Monday, December 31, 2007

Coconut Persimmon Payasam

Happy NEW YEAR 2008! May the year make all your dreams come true and bring lots of happiness into your lives. December 31st is a special day for all of us - We bid a farewell to the eventful past year and warmly welcome the new year. Cutting cake when the clock strikes 12 has been a tradition in my parents place and I continue the same in my home as well. Hotbreads (now its FoodEX) in Vizag, my hometown used to be such a crowded place on new years eve.

My mom also used to make payasam for all the elders in the family. I wish my grandparents were here with me and I could take their blessings and serve them the wonderfully tasty coconut persimmon kheer I made today. Payasam (in telugu) or Kheer (in hindi)is a common sweet dish in every household on festivals and special occasions. The ingredients rice, milk and sugar is a combination that can never go wrong. Payasam is also made with vermicelli (semya in telugu) and beaten rice (atukulu in telugu and poha in hindi).

Of the three types of payasam, making atukulu payasam is the easiest, because the beaten rice softens as soon as put into milk/water and cooks very fast. Payasam made with rice takes the longest - as we have to wait for the rice to cook in milk. However, the taste of rice payasam and atukulu payasam (rice is the base ingredient) is similar. So I prefer making atukulu payasam - its tasty and quick.

Persimmon is a lovely fruit - To describe its taste, I would say its tender coconut flesh combined with sugar and a hint of cinnamon and cloves. Its truly amazing. Also check out my other recipe with persimmons - Spicy Persimmon Salsa. Coconut flakes can also be added to the salsa for additional flavors. Coconut payasam with cinnamon is a regular fare in India. So I thought coconut and persimmon will be a dynamite pair to make the payasam.

Here goes the recipe that serves for 4

1. Atukulu (beaten rice/poha) - 1 cup
2. Brown sugar - 2.5 tbsp (adjust the amount based on your sweet levels, regular sugar or jaggery can also be used)
3. Milk - 2 cups
4. Puree of 2 ripened persimmons (Hachiya variety will be the best)
5. Unsweetened coconut flakes - 2 tbsp (Coconut milk can also be added instead)
6. Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp, elaichi(cardamom) powder - 1/2 tsp

Soak beaten rice in water for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile heat milk and brown sugar in pan. Allow the milk to boil and add the persimmon puree. Add the beaten rice after Draining out the water from the beaten rice. Add the coconut flakes and the cinnamon and cardamom powders and heat until the beaten rice is completely cooked and the mixture thickens a bit. Ghee/butter toasted cashew nuts can be added for additional flavor. Adjust the amount of milk based on your liking. I like the payasam to be on the liquidy side. If you like the payasam to be more solid reduce the amount of milk used in the recipe. I like serving the hot payasam. It can be served cold as well. I loved the taste of this payasam - I am sure you will too :)


subbu said...

Hey Valli, nice recipe

I tried it but I couldnt made it well, but I am not a good cook too, you have many nice recipes,Thats a great job please add more , especially vegeterian, and also please give links if you know some more good cooking blogs


Valli said...

@subbu, you can try food blog desam, it has all Feeds from various food blogs.

subbu said...

Thanks Valli, happy Sankranthi


TBC said...

Oh that looks so good! I don't like milky desserts but u make it look great.:)

Valli said...

Thanks TBC, i loved this dessert :) cant wait until the persimmon season is in :)

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