Yellow split lentil (yellow moong dal/ paitham paruppu) – ¾ th Cup
Soft Jaggery (Vellam/sarkkara) – 1 Cup
Fresh coconut grated without brown skin -4 cups (for coconut milk as per note)
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Cardamom – 1 tsp
Cashew nuts – 1 tbsp
Coconut pieces sliced into thin slivers and roasted in ghee– 1 tbsp
Ginger powder (Chukku Podi) – A pinch (optional), use if you like the taste.
Take Three-fourth cup of the yellow split dal (moong dal). And roast it on a slow fire, until it turns a little pink in color (mind u it mustn’t get burnt)
Pressure cook it for one whistle until the dal becomes soft (don’t over cook it otherwise the dal will get terribly mashed.(If not confident about the pressure cooker u can cook it in a vessel separately)
Now, take one cup of soft Jaggery (vellam/sarkkara) in an Urali. Add water and bring the jaggery to boil. Boil mixture to one thread consistency.
Now add the cooked dal to the jaggery-mix. The cooked dal will have some water, be sure to pour it with the water as the dal water has a lot of nutritive value.
Add some more water if required and allow the mixture to simmer, so that the dal gets sweet.
Now add the coconut milk. Add one cup of coconut milk, in this case, add the third milk of the coconut first, allow it to boil, then add the second milk, again allow it to boil, and then lastly the first milk (which is the thickest milk) and boil for sometime. Remove from fire.
In a small pan. take some ghee, fry the Coconut pieces sliced into thin slivers, cashewnuts, and cardamom powder and pour on top of the Payasam.
You can also add a pinch of Ginger powder (chukku podi) for the added taste.
1. Coconut milk: Of different grades.
Soak 4 cups scrapped coconut (do not use the brown skin), in 2 cups boiling hot water, keep aside, covered, for 2-3 hours.
Strain, but save water. Grind coconut to a very fine paste, add back drained water and blend again till a milky texture is got. Drain and keep this milk aside. This is the rich coconut milk or 1st milk.
Grind the residual coconut again with 3 cups warm water, drain, and keep milk aside. This is the medium or coconut milk or 2nd milk.
Add 2 cups warm water to the residual coconut, grind again and strain milk. Now the residue does not have much strength. This extract is the thin coconut milk or 3rd milk.
The above procedure will produce a total of approximately 7 cups of coconut milk, of three different grades. If differently graded milk is not asked for in recipe, one may combine all the three extracts and get just one medium consistency coconut milk.
Refrigerated it will last for 2 days, or freeze into cubes and store in freezer bags, using as required.
Tip : Nowadays we get Coconut milk / coconut milk powder in the market, which makes the work easier and faster. Incase, you u r using the ready coconut milk, there is no first milk, second milk etc. Use it as it is at the time of adding the coconut milk in the recipe. It does save u the strain of grinding, squeezing, straining the coconut pulp to get the coconut milk, but one things' for sure nothing can beat the taste of the payasams made in the traditional manner.
Hope you enjoy this sweet dish.