If you are a true Bengali or one in heart, you don’t need any introduction to nolen gur or liquid date palm jaggery. It’s that liquid gold that pops up on a plate in front of you during the winter months and you mop it up with hot fulko luchi (deep fried puffed bread). You put the pair in your mouth, close your eyes, and do an impromptu jig to the tunes of ‘Dil garden garden ho gaya’. And it only gets better with the season’s offerings of various nolen gur infused desserts like sondesh, roshogolla, payesh and pithey.
For the uninitiated ones, here’s a bit of info on Nolen Gur:
West Bengal’s legendary liquid date palm jaggery, popularly called the Nolen Gur has since time immemorial been relished by people across generations. Derived from the sap of date palm trees, this Bengali specialty offers a culinary experience that is simply divine.
An essential ingredient in all traditional winter desserts in Bengal, the aromatic and naturally sweet nolen gur entices your taste buds and fills your heart with joy. Sadly, this form of jaggery is only available during the winter months and has a very short shelf life.
Not wanting to let the winters go, I asked myself, what more could be done with nolen gur. Being a cake person, I had to create a nolen gur cake recipe. If innovation is the mantra, then why not a microwave mug cake and that too eggless? And just like that I experimented this morning. It came out perfect. Earthy sweetness of nolen gur. Moist and decadent. Redolent of winter.
Special Note: This year, I couldn’t lay my hands on the best variety available in secret shops in distant locations. But the nolen gur tube courtesy CM Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Biswa Bangla’ Project, is an excellent alternative. This is available in Biswa Bangla stores and comes in various sizes. A 100 ml tube costs Rs70, but the stores are giving a discount of 30%. Absolutely grade A quality and highly recommended. Has a shelf life of three months.
2-Minute Nolen Gur Mug Cake (Eggless)| Microwave Recipe
[Give yourself some nolen gur love with this super easy mug cake that can be made in just a few minutes]
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar (powdered sugar)
2 tablespoons nolen gur (liquid date palm jaggery)
1 tablespoon refined oil
½ teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
3 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
(You may also use a pinch of cardamom powder to flavour the cake further)
In a 12-ounce mug or larger, mix all ingredient until just combined.
Microwave on high for 90 seconds to 2 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t spill over (depending on the size of the mug).
When done, the sides of the cake will loosen up slightly from the inner walls of the mug. You can also insert a tooth pick to check. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
Let cool one minute before eating. Have it straight from the mug. Enjoy!
Tips: Make the batter a little thinner than the usual cake or cupcake batter. Use one more tablespoon of milk if needed.
Serving suggestion: drizzle nolen gur from top and serve with a piece of peanut chikki (peanut brittle).