat. This is where you need your patience.
- Halfway through when the kheer is cooking wash and add the nuts and raisins.
- Once the rice is almost cooked, and payox or kheer is thickened, add the cardamom powder and turn off the heat. Now add the jaggery. Do not cook the kheer after adding the jaggery is added, you might end up having curdled payox or kheer.
- Garnish with some extra nuts.