Happy Tamil New Year, everyone! Missing home :(. It is a tradition all over the world to make special dishes on special occasions like festivals, celebrations etc and Tamilians are no exception to that. Though it is not a big occasion like Deepavali or Pongal, Tamil New Year is still celebrated widely back home. You get to watch lots of programmes in cable television, you get a Government holiday and get to eat scrumptious food:) Now lets concentrate a little bit more on that last word, after all this is a food blog and I am foodie (hope you are too :)) I make it a habit of preparing something new, usually a sweet dessert on all special occasions and holidays. And I try not to make the same dish for two different occasions. This year, I tried a new type of Payasam or Kheer made from oats called the Oats Payasam and am sharing the recipe for it here.
Oats, as you all might know is a popular breakfast food which is rich in nutrients. Most often, you might have had it in the form of porridge (both sweet and savory). We too got in to this breakfast routine of having oats and ended up with buying different varieties of them like steel cut, rolled etc. For Tamil new year, I decided to make use of the oats, come on, how much can you have it as breakfast only :). I came across this Oats Payasam recipe and decided that it is going to be my special dish this year. Oats Payasam is a very simple dish but extremely tasty. It is made using steel cut oats, jaggery, ghee and nuts like cashews, pistachios and almonds.
This is my first time making the Oats Payasam and I am very happy with the outcome. It is very tasty and I find it similar to Aravana Payasam in taste, especially that crunchiness, served as prasadham in Sabarimala Temple back home. Try this sweet Payasam in honor of an even sweeter language, Tamil, on this special day and enjoy it with your loved ones 🙂
Today is Father’s Day! A father is a hero to every daughter and Father’s day is a way to honor them for their love, unwavering support and kindness. So Happy Father’s Day to all fathers out there. On the occasion of this important day, I wanted to prepare something sweet that personifies their nature i.e., being sweet 🙂 I decided on Paal Payasam, a south Indian dessert item that is very tasty. I love the Paal Payasam that my MIL makes. The recipe that I have given below is my MIL’s.
Paal Payasam is a classic dish that uses very few ingredients i.e., rice, sugar and milk. Paal Payasam is one of my favorite payasams (similar to pudding in general) and my sister’s too. Preparing this dish is time consuming but to allevate some of that I used whole milk because one of the steps in making Paal Payasam is to reduce the milk to half but using whole milk saves time since it is already thick.
Paal Payasam can either be served hot or cold but tastes excellent when served cold. Try this sweet dessert in your kitchen and I hope you too will enjoy it as much as I do 🙂
Raw rice or basmati rice or seeraga samba rice – ½ cup
Ghee – 3 tbsp, divided
Milk – 1 liter
Sugar – 1 cup
Cashews – 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder – a generous pinch
Wash and soak the rice in water for half an hour. Later crush the rice using your hands and keep it aside.
Heat a pan or pressure cooker and add a tbsp of ghee. Add the rice and fry until golden brown.
Add a cup of milk and cook or pressure cook until the rice is well cooked. Add the remaining milk and boil until the milk is reduced to half and turns slight brown in color.
Add sugar and mix well. Boil for another few minutes stirring occasionally.
Heat the remaining ghee in a tempering ladle, fry the cashews until golden brown and add to the paayasam.
Finish it off by adding cardamom powder. Serve cold and enjoy!
1.It takes a very long time around 45 minutes to reduce the milk. So I would suggest using whole milk to reduce your work. 2.Milk will not boil if you add clean marbles (golli gundu) to the milk. 3.Add or reduce sugar according to your own taste. 4.You could also add dates to this recipe which tastes excellent.
