Ever since I first had Ela Neer Payasam, I have been wanting to try it at home. Since today is Vishu, New Year for Hindus in Kerala, I thought I would give it a try. As it turned out, I could not make a better decision.
Ela Neer Payasam is mildly sweet and loaded with flavours of tender coconut meat and coconut milk. It is quite unlike any of the other payasams and also serves as a cooling drink in Summer. The best part about it is that you can make it in a jiffy and if you omit the milk, you get a vegan version.
How to Make Ela Neer Payasam (Tender Coconut Kheer)
Time: 30 Mins
- Tender Coconut Meat – 1 Cup
- Tender Coconut Water – 2 Cups
- Milk – 2 Cups
- Thick Coconut Milk – 1/2 Cup (1 Cups in the Vegan Version)
- Sugar – 4 tbsp
- Green Cardamom – 4
- Saffron – A Few Strands (optional)
- Peel and crush the cardamom seeds to a fine powder.
- In a mixer, pulse the tender coconut meat to a coarse paste.
- Boil the milk and sugar together till the milk is reduce to 1/2 the quantity.
- Turn down the heat to low.
- Add the coconut milk and cardamom powder.
- Turn the heat up to medium and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Turn off the heat and let cool.
- Add the coconut water and coconut meat.
- Mix well.
- Chill for 2 hours.
- Serve chilled Ela Neer Payasam.
For the Vegan Version of Ela Neer Payasam
- Dissolve the sugar in the coconut water instead of milk.
- Mix together the coconut water, coconut cream, cardamom powder, and coconut meat paste.
- Serve chilled.
Tips for a No-Cook Version of Ela Neer Payasam
- You could use 1/3 cup of sweetened condensed milk instead of reducing the milk.
- In such a case, there is no cooking involved. Just mix together all the ingredients.
- Do not grind the coconut meat into a fine paste. A coarse paste adds a degree of crunch to this payasam.
- While I have added a strand of saffron to the photo, avoid it as it can overpower the flavour of the tender coconut. This drink is best served “unadulterated” by non-essentials such as saffron or dry fruits!