When it comes to making payasam,I have no confusions at all.There are only few payasams which we both love and I usually do not deviate from the regulars.Ever since I started baking with confidence,poor payasams have taken a back seat.For every celebration in the family the star dessert items have been replaced by cakes and baked desserts.
But occasions like Vishu,demand to be traditional and I decided to put my baking prowess to rest and whip up a payasam.
Parippu pradhaman aka 'karutha payasam' as it is fondly called is a delicious combination of cooked dal,jaggery and coconut milk.It is interesting how these humble ingredients create a dish so delicious you'd be eating it out of your hands,literally!I usually make this with Moong dal,but this time tried with Channa dal.
Kadalaparippu Pradhaman ~ Channa dal payasam with Jaggery and Coconut Milk
Kadala parippu/Channa dal - ½ cup
Coconut milk - 1 cup thin coconut milk,(moonnam paal),¾ cup semi thick coconut milk(randaam paal),½ cup thick coconut milk(onnaam paal)
Jaggery - 1 big ball of jaggery around 225-250 gms-melt the jaggery in a little water and filter it(no need to make paani/syrup but it should be of semi-thick consistency)the said amount should make 1- 1¼ cup melted jaggery
Cashewnuts and thin coconut slices - for garnishing
Cardamom/Elaichi powder - 1 tbsp
Chukku/Dry Ginger powder - a pinch[optional]
Ghee - 2 tbsp
In a kadai,dry roast the channa dal for few minutes without browning it.Wash well and pressure cook it till soft and mushy[about 5-7 whistles].Mash it well with the back of a spoon or a potato masher till it becomes smooth.
Take a thick bottomed kadai and put mashed channa dal and melted jaggery together.Keep on stirring till you get a brownish colour and semi thick consistency.(Keep on stirring to avoid the mix sticking to the bottom)--about 5-7 minutes.
Add a tablespoon of ghee and mix well.
Add the thin coconut milk and let the mix come to a boil,then simmer it--for 15-20 minutes.
When the mix becomes a little thick,add the semi thick coconut milk,stir well.Let it cook on low heat-till it becomes a bit more thicker--about 10 minutes.
Add the thick coconut milk at this stage,mix well.
Add cardamom powder,ginger powder and switch off the flame.
Prepare garnishing in another pan by frying cashewnuts and thin coconut slices in ghee.Add it to the payasam along with the ghee.
- Use of coconut milk - You can use freshly squeezed coconut milk as well as canned coconut milk for this recipe.I have used both and both taste equally good.If you are using freshly squeezed milk,milk of one big coconut will be enough.If using canned ones( I used dabur homemade tetra pack-200 ml pack),use 2 packs by keeping one intact and by diluting the other.
- Use brown/black jaggery to get a dark brown colour for the payasam.
- Adjust the heat of the gas accordingly,preferably keep on medium heat and keep stirring to avoid the payasam from sticking to the bottom.Better still,use a non-stick kadai.
- Parippu pradhaman gets thicker as it cools down,so don't panic if its still watery after you add the thick coconut milk.Also,switch off the gas immediately after you add the thick coconut milk to avoid curdling.
- If the payasam becomes too thick,add few tbsps of boiling water till it becomes a pouring consistency.
Off this goes to Kerala Kitchen!