First things first, for all those who don’t know what Payasam is… let me explain.. It is a thick or a little runny sweet dish prepared in the Southern states of India; an integral part of a South Indian meal. It is traditionally served after a meal, on the banana leaf & is scooped out with your entire palm; wiped clean by your tongue, while the other hand is used to hold the ends of the banana leaf so that the payasam does not flow out of the leaf.. Oh, very messy indeed.. but very yummy..
There are loads of kinds of Payasams. Some are made by boiling rice/dal/semolina etc in milk or coconut milk with sugar/jaggery & then flavoured with saffron, cardamom etc & garnished with raisins, cashews, pistachios or almonds.
As we never had dessert after a meal in my house; for me Payasam is a sign of the festive period or a celebration. Madgane is the quintessential Konkani payasam which is made of Split bengal gram in coconut milk, sweetened with jaggery. In Konkani, all payasams are referred to as Goddi.. The traditional Madgane recipe does not use jackfruit, but when the jackfruit season is on, you do tend to add a good amount of chopped jackfruit into the pot while preparing this & garnished with some cashews & raisins, finally flavoured with some powdered cardamom.
When at home, I like to drink it out of a glass 🙂 that’s the reason I have served it this way.. 🙂 But it can’t beat the method of wiping your palm & fingers clean off some paysam scooped out of a banana leaf. If you have had a chance to eat it this way, you may know what I’m talking about.
I was leisurely scanning the Indian grocery store on one of our grocery shopping trips & my eyes fell on a can of jackfruit!!! I jumped with joy as I love the fruit & I so missed not eating it.. & there were flashes of all the things jackfruit is used for.. & what topped the list was Madgnae!! Madgane with oodles of jackfruit is one of my favourite payasams.. So i instantly picked up a can. Over the weekend we had a potluck party at home. I was busy with other chores so I promised all that there would be a yummy payasam from me for dessert & I ended up preparing this.. 🙂
Ingredients: (Serves 3-4) Preparation Time: 20 mins
Split Bengal gram/Chana dal – 1 cup
Jaggery – as per taste
Coconut Milk – 300 ml, medium-thick
Jackfruit (optional) – 4-5 pockets, de-seeded & chopped finely, if you like to bite into them, then chop them into small pieces
Cashews – 8-10, chopped or use more if you wish
Raisins – 1 tbsp or use more if you wish, soak them in some water
Green Cardamom – 2 whole, finely powdered
Wash & soak the split bengal gram for 10-15 minutes before you start (This is to facilitate easy cooking of the dal). Transfer the soaked chana dal into a pressure cooker, cook with water enough to cover the dal 1 inch above its level. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Remember you do not want the dal to get all mashed up. (Check on it once the pressure is off, if the dal is not cooked as required then pressure cook for another whistle).
Tip: I heat water using a kettle so that I can avoid the time taken for the water to come to a boil.
Meanwhile when you are waiting for the pressure to come off, of the pressure cooker, you can bring the coconut milk to a boil in a pot. Simmer & add the jaggery & mix well. Add the chopped jackfruit. Next add the chopped cashews & soaked raisins. Add the cooked dal & its water to the simmering coconut milk. Mix well. Check the sweetness level; adjust as per your taste. Increase the heat to medium. Let the payasam comes to a boil again, let the payasam bubble for a minute or two, turn off the heat.
Note: This payasam tends to thicken up as times passes by because of the dal in it. So add a dash of water when you re-heat leftovers & adjust the sweet levels accordingly.
Garnish with the powdered cardamom.
Mix well before you serve.
Serve hot as a dessert after a South-Indian meal. Else as dessert after any meal of your choice & drink it off a cup like I do or serve it in a bowl.
- Moong dal payasam (myvegkitchen.wordpress.com)
- Semiya Payasam, Semiya Kheer, or Vermicelli Pudding – 1 (aahaaram.wordpress.com)