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There are some dish that make you feel connected to your land by their sheer flavours. Gud ke chawal is one such dish. The simplicity of this dish, the earthiness in the jaggery, the texture of the rice and the mix of sweet aroma and a hot serving makes this a dish that will warm the heart. Which is why I describe this as ‘soul food’. One that leaves you happy and contented.
Gur ke chawal is made in different regions of India as per local tastes. One origin of this recipe is Punjabi / Paksitani which makes the dish of just these two main key ingredients. The south Indian version of the dish – Chakkari Pongal is made specially during the pongal festival and also has moong daal in addition to the rice in the mix. In several north Indian states including Bihar, the same dish made from rice and jaggery is called ‘Rasiya’. Rasiya is also sometimes made with dalia or broken wheat. So, you see, the dish will see origins, flavours and likings in all different states. It is known by different names but the flavours and aroma have the same calling to the people in the house that something delicious is ready to serve.
Sweet Rice ( Gud ke Chawal )
Gud ke chawal or sweet rice is mostly made in the winter months as Jaggerry provides heat to the body. A number of dry fruits are added as those also give us energy. It is a very traditional Sindhi / Punjabi, authentic recipe that is also served as Prasad.
- 250 grams Basmati Rice
- 125 grams Jaggery Grated
- 60 grams Sugar
- 700 to 750 ml Water
- few Saffron Strands
- 4 tbsp Desi Ghee
- 2 pinches Salt
- 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 12 Black Currants
- 12 Almonds
- 12 Cashew Nuts
- 10 Pieces Dry Coconut
- 2 tbsp Milk
- 2 tbsp Sugar for giving caramelization effect
Wash and soak the rice for 1 hour.
Warm the milk and soak saffron strands in it.
Cut the almonds and cashews lengthwise into halves.
In a thick bottom pan, Take 2 tablespoon ghee and heat it on low flame.
Add the almonds, cashews, dry coconut and stir fry till golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
Add 1 tablespoon ghee in the same pan on low flame for 1 minute.
Add the fennel seeds and let splutter. Add the jaggery, sugar, blackcurrants, and water.
Let it come to a boil. In about two minutes, the jaggery, sugar will melt.
Add the salt and rice and let cook for few minutes.
Add the saffron-milk and then let it boil on full flame till almost cooked.
This will take about 20-25 minutes, depending on the rice type, age etc.
When the rice is almost cooked, add two tablespoon sugar and cover with a very heavy lid and keep the flame low.
After 5 minutes, shut off the gas. Let it stand covered for 10 minutes.
Open the lid and Gently toss the grains so as to separate them.
Lastly add the fried almonds, coconut, and cashew nuts
Adjust the amount of jaggery as per your sweet tooth. Though i like it mild sweet with lots of ghee on it.
Saffron add a rich aroma to this recipe. If you don’t have saffron, you can add cardamom powder.
Basmati rice will do the justice with this recipe but if you have taken a healthy road 🙂 then you can use brown rice as well.
In addition to the few variations that go from state to state, you can make your own little additions. Some people love to add slightly roasted dry fruits including a good quantity of kismis to the dish. Some like to top it with pure ghee for that added homely delight. Others like to add roasted or fried peanuts to give it a crunch. And yet, some people, especially down south, like to flavour it with clove and edible camphor to give a ‘divine’ twist when making it as an offering to the Gods.
The other options comes from making it out of basmati rice or boiled rice. This comes with regional preferences with basmati being the preference in north India and boiled rice the preference in south. The south Indian version of the dish is more ‘gooey’ in texture while the north Indian version is served with the rice strands separated and fragrant. With a little customization, you can make this just the way you like.
Besides, the sweet flavour of jaggery and the carbs from the rice make it a healthy and filling dish for children. You can give them an extra helping without any guilt. For a more healthy version, try it with dhalia.
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