My family always wants something sweet to round off a lunch or dinner on weekends. One of the all-time favourite desserts is payasam or kheer of any sort. While I make payasam in many ways, Semiya Payasam is a popular choice because it gets done easily, and can be eaten cold or warm.
I also make Semiya Payasam as naivedyam for festivals and will be doing so this weekend for Ugdai as well.
Carrot Payasam (Gajar ki Kheer) is a concept alien in my home. However, it seems to be very popular in many a South Indian home and so I decided to give it shot. It was quite easy to make and my first thought was that it was a drinkable version of Gajar ka Halwa.
The the orange colour of this Carrot Payasam also seemed to appeal to the kids at home and in the neighborhood. As a result, the Gajar ki Kheer was greatly relished by the kiddos and I will soon be making another batch on demand from a neighbour. 🙂
This Payasam also get done very quickly and so can be a great dessert for unexpected guests or serve as one of the naivedyam items for Poojs that involve a lot of cooking.
Do try this payasam which is slightly off the traditional path and you will find many a fan.
I made Gasagasala Payasam (Gasagase Payasa, Khus Khus Kheer) to kick-off the festive season. The best part about this kheer is that it uses no milk at all and so this Vegan dessert can be enjoyed by all. This kheer is very very easy to make and is creamy in texture. Above all it tastes absolutely delicious; in fact, I had to make two batches in a single day because my family liked it very much. 🙂
Traditional Gasagasala Payasam uses milk. However, as I made this payasam, I realised it tastes great without the milk and left it as is. You could use vegan options like almond or cashew milk, if you want. I used the cashew nuts and almonds which are commonly found in Indian kitchens.
This version of the Gasagase Payasam uses sugar. I will post a version with jaggery and milk later in the month.
Make this creamy vegan Gasagasala Payasam (called Gasagase Payasa in Kannada and Khus Khus Kheer in Hindi) this festive season and surprise everyone with a delicious kheer that uses no milk.
2tbspGasagasalu, Gasagase, Poppy Seeds, or Khus Khus
6Green Cardamom Pods
In a pan, over low heat, toast the poppy seeds till they start to change colour.
Remove into a bowl.
In the same pan, over low heat, toast the rice seeds till they become poppy seeds opaque and white.
Add to the bowl with poppy seeds.
To this bowl, add the cashews.
In another bowl, place the almonds.
Add enough warm water to both the bowls to cover all the ingredients and set aside for 1 hour. I soaked everything for a couple of hours so grinding became very easy.
Making the Gasagasala Payasam or Gasagase Payasa
Peel the soaked almonds and discard the skin.
Peel the cardamom pods.
Grind the soaked poppy seeds, rice, cashews, peeled almonds, cardamom seeds, and coconut to a smooth paste. Add water, if required.
Add the ground paste to a heavy bottomed vessel or a non-stick pan.
Add 1 cup water.
Over low to medium heat, bring the mix to a gentle simmer while stirring constantly. Ensure that you stir the mix constantly otherwise, it will become lumpy. If the mixture becomes too thick, add more water.
When the mixture has been simmering for 5 minutes, add the sugar and mix well.
Turn off the heat and add another cup of water. You could also add boiled milk.
Garnish with slivered almonds.
Serve the Gasagasala Payasam or Gasagase Payasa warm or cold.
Ada Pradhaman is an essential part of Onasadya (also known as Onam Sadya). It is essentially a rich payasam/kheer where ada (steamed rice flour flakes) are cooked in a wonderful mix of jaggery and coconut milk. It is super simple to make and just as delicious. You could also try its cousin Palada Pradhaman which is cooked in milk and sugar.
I made this for Onam this year. However, with Varalakshmi Vratam coinciding with Onam this year, I was pressed for time and am posting it now, when I have time to catch a breath!
I also made it with store-bought coconut milk and so this recipe reflects those measures.
With the advent of the month of Shravan (sometime in July-August according to the Gregorian calendar) begins the festival season in India and my mind is full of ideas of how to celebrate the plethora of festivals and poojas that await us. In our home, the first major Pooja of the season is Varalakshmi Pooja.
Celebrated on the Friday that precedes the full-moon in the month of Sravan (Shravana Pournami Poorvaasta Shukravaare or simply the Friday before Raksha Bandha or Nariyal Poornima) by married women across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and some parts of Tamil Nadu, Varalakshmi Pooja is said to bestow prosperity and well-being on the family.
Sri Lakshmi is the Goddess of Prosperity and manifests in many forms. As Varalakshmi (Vara = boon), she grants her devotees their wishes. Legend has it that Varalakshmi appeared in the dreams of a lady called Charumati and asked her to perform Varalakshmi Vratam. Charumati performed the Vratam along with other ladies from the village and as soon as the Pooja was over, they ladies found themselves blessed with riches.
Any pooja/vratam is said to be complete only after listening to the Katha or story about the origins of the pooja. As a child, I was most interested in this part of the pooja because the stories fascinated me.
Here is another payasam that is popular with us; Pesara Pappu Payasam, which is known Pasi Paruppu Payasam in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In this version, I have used sugar as it is faster to make this payasam this way. I will write about the recipe that uses jaggery or bellam in a later post.
Time: 45 Mins
Pesara Pappu or Moong Dal – 3/4 Cup
Milk – 3 Cups
Water – 1/2 Cup
Sugar – 2 Cups or To Taste
Cashews – 8 to 10
Raisins – 8 to 10
Green Cardamom – 3 or 4
Ghee – 1 tsp
Dry roast the pesara pappu till it starts to change colour.
Add 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup water.
Pressure cook for 4 to 6 whistles, or till the pesara pappu is of mashable consistency. Use a large vessel so that there is a lot of empty space after adding the pappu, milk, and water because milk has a tendency to boil over.
Using a heavy ladle, mash the dal.
Peel the green cardamom and crush the seeds to a coarse powder. It is easier to crush cardamom seeds if you add about 1 tsp of sugar. The volume makes it easier to crush the seeds.
Add the remaining milk, cardamom, and sugar to the cooked pesara pappu.
Over medium heat, bring the payasam to a gentle simmer.
Heat the ghee.
Break the cashew in halves and add to the ghee.
Stir-fry the cashew till it starts to change colour.
Add the raisins and stir-fry till the raisins start to puff up.
Add the fried cashew and raisins to the payasam.
I find that cooking the pesara pappu in milk gives the payasam a richer taste. You could also cook it using just water.