This was supposed to be a Onam post which went haywire due to the floods and displacement. We are once again in the month of October which means its celebration time. Thinking of and praying for all the victims of the flood, I hereby dedicate this post for all the people of Kerala for standing united during the rough times.
Serving desserts and sweets are in integral part of Indian custom. Every occasion is celebrated with multiple sweet dishes. Each and every part has its specialties. This one is strictly a Mallu dessert/Kheer which is very dear to me. Prepared in the very original way, this dish can make your day. There’s a saying that even if the Sadya go bad, you can be a winner if the payasam turns out great. So this is that kind of Kheer which will save you any day from any culinary disaster.
Fall is the onset of festivities in India. So this post serves me on time and came in handy due to my long vacations. Ada is a type of rice pasta made with rice flour. Two types of Kheer is made with this, one with fresh cow’s milk and the other one with coconut milk which is this recipe. There isn’t much difference for this payasam/kheer except ada is added in pradaman. I use ready made ada for this. Since its sundried and store bought, I take extra care to cook this so that its different and unpleasant flavor as well as stickiness is completely drained.
I boil plenty of water. Add the ada once the water starts boiling and cook till tender. Add a splash of ghee and drain it. Once the gur/jaggery is thick and syrupy add the ada and cook till all the water content gets evaporated. First, second and third extracts of coconut along with ghee, dry ginger powder, cardamom and cumin is what rounds up this dish. The brass uruli or traditional vessel and the slow cooking is what gives the perfect texture to this dish. For shooting purpose, I have used a steel heavy bottomed pan.
Prepare the jaggery syrup in advance and keep. Strain it to take out all the impurities. It should be slighlty loose in consistency. You can reduce this to thick syrup or two string consistency after adding it in the vessel you cook. Adding of third and second extract of coconut should be followed once each stage attains thickness. If enough reduction wont take place, watery flavor will be tasted. Final garnishing will give that extra flavor and aroma for this dessert.
Heat plenty of water in a pan. Add a tablespoon of ghee. Boil it. When the water starts boiling, add the ada and cook till tender and soft. Drain immediately and add some cold water. Drain and set aside
In a sauce pan add the jaggery and water and cook till melted. Strain and add to the cooking pot. Cook further till it is reduced to one string consistency.
Add the ada and cook till all the water content is evaporated. Then go on to add the third extract of coconut. Combine and cook till reduced to quarter of its original amount and thick.
Lightly toss Cardamoms, Cumin seeds, dried Ginger in a pan until aromatic. Cool down and powder. Store it in air tight container.
Follow the same procedure by adding the second extract of coconut. Once its reduced, thick and golden in color, add 2 tablespoons of ghee and 2 teaspoons of spice powder. Combine and cook further for 5 more minutes.
Now add half of the first extract of coconut. Keep mixing.Once its blended add rest of the coconut milk and mix thoroughly. Let heat seep through and give a single boil as its coconut milk. Add the condensed milk and give a quick stir and boil.
Heat a pan with ghee. Add the coconut pieces and fry till it starts to get golden. Add the cashews at this point. Fry further till both these turn into golden in color. Add the raisins. Let it puff up. Add the powder and fry till aromatic.
Pour over the payasam and mix till well blended. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes. Switch off the stove and rest till all the flavors are well infused.
Serve hot and enjoy!!!!!!