Patali Gur / Nolen Gur / Khejur Gur / Notun Gur .... these all are actually Date-Palm Jaggery. Patali Gur is the hardened form while Nolen or Khejur Gur is in liquid form. Is there any difference between them ..... remains always my question to the shopkeepers back home who are never clear with their answer. At this point I miss my maternal grandfather who would have given satisfactory answer to my query. What I have found is that when we boil the patali gur adding some water, we get the liquid form called nolen gur. Going back to my childhood, I have seen my grandmother boiling Date Palm Juice in big pots for hours in clay ovens to get Date Palm Jaggery. Later my mom used to do the same in her gas oven. Now she has stopped given the skyrocketing price of a gas cylinder back home. On my winter visits I buy my Patali Gur, pack them nicely and bring here. This time I almost bought a container of liquid Khejur Gur [date palm jaggery] too but changed my mind fearing they may spoil my sarees and all the new clothes I was carrying. For whom do I take the risk, my men do not have a Bengali tastebud. At times I tell them you are not mine, one whose winter morning does not start with Triangular Paratha and a small bowl of liquid Khejur Gur, cannot be called a Bengali. Looking back I can see a little girl wearing a divine smile, tearing small pieces of parathas, dipping it into the khejur gur..... and then what happens is a divine pleasure.... as accompaniment I always had with me my favourite characters 'Tenida', 'Ghanada', 'Felula'. At that tender age I even enjoyed reading Homer, but when it came to Science, Mathematics or even doing Topo Maps, I got totally numb and dumb. The mornings when the balcony of our two roomed rented home glittered with 'Shuktara' and 'Anandamela' [bi-monthly Children Magazine], I couldn't concentrate at school, eagerly waited for homecoming. I loved only literature and history, chose a wrong subject as major. Later during masters, wished to switchover to anthropology but was not eligible . Then continued with the same subject because the mother of the house wished to see the tag. No wonder why my junior has developed so much of love for history.
By now my readers must have known I use this space to pen down my thoughts on life and various social issues. I love to keep my life as an open book, I am not Kareena Kapoor that my TRP goes down doing so.Today happens to be my little brother's birthday. I remember it was a Basant Panchami day and also celebration of the birthday of the national hero Subhash Chandra Bose...... had he been allowed to continue as the leader after independence, we could have seen a better India, and off course West Bengal would not have been treated as a step child as been so for the past sixty years. I am not interested in who Gumnami Baba was, I like many others lament over the fact on how a promising leader was sabotaged. Coming to my brother, he is seven years younger than me, and I had always been a very protective elder sister. He is adorable who does not understand life till date. I do not know when the happy go lucky will grow up, I blame it on the over protective mother. It also happens to be my sister-in-law's wedding anniversary.... I wish them all a blissful and happy life.
These Patali Gurer Kanchagolla [a sweet with date palm jaggery] can be made in a jiffy. I do have a Kanchagolla recipe on blog done with sugar as I love it since childhood.While in Kolkata, my friend Chandreyee got us this nolen gurer kanchagolla from Balaram Mallick... a famous sweet shop in Kolkata. It is particularly during winter, when the Bengal [on both sides of the border forcefully divided in 1905 for vested interest] markets are flooded with nolen / khejur / patali , each Bengali homes and sweet shops make pithe and sweets with it. We call it notun gur because we get it with the onset of winter and finish off by spring. All Bengali bloggers will have an array of Date Palm Jaggery sweets displayed on their blog during this period of the year, I am adding mine. Let us prepare this Patali Gurer Kanchagolla together with homemade paneer and date palm jaggery. I forgot to take picture of all the steps, I was so eager to taste one. Dear readers, please do bear with this forgetful mind.
INGREDIENTS :[for the homemade paneer]
Fresh Milk : 2lt
Lemon Juice : 3tbsp
Ice Cubes : 1 medium cup
INGREDIENTS : [ for the final product]
Homemade Paneer : As we get
Patali Gur [date palm jaggery] : 100-150gm
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
Water : A small cup
Raisin : One for each sweet to garnish
Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Bring to boil and add the lemon juice. As the milk curdles, add the ice-cubes and let cool.