Now that Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala, is just around the corner, I’d been thinking a lot about it, especially the festival food. This time, we’ve a duo of celebrations as Father’s Day also falls on the same date. And that’s going to be twice the fun.
Speaking of Onam, it brings back fond memories of childhood. As a little girl, I loved to design athapookkalam (flower carpet). Moreover, Onam usually came with two weeks of school holidays. That was the best part of all. While I admit that we don’t celebrate Onam on a grand scale these days, I always try to whip up a few dishes for my family.
Payasams or puddings are the stars of Onam celebrations. There are innumerable varieties of paayasams, but this is my favorite by far. Soft rice ada in luscious sauce of jaggery and coconut milk. This dessert will blow your mind.
I think the texture of the rice ada is the best part of this recipe. Traditionally, they are made fresh at home which is actually a very long process. Ground raw rice is rolled thinly on banana leaves and then cooked in boiling water. Let’s just leave out that and use store bought ada instead. Don’t worry, there won’t be any difference in the final outcome.
Besides the texture of the rice ada, what I love most about this recipe is the delicious combination of jaggery and coconut milk. In order to achieve that lovely chocolatey color, make sure you get dark colored jaggery.
This recipe also calls for three extracts of coconut milk. To keep it simple, I’ve replaced fresh coconut milk with store bought coconut cream and coconut milk. Trust me, you won’t know the difference. So the coconut cream will be the first extract, and coconut milk will be the second extract. The third extract will be a mixture of ¼ cup coconut milk and ¼ cup water. If you want to use fresh coconut milk in this recipe, click here to learn how to extract coconut milk from fresh coconut.
To cook rice ada, please follow the package instructions. I cooked them for 15 minutes. Then drained, and set aside. The cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the ada.
You might’ve also noticed that the rice adas in the picture are really big. Usually they are very small like rice flakes. But I could only find the bigger version this time.
Place grated jaggery along with 3 cups of water over medium flame. Stir, occasionally, until jaggery melts. Then pass it through a fine sieve to remove all impurities. Set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan over medium flame. Fry coconut slices, cashew nuts, and raisins separately. Set aside.
Now to the final preparation stage of adapradhaman.
Place melted jaggery, third extract of coconut milk and rice ada in a deep pan over medium flame. Let it come to boil. Then simmer until it becomes thick. Next add in second extract of coconut milk. Finally, add the coconut cream along with ground cardamom and 1 tbsp extra ghee. Let it simmer again for few minutes. You can also stir in fried cashews, coconut slices, and raisins before removing it from flame.
When payasam becomes thick, remove from flame. Ideally, it should’ve the consistency of condensed milk, thick but pourable. Remember, payasam gets thicker and thicker as it cools down. Enjoy!!
HAPPY ONAM !!!
More Payasam Recipes