Payasam is served as a dessert after the traditional feast of sadya. In Kerala payasam can be made with milk or coconut milk. Semiya payasam and rice payasam are made with milk and all the other payasams are made with coconut milk and jaggery.
Traditionally, the payasam is made in heavy bottomed dish called Uruli and the lentils are cooked in it consuming lot of time and patience. But today I am cooking in a pressure cooker in order to save time. Another option to save time is by using coconut milk powder or store bought coconut milk.
Whole Moong bean - 200 grams
Jaggery - 400 grams (but according to the type of jaggery, if its dark colored about 400 grams will be enough but the light colored ones will take a bit more. Go for dark ones as they will give a nice color to the dish)
Grated coconut - 1 1/2 cup
Cardamom seed - 2 tsp
Ghee - 2 table spoon
Thinly sliced coconut - 1/4 cup
Cashew nuts - few
Raisins - few
1. Soak the whole moong bean for 3-4 hours and cook it in pressure cooker with sufficient water till done.
2. Mean while extract milk from the coconut. It is extracted in 3 stages. First add the grated coconut and about 1 cup of wart m water in a mixie and grind it. Strain the ground coconut using a strainer. You can even use tea strainer or a colander lined with a soft cotton cloth or cheesecloth. Press it with a ladle or squeeze to extract as much milk as possible. This extracted milk is the first milk or thala pal.
Now add 1 more cup of warm water to the already ground coconut and grind it again nicely. Again strain the ground coconut with a strainer.The milk extracted now is the second extract/second milk (rendam pal) which is thinner than the first.
Add 1 cup of warm water to the ground coconut and extract the milk. This will be the third pal.
4. Melt the jaggery with little water and strain it inorder to remove impurities.
5. Once the moong bean (cherupayar) is cooked, Mashem it with a spatula and boil it till the moisture is absorbed.
6. Add ghee and roast for 5 - 10 minutes.
7. Add the melted jaggery and cardamom seeds and mix well. Stir continuously till it thickens.
8. Then add the third pal or the last extracted coconut milk. stir continuously till it bubbles.
9. Then add the second (rendam) pal. stir continuously.
10. Once it thickens add the first or thala pal. Stir well for 5 minutes and remove from flame.
11. Fry the coconut pieces, cashew nuts and raisins in ghee and add to the payasam.
1. If using coconut milk powder,use 3-4 tbsp milk powder in 1 cup lukewarm water for the thick first milk or thala pal. For the second (rendam) pal use 2-3 tbsp milk powder in 1 cup lukewarm water and for the third pal, use 1-2 tbsp milk powder in 1 cup lukewarm water.
2. If using store bought coconut milk, use 1 cup of the milk as such for the first (thala) pal, use half cup of milk and half cup of lukewarm water for the second (rendam) pal and use 1/4 cup of mil and 3/4 cup of lukewarm water for the third pal.
3. The payasam keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days. Microwave for 1 min, before serving.