For the average sweet-toothed Bengali, winters are synonymous with Nolen Gur, jaggery made from Wild Date Palm. Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, each full course meal in Bengali households ends with a serving Nolen Gur chunks, liquefied Nolen Gur, or desserts made with the jaggery. Below, we take a look at the five top desserts made with Nolen Gur.
Nolen Gur Roshogolla
Roshogolla or Rasgulla, are ball-shaped desserts made with chhena or Indian cottage cheese, sugar syrup, and is white. It is the most popular dessert across West Bengal. In the winter season, Date Palms are harvested. Roshogollas are made with syrup extracted from the sweet fruit, instead of sugar.
Nolen Gur Sandesh
Sandesh is made using chhena, milk and sugar syrup. It is another staple dessert across most Bengali households. Sandesh, that are topped with fruit and nuts are usually pricier compared to ones without them. During winter, the sugar syrup is replaced with Nolen Gur while preparing the desserts.
There are two primary types of Sandesh. Kara Pak has a firm, hard and dry surface and higher shelf life. Norom pak, on the other hand, is softer and has a shorter shelf life.
Nolen Gur Kancha Golla
Kancha Golla, also known as Pran Hara, is made with most of the same ingredients used to make Sandesh. Unlike Sandesh, however, Kancha Golla is brittle and supple and has a rougher texture. It is a popular confectionery when prepared with Date palm syrup.
Nolen Gur Patisapta
Patishapta is a thin pancake roll or crêpe made using rice flour and stuffed with a rice pudding made with dried whole milk or grated coconuts. Date Palm syrup is added to the filling. It is a confectionery prepared by Bengalis during Makar Sankranti or Poush Sankranti when rice is harvested.
Nolen Gur Payesh
Payesh is a type of liquid pudding made with milk, rice and sugar. It is prepared at home on special occasions such as birthdays or religious and cultural events. The dish is served with cashew nuts and raisins. Payesh made with Date Palm syrup is particularly delicious.