Onam is almost here… My FB wall is filled with Onam related posts, mostly pictures of Onasadya and Pookalam. I was hoping to celebrate Onam in Kerala this year, but it didnt work out. It's been more than 12 years that I celebrated Onam in Kerala. I miss the Payasam melas the most. During Onam season, you can see many make shift Payasam stalls where you get to taste piping hot Pal Payasam, Parippu Payasam etc; The thought itself makes me miss home…
For the past few years, I'm seeing so many different recipes for Payasam be it in Kerala based Magazines, newspapers or blogs, it's like any ingredient can be turned into a payasam. I'm all for innovation and discovering new recipes and tastes, but when it comes to food during festive season, I'm a bit conservative. I prefer the traditional tastes, for Onam I like Pal Payasam or Parippu Payasam. It's the same for Christmas and Easter too. If I dont get to eat Appam and Stew for Christmas and Easter breakfast, it doesnt quite feel like Christmas or Easter, I feel something is missing. What about you? Do you like to try new recipes during festive season or go with the tastes that you grew up with?
I've posted recipes of Carrot Payasam, Pineapple Payasam etc; but come Onam and Vishu, it has to be a traditional payasam. I've already posted Parippu Payasam recipe, using Cherupayar parippu (mong dal), but I've been getting requests for Kadala Parippu payasam. Though Kadala Parippu Payasam is comparitively new to me, it's one of my favourites. It's not surprising considering the fact that I love the combination of coconut milk and jaggery, add some mashed dal and ghee to it, even better!
Wish you and your loved ones a Happy Onam! Hope this festive season fills your body and soul with yummy tastes and wonderful memories!
Here's the recipe…
- 1.5 cups Chana Dal / Bengal gram ((kadala parippu))
- 500 -550 gms Jaggery (refer notes)
- 4 cups Thin coconut milk
- 3 cups Medium thick coconut milk
- 1.5 cups Thick coconut milk
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup Coconut bits (thengakothu)
- 3 Crushed cardamom
- 1/2 cup Cashew nuts
- 3-5 tbsp Ghee
- Wash chana dal. Heat 2 tsp of ghee and roast the dal on low flame in a pressure cooker, till the nutty aroma comes 4-5 mins, make sure you dont brown it. Add 3 cups of water and pressure cook, till it's done (refer notes).
- Mash the cooked dal using a wooden spoon. If you prefer a small bite, dont mash it too much. However if you prefer a smooth texture, mash it nicely.
- Melt the jaggery by adding 1/2 cup of water. Strain the melted jaggery and add it to the mashed dal.
- Cook the melted jaggery and mashed dal in a wide and deep non stick pan, on low flame. Cook till the mixture becomes thick and the melted jaggery is almost dried. Make sure you stir it in between, to prevent it sticking to the bottom. Add 2 tbsp ghee and mix well.
- Gradually add thin coconut milk to this and mix well. Bring it to a boil. Simmer it on low flame till the mixture reduces to almost half the quantity. Add medium thick coconut milk and stir well. When it boils, reduce the flame to the lowest and cook till the mixture thickens, 10-15 mins (it can take longer also)
- Add thick coconut milk and stir well. Do not boil. Keep stirring and cooking on low flame for 5-7 mins. Add crushed cardamom powder.
- In a small pan, heat the remaining ghee and brown the cashews first, drain it on paper towel. In the same pan, add more ghee, if required, add coconut bits and fry till it turns golden brown. Add this and the fried cashews to the payasam.
I've used coconut milk powder to make this payasam. Do a taste test to see the sweetness of jaggery, accordingly adjust the qty.
Pressure cooking the dal – After the first whistle comes on full flame, reduce the flame to low-medium and cook for 4-5 whistles. Keep it closed for 15-20 mins or till pressure drops. Open the cooker and mash the dal. make sure you mash the dal while it's still hot, otherwise dal tends to harden.
Payasam keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can heat it in microwave or stove top.