During the months of March and April, India immerses itself into celebrations. While some regions of the country conduct celebrations for welcoming the New Year based on their local Calendars, others have festivals that glorify the harvest season. Baisakhi is celebrated by the Sikh, Pana Sankranti is celebrated in Orissa and Vishu is observed in Kerala.
This year, Vishu is celebrated on the 14th of April. Keeping the spirit of the festive season in mind, we bring to you a very special recipe. When we talk about festivals of Kerala, what first comes to our mind is the fascinating spread of dishes served on a banana leaf.
This traditional spread of delicacies is known as 'Sadya'. Any Sadya is incomplete without the famous payasam. Most Sadya has at least two different kinds of payasams served. One kind is usually made with cow's milk as the base and the other is made with jaggery and coconut milk. Both of them taste delicious and you will find it hard to pick a favourite.
Today, Payasam is made out of almost any food item. Novel recipes that use various cereals, fruits and vegetables are often tried at festivals. However, today, we bring to you a traditional dish that is close to the hearts of the foodies in South India. This particular payasam is made with split yellow moong dal and is known as Parippu Payasam or Pasi Parippu Payasam.
The addition of jaggery and thick coconut milk makes the payasam taste deliciously sweet and rich. The payasam receives a tempering of ghee and chopped coconut. This lends it a heavenly aroma that will forever remain in your senses.
Read on to make yourself some parippu payasam this festive
Yellow split moong dal - ½ cup
Jaggery (crushed) - 1½ cups
Thick coconut milk - 2 cups
Cardamom powder - ½ tsp
Dried ginger powder -1/4th tsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Chopped coconut - 1 tbsp
Cashewnuts - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 1 tbsp
- To prepare Parippu payasam, we must first keep the coconut milk ready. You may make your own coconut milk by grinding and squeezing out grated coconut or you may use the coconut milk that is commercially available. Once you have 2 cups of thick coconut milk, take one cup of it in a separate bowl. Add one cup of plain water to it and stir it well. Now, you have 2 cups of thin coconut milk and one cup of thick coconut milk.
- In a pan, add the yellow split moong dal and dry roast it until it turns golden brown in colour. This should take about 2-3 minutes on medium flame. On high flame, you will risk burning the dal.
- Remove the moong dal into a bowl. Now, transfer it into a strainer and wash it under running water.
- Take a pressure cooker and add the moong dal into it. Also add two cups of water into the pressure cooker. Cook the dal for 5 whistles or until the dal can be easily mashed with your fingers.
- Mash the cooked moong dal with a whisk, until you get a semi-smooth paste.
- Now, take a thick bottomed pan and add the cooked moong dal and the crushed jaggery. Keep stirring on medium flame until all the jaggery melts.
- At this point, you must add the thin coconut milk. Cook for a couple of minutes and keep stirring occasionally to make sure that the payasam does not stick to the bottom.
- Now, add cardamom powder and dry ginger powder and mix well.
- To this, add the thick coconut milk and cook for another minute. Make sure that you do not overcook at this point, as the thick coconut milk may curdle. Remove the pan from the heat and prepare the tempering.
- For the tempering, take a small tempering pan. Add ghee to it.
- When the ghee heats up, add the chopped coconut and fry it until it becomes golden and aromatic.
- Add cashewnuts and raisins and cook till they are fried too.
- Add the tempering to the parippu payasam and stir the whole thing well.
- Parippu payasam tastes best when consumed warm.