First of all, A very Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely mothers out there 🙂 You are the best. As a tribute to moms and in a way representing their sweet nature, today I have given below a very popular south Indian sweet, Banana Kesari. Kesari is a south Indian delicacy which is often served as a dessert. It is made of sooji (semolina) and is also called as sooji halwa in north India. There are different varieties of Kesari like beet root, pineapple, banana, bread, fruit etc. Banana Kesari is a favorite of my HB (anything made from sooji for that matter :)) Banana Kesari is very easy to prepare and involves minimal ingredients, i.e., banana, sooji, ghee, sugar and cashews. As with many sweet items, patience is the key here, especially when adding the sooji to the boiling water during the preparation. Believe it or not, I was not very good in making Kesari initially. In fact, my friends used to make fun of my Kesari but I have come a long way now such that I have started making different varieties in Kesari 🙂 Once again, a very happy Mother’s day to all moms, new moms and expectant moms. As Rudyard Kipling said, “ God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers”. Enjoy the sweet Banana Kesari with the sweetest person in the world, your Mother 🙂
Heat a nonstick tawa with a tbsp of ghee. Add in semolina and sauté until the raw smell disappears. It takes around 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to a bowl.
In the same pan add a tbsp of ghee and fry the cashews until golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
Add water in the same pan and bring it to boil. Add food color.
When the water starts to boil, slowly add sautéed semolina little by little, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
When all the water is absorbed, add in sugar and banana. Mix well and add the remaining ghee.
Finally add in the cardamom powder and fried cashews. Mix well. Add ghee if needed. Serve hot. Enjoy!!!
1.It is always best to use non stick tawa while making kesari. 2.Be very careful while adding semolina to the boiling water. make it quick and stir constantly to avoid lumps. 3.To make cardamom powder, grind together few whole green cardamoms with a tbsp of sugar. 4.You can substitute any fruits (pineapple, jackfruit, tutti frutti, plums, beetroot, etc) or even with bread and it is called bread halwa.
Ven Pongal literally means white Pongal (Ven – white). It is a Tamilian dish very popular in my home state in India. Ven Pongal is a rice dish that is always served as a breakfast item (and occasionally for lunch). It is the opposite to Chakara Pongal (sweet Pongal) and is common in the sense that it is served on all days unlike Chakara Pongal which is mainly served on holidays and during festivals. Ven Pongal is one of my Mom’s and HB’s favorite dishes. He really gets excited when it is prepared at our home. Ven Pongal with Sambar (another south Indian dish), coconut chutney and Medu Vadai makes an awesome combination and the taste is to die for! In our family, we also refer Ven Pongal as sleeping dose 🙂 since it fills your appetite quickly and makes you feels lazy and drowsy, in a good way. I would suggest Ven Pongal as a weekend breakfast dish. Back in my home, my Mom always makes Chakara Pongal and Ven Pongal during Pongal festival. Pongal is a Tamil festival that is celebrated during the month on January in honor of farming and cows. I do miss those days where we celebrate this festival wearing new dress and having lip smacking servings of Pongal and sugarcane (called as Karumbu in Tamil). Here is the recipe for Ven Pongal, a popular dish from my beloved state. Do try it in your home and experience the same pleasure that I have every time when I make this dish 🙂
Ven Pongal literally means white Pongal (Ven - white). It is a Tamilian dish very popular in my home state in India. Ven Pongal is a rice dish that is always served as a breakfast item
White raw rice – ¾ cup (I used sona masoori)
Moong dal – ¼ cup
Ghee – 3 tbs
Asafoetida – a pinch
Ginger, minced – 1 “ (optional)
Salt as required
Water – 3 (for 1 cup of rice add 3 cups of water)
Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
Crushed pepper – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - a sprig
Cashews – 1 tbsp
Wash the rice and dal thoroughly in water and drain it completely.
Heat a tbsp of ghee in a pressure cooker, add the rice and moong dal and stir for a minute until the aroma spreads. Add asafoetida, salt, ginger and water. Mix well and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles. When the pressure is down, mash the rice well adding a tbsp of ghee.
Heat a tbsp of ghee in a small kadai and temper with cumin seeds, crushed pepper, curry leaves and cashews. Add the tempering to the mashed rice and mix well.
Serve hot with sambar, coconut chutney and medu vada. Enjoy!