It's Holi today and I am dry, going about my daily routine. But in my mind, I am thinking about Holi I celebrated a couple of years ago at home. I was home for Holi after many years, and it was Lil A's first trip to India so it was extra special.
The evening before Holi, I was sure that we would do dry colors, just a little bit here and there and we will be done. The next morning we woke up, ate breakfast, applied oil and changed into holi clothes and then we were all ready.
Then the first group of aunties came. I had forgotten about aunties' holi-playing techniques. I went out with gulaal or abeer and that turned out to be very bad strategy. In minutes I was soaked with all kinds of color. And then all the resolutions were out of the window. We played a wet, wet holi with family, cousins, friends and neighbors. By the end, we had run out of colors and were making do with plain water.
After we cleaned up we ate hot Khichuri my mom made for purnima (full moon) and my father made khejur gur/nalen gur/patali gurer payesh.
Khejur gur or jaggery is made with sap of the date palms during the winter months. A good comparison would be maple syrup. The payesh turns out caramely, smoky, mildly sweet and incredibly rich and delicious. Here is a wiki entry which talks about it.
You may want to test your gur before adding it in milk. Add a small bit in hot milk, if the milk separates, it may not be the best one for payesh.
I use a combination of whole milk and 2% milk for my payesh and it turns out as creamy as regular payesh.
1 ltr 2% milk
1/2 ltr whole milk
1/3 cup gobindo bhog rice (this rice is has aroma all it's own and is small unlike basmati)
1 cup patali gur (chopped in small pieces)
handful chopped almonds (optional)
In a thick bottom saucepan, boil the milk on low-medium heat, stirring continuously. Once it's boiled add the rice and let it cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Stir and cook for another 5-7 minutes stirring so it doesn't get burned.
After the rice is almost done, add the gur little by little. Now cook it on low heat till the milk reduces and the rice is done.