Unda Payasam

The other day I got a mail from a well known Media House, asking me to share a special recipe that was handed down to me from my mother. They wanted to share it as a Mother’s day special post. Seeing the expression on my face, Jose was curious to know what brought that particular expression on my face. I handed over my phone to him to read the mail and after a minute, he started laughing.

Normally, when you ask people to select their favourite dish from their mother’s cooking, it can be easy and difficult at the same time. Easy, since they can go on and on about their mother’s cooking and how special it is and difficult because, it is hard to choose from many many special dishes.

For me, it’s easy and difficult but for a different reason.

The thing is…cooking isn’t my Amma’s strong suit and it’s difficult for that particular reason. It’s easy because there are only a handful of dishes that she cooks ;)

That being said, I don’t think it ever bothered me that she wasn’t interested in cooking. Even as a child when my friends used to bring their homemade treats, I never for once wished or wondered what if my Amma could make it.

She is quite different from from her contemporaries. She is an independant woman, she doesn’t wait around for anybody to get her things done. She is a go-getter, takes initiative and fluff ball of energy (my sil and myself secretly wonder how she manages to maintain that level).

If you’ve noticed by now, my Amma doesn’t fit the role of a traditional mother and I’m sure my Appa was part of the reason. My Appa in a strange way is “feminist” who think the woman’s identity should not just be restricted to the kitchen. Whether he agrees with it or not, I’ve never seen him telling Amma, to keep her opinions to herself. I think the fact that he has five younger sisters has something to do with it.

This doesn’t mean, I’m blinded to their shortcomings or they are larger than life figures to me. Though I get angry, irritated or frustrated with them at times, I love them just the way they are – the way they love me just the way I am.

Coming back to bonding with Amma over cooking, well we bond over many things, but cooking isn’t one of them. Over the years, I’ve realised that our tastes in food are quite different. She is more of a Idli / Dosa person whereas I’m an Appam and Stew person. She prefers thin gravies where as I prefer thick ones, she detests coriander whereas I heart it!

Her cooking expertise or lack thereof never affected our relationship. Moreover, I’m lucky to have Tesschechy (my mom’s sister) and my Mother-in-law, who are my mother figures to discuss cooking.

However there are somethings I like best when Amma makes them, her Parippu Payasam, Orotti, Bombay Toast, Erachi Thoran, Chapathi are some of my favs (yes, that’s about her total menu)…

Personally, I’m not much for having a specific day for mothers or fathers – but I’ve seen many who find it difficult to express their love for the special people in their life. For such people, days like this give an opportunity to make known their feelings…

So, let me wish all wonderful mother’s out there a very Happy Mother’s day!

Coming to this recipe, I chose this recipe as Mother’s day special, because it’s a hand me down recipe from my Grand-mother. I remember eating bowl full of this Undapayasam many a times during my childhood days. It’s something that Amma and Tesschechy make even now when we visit.

You can call it a traditional Kerala style dessert made with rice flour, coconut and banana. The combination of rice flour and coconut never loses it’s magic with me and addition of banana (yes, I know) adds a different flavour to this dish. It can also be considered as a healthy dessert.

Here is the recipe…

Melt 1 tbsp ghee in a small frying pan. Add quartered banana and sugar (.5 – 1 tbsp). Fry till the banana becomes golden brown in colour. Keep it aside…

Step 1 - Unda Payasam
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Combine flour, coconut and salt in a deep and wide mixing bowl. Add boiling water gradually to make a soft and smooth dough…

Step 2 - Unda Payasam
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Reserve  1-2 tbsp of dough and make tiny dumplings from the rest of the dough…

Step 3 - Unda Payasam
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Boil 2.5 cups of water in a medium size sauce pan. Add dumplings to it and bring it to boil. Reduce the flame to lowest and cook for 6-8 mins. Add 4 tbsp sugar and mix gently.

Step 4 - Unda Payasam
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Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup hot water to the reserved dough and make a paste. Continue to cook for 5 more mins and add the dough paste. Mix well…

Step 5 - Unda Payasam
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Add coconut milk and mix well. Add fried banana and crushed cardamom and mix well. Remove from fire after 4-5 mins…

Step 6 - Unda Payasam
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Unda Payasam

Print Pin
Course: Dessert, Snack, Sweet
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

  • 2 small - medium Ripe Plantain (Kerala Ethakka) ( quartered)
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1/2 cup Rice flour (heaped (refer notes))
  • 1/2 cup Grated Coconut (heaped)
  • 1/2 cup Boiling water
  • Salt
  • 2.5 cups Water
  • 4-5 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Cardamom (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup Thick coconut milk

Instructions

  • Melt 1 tbsp ghee in a small frying pan. Add quartered banana and sugar (.5 - 1 tbsp). Fry till the banana becomes golden brown in colour. Keep it aside.
  • Combine flour, coconut and salt in a deep and wide mixing bowl. Add boiling water gradually to make a soft and smooth dough. Reserve 1-2 tbsp of dough and make tiny dumplings from the rest of the dough. You can make bigger ones too, but keep in mind the dumplings tends to expand while cooking. Cover this with a wet cloth to prevent it from drying out.
  • Add 1/4 - ½ cup hot water to the kept aside dough and make a thick paste.
  • Boil 2.5 cups of water in a medium size sauce pan. Add dumplings to it and bring it to boil. Reduce the flame to lowest and cook for 6-8 mins. Add 4 tbsp sugar and mix gently. Continue to cook for 5 more mins and add the dough paste. Mix well. Once it begins to thick, add coconut milk and stir well. Add fried banana and crushed cardamom and mix well. Remove from fire after 4-5 mins.

Notes

Banana is cooked along with the dumplings in the original recipe. It imparts a strong banana flavour to the dish. You can follow that method, if you prefer a stronger banana flavour. If you dont prefer the banana taste at all, you can skip it and just make rice dumplings.
Also, in the original recipe, coconut milk is not used. I used it to make it more creamier and also for the flavour. You can add hot water instead of coconut milk.
The qty of sugar can be adjusted to suit your requirements. Start with 1-2 tbsp of sugar and add more, if required.
The dish tends to thicken a lot as it rests. You can add some hot water and reheat it to adjust the consistency.

 

 

 

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  • Hi Maria

    Was reading indiam express and came across the mothers day article… Very nice.. I absolutely love your blog and is my go to site whenever I am at a loss in the kitchen. From your beef cry to cakes, they are amazin.. And yeah its alway fun to read your write ups. Will definitely try this recipe and keep up the good work…

    • Hi Devika,

      Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback :) Really happy to know that MM is your go to site. Hope you get to try this recipe soon and like it too…

      Cheers
      Maria

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