Onamashamsakal from Adukalavishesham to all our dear readers. Wishing each one of you a very splendid and colorful Onam 2010. For our Onam special recipes, take a peek into our Kerala Sadya collection.
This time we decided to go a little different with the Nei Payasam, though our wishes for this joyous occasion are as sweet as each spoonful would be. Nei payasam also called the Ambala payasam is the traditional sweet offering made in most Kerala devi (goddess) temples which is later served to the devotees as prasadam.
Prep Time: 1 - 1 1/2 hrs
*Rice: 1 cup
Jaggery (melted): 2 cups
Ghee: 3/4 cup
Cashew Nuts: Handful
Cardamom powder: 1 teaspoon (optional)
* We have used sona masoori rice for the payasam.
Wash the rice well. Cook either in a pressure cooker or a rice cooker. Melt the jaggery cubes with a little water until liquified. Strain this for any tiny partciles and slowly pour into the cooked rice and throughly mix. Keep mixing on low flame. Make sure it doesn't get burnt on the bottom. Add most of the ghee, saving 2 tablespoons to fry the raisins and cashew. Keep stirring the rice, jaggery and ghee mix for about 1/2 hour on low heat until everything comes together nicely. Check for the sweetness. Usually this payasam leans more on the sweeter side, so adjust accordingly.
Sprinkle a teaspoon of cardamom powder if you want. Fry the raisins and cashew in the ghee and pour over the payasam. Serve warm.