Today is the most auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, Lohri, and Pongal. During this sacred period, the Solar energies begin a new direction towards the northern hemisphere. This day is observed as the harvest festival and New Year in many states of India. This is a time of prayers, festivities, and purification. Old and discarded things are burnt and homes are cleaned. Beautiful rice powder rangolis are made in front of homes. There are family reunion feasts and temple visits.
Let us celebrate the beginning of the new warmer season with love and warmth in our hearts with a prayer in our hearts to Sun God for lighting up our lives.
As a part of the celebration today I made a delicious Payasam for our osme family. I woke up early did my prayers and started working on the delicacy. First, the sago (sabudana ) was washed and soaked. Then chana dal was lightly roasted that too kept for soaking. Soaking helps the dal to come out smooth and soft after cooking. Payasam making is a long process that can take up to two hours. I kept the dal in the cooker and readied the jaggery syrup. I also diluted coconut milk powder in warm water to make the coconut milk. Fresh coconut milk making is very tedious and I opted out of it. The coconut milk made from the powder was thick tasty and creamy too. Now everything needed to cool down before I start making the Payasam. I used this time to arrange my little studio area for the photoshoot and checked many compositions. Once the cooker was cooled I started the process of payasam making. Let us enjoy the goodness of lentils and jaggery Payasam today 😊
Making of payasam is a culinary art that needs a lot of mastery in striking a balance in tastes. Also, this dish shows
a chef’s depth in his choices and measures. Even though only a few ingredients are required to make payasam or pradhamans,
there is a subtle balance among them, and the addition of the flavoring elements in the right proportions
makes it a signature dish of sadyas, which can make the tongue tickle for many days.
(Serves 5 to 6)
• 500 gm split chickpeas (kadala/chana dal)
• 500 gm jaggery
• 2 cups diluted coconut milk
• 1 cup thick coconut milk
( I have used a 100 gms packet of coconut milk powder )
• ¼ cup pre-soaked sabudana (tapioca pearls)
• A handful of cashews and raisins
• A handful of roasted dry coconut pieces
• 2 tsp dry ginger powder
• 1 tsp cardamom powder
Wash and cook the roasted and pre-soaked chickpeas in the cooker. You may need five to six whistles in the cooker to get it well-cooked.
Cool it and mash the dal with a wooden ladle.
Melt jaggery in half a cup of water. Allow it to cool. A white and thick layer of impurities will separate out on top
of the jaggery syrup. Remove it with a spoon. Sieve and remove any remaining impurities.
Take a thick-bottomed uruli (or any deep pan) and pour 2 tsp ghee. Add the mashed chickpeas and melted jaggery to the thick-bottomed pan
(uruli ) .
Keep stirring and slow cook on medium flame. The mixture thickens and starts to leave the sides of the uruli.
Once the mixture thickens, add diluted coconut milk. Add cooked tapioca pearls. Slow cook for an hour till the mixture reduces to almost half on a medium flame.
Add the flavoring agents, that is, cardamom and dry ginger powder. Add the thick coconut milk, stir and simmer only for two minutes. Fry cashews, raisins, and dry coconut slices in ghee and add to the Payasam.
Take the Payasam off the stove. It is ready to serve now.
Kadala Pradhaman has a thick consistency. It is directly served on the leaf in sadyas.
It is eaten by hand along with mashed small bananas. We can also enjoy kadala pradhaman in bowls or glasses as per
our choice. I would recommend eating hot pradhaman directly from the leaf. Also, do not forget to lick the fingers
dripping with ambrosia!!! The sweetness is so heady that foodies are known to place a piece of lemon pickle on the
tongue after eating pradhaman. The lemon pickle gives the taste buds a small deviation so that the person can enjoy
some more payasam.
Have a sweet day 😊 Jai Sri Hari 😊