Happy Pongal 2022: While talking about Indian desserts the first thing that comes to our mind is kheer or payasam. An essential part of all celebrations and festivals, payasams are also a common neivedyam, offering to Gods and Goddess. Pongal is a harvest festival and like all Indian festivals, payasams are an essential part of the celebrations. Here are 5 must try types of payasams:
This simple yet delicious classic Indian dessert is whipped up with rice, milk and sugar. Its creamy texture will leave you wanting for more. All you need to do is boil the milk and condense it. Then add sugar and keep stirring till it boils again. Add washed rice and simmer (low flame) till the rice is cooked. You can also add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, rose water, kewra water, saffron strands, saffron strands and dry fruits to enhance the flavour.
Bellam Paramannam or Annam Payasam is cooked in most Andhra homes during Pongal and other auspicious occasions. Prepared with rice and dal, this traditional sweet dish is offered as Neivedyam (offering) to God. If you have a sweet tooth then this cardamom flavoured concoction of milk and rice, sweetened with jaggery and topped with cashews is just what you would want to dig into. Instead of sugar, you can also use jaggery which will give it a traditional flavour.
If you are not fond of rice or vermicelli payasam, then you can try parippu (moong dal) payasam. One of the favourites among Keralites, this payasam is cooked with parippu (moong dal), coconut milk and jaggery. Unlike other variations, this dessert isn’t that easy. Roast parippu for 5-6 minutes. Then boil water and cook it.
Melt jaggery by adding 1 cup of water. Add the melted jaggery to well-cooked parippu and stir well. Add light coconut milk and bring it to boil. Then add medium thick coconut milk. Simmer till the mix evaporates and becomes half, then add the thick coconut milk. Stir well for 5 minutes. Garnish it with coconut pieces and serve.
Another simple yet classical Indian dessert, Semiya Payasam is cooked with roasted vermicelli, milk and nuts and is popular across India. You can either purchase roasted vermicelli from market or roast it at home. Fry raisins and set it aside. Take milk in a saucepan and bring it to boil. Reduce the flame and add sugar.
Add powdered cardamom to add flavour and aroma to the dish. Slowly add roasted vermicelli into the milk and stir continuously. Allow it to boil on medium heat. Simmer for 10-12 minutes till the semiya is cooked and the payasam begins to thicken. Add condensed milk and more sugar if required. Garnish it with fried raisins and cashews. Try it and we are sure its creamy texture will make you opt for another serving.
If you have already tried the aforementioned desserts, this option – Aval Payasam – might come across as something new. As the name suggests, it is whipped up using aval (rice flakes). While it can be made with sugar too, many prefer jaggery as it is a healthy option.
To prepare it, you need to heat ghee in a pan, add aval and fry till it changes color. Add boiled milk to aval, simmer and cook till milk reduces to a smaller portion. As aval softens, add jaggery, cardamom powder, saffron, mix well and switch off the flame immediately. Garnish with cashew nuts and raisin and serve hot or cold.