Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Time for Payasam

Recipe: Parippu Payasam / Mung bean Pudding

So many events have been happening since the last few weeks and Onam is also here that I thought it was good to celebrate it all with something sweet, something smooth and silky and something that did not involve baking.




Do I hear you ask "What events?". Well here they are

1) Anna Hazare's fast for the Jan Lokpal Bill was a success. It was interesting to see that the problem of corruption struck a chord in every Indian's heart irrespective of other differences.

1) My gorgeous friend and talented blogger, Liz, from Ephemeral Whims got married to the love of her life. And though I had tried to make cake, I'm having bad cake days   - the cakes turned out weird and resembled the surface of the moon! They had gigantic craters . Sorry Liz and Thom - there's no cake for you here. But there's plenty of silky smooth yumminess.

1) My wonderful and sweet cousin had a baby! The birth of a child is so special, so miraculous and absolutely life-changing. Children bring in so much more meaning to life. So this is for my newest baby nephew (though it might be a couple of years till he begins to eat this kind of dessert) and his awesome parents.

1) J and I completed 7 years of married life and we are still alive! 

1) And that also means that I've been doing the juggling act between work and home for 7 years! And I'm still sane! Or at least I think I am.

1) The harvest festival of my native state, Onam, is here.

2) With the increased frequency of power cuts here, baking a cake is not an easy task.




Yes, I made payasam - parippu payasam ie split mung beans cooked with jaggery and simmered in coconut milk. This is my very first attempt at making it and I was surprised by how easy it is to make. Basically, the main components of this dessert are
1) parippu / split mung beans which are cooked well
2) jaggery
3) as with most things from Kerala, coconut milk, and lots of it
4) flavouring (usually cardamom and dried ginger / chukku) and topping (fried raisins, fried pieces of coconut, fried nuts)




PARIPPU PAYASAM / MUNG BEAN PUDDING
Recipe Sources : Mom and cookbooks such as the The Suriani Kitchen


Split mung beans - 250g ie 1 and 1/4 cups
Jaggery that has been melted and strained - 1 cup (can be adjusted as per sweetness preferences)


The Coconut milks of varying thickness: 
(I needed to scrape 2 whole coconuts to get all this coconut milk)
- Thin Coconut milk - 3 cups (known as "moonaam paal" in malayalam)
- Slightly thicker coconut milk - 3 cups (known as "randaam paal" in malayalam)
- Really thick coconut milk - 2 cups (known as "onnaam paal" in malayalam)

Flavourings:
- Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
- Dry Ginger powder - 1/2 tsp (known as "chukku" in malayalam)

And Toppings such as:
- Raisins, Nuts (Cashew nuts or peanuts), coconut bits - a handful each and should be fried in 1-2  Tbsp ghee

Wash and drain mung beans fast and roast them till they change colour very slightly.

Put the roasted mung beans and thin coconut milk in the cooker and cook it well. It took me 3 whistles after the first one on a low flame.

Then roast the cooked mung beans with the jaggery till it is thick and all the excess water has evaporated.

Add the slightly thicker coconut milk, mix well and let it come to a boil. Then finally add the thick coconut milk and switch off fire. If you want the payasam to be thicker, then you can increase the quantity of thick coconut milk and decrease the thinner ones. But just be careful to follow the order of adding the coconut milk from the thinner milk first to the thicker milk at the end.

Add the cardamom powder and dry ginger powder. And then add fried raisins, nuts, fried coconut pieces etc as per your preference.

I loved this payasam hot and on the next day when I took it from the fridge, it was cold and even better - with a thicker, creamier and silky consistency.

Wish you a HAPPY ONAM !

I'm sending this creamy payasam to the Kerala Kitchen of this month hosted by Divya Kudua here.

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