Well, I find it quite justified to dedicate this post on an innovative delicacy – ‘Nalen Gurer Ice Cream’, which we enjoyed today at Oh! Calcutta, Silver Arcade, EM Bypass, Kolkata — a Bengali cuisine restaurant. Jaya and I went to this restaurant for Bengali cuisine before catching our flight to Ranchi. We started with ‘Aam-pora sharbat’ (আম-পোড়া শরবৎ) followed by ‘Mochar Chop’ (মোচার চপ), and ‘Bhaape Ilish’ (ভাপে ইলিশ), etc.
Towards the end of our lunch when the waiter asked for our choice of dessert, we found that they have ice cream made with ‘Nalen Gur’ (নলেন গুড়) or date palm jaggery on the menu. We could not but say ‘YES’ to it. I devoured the first spoon, mmm… it was awesome! It’s not like the usual ice cream. It was light brownish in colour. Today’s lunch is one of the greatest meals that I ever had.
Nalen gur is a specialty of Bengal — both Indian state of West Bengal and Bangladesh — and is used extensively to prepare delicacies of winter. Nalen gur is a preparation from the sap of date trees that are collected and heated to obtain the final product that leaves one wonderstruck — the taste is heavenly. It is said that the heating is an art. The date palm sap is made into three types of jaggery: liquid, grainy and the solid chunks of patali gur. The sap is heated in huge woks over wood or coal stoves and it is only an expert who can gauge the different degrees of cooking to achieve the right textures.
It’s really delicious and I am sure all sweet lovers would love it.