Kadala parippu payasam (or kadalai paruppu payasam) is a delicious jaggery-based payasam typically made during festivals and Onam in Kerala. Amma makes payasam as easily as she makes a regular dish and most often, all you need to do is ask for it. The Onam Sadya is obviously incomplete with payasam and we often make two payasams for any Kerala sadya. I love payasam made with jaggery and coconut milk more than milk-based ones like paal payasam. I love the rich, dense sweetness jaggery gives to pretty much anything and the dark, unsalted mounds of jaggery you get in Kerala are quite a treat.
As we roll into yet another Onam that I am not home for, let me at least share a payasam recipe that reminds me of home – and Onam. Amma and I made this together when she was visiting me in May. She brought some jaggery back from Kerala and we used coconut milk powder to make the base of the payasam. She did wildly protest against using the powder and was all set to extract fresh coconut milk at home but I wanted her to spend more in the living room couch with me than with the coconut in the kitchen!
- ½ cup channa dal / kadalai paruppu
- 1 cup grated jaggery
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 2-3 green cardamom pods, powdered
- ¼ tsp jeera /cumin + dry ginger / chukku, powdered together
- ¼ cup ghee
- 10 cashew nuts
- 10 raisins
- A few pieces coconut pieces / thenga kothu
- Pressure cook the channa dal with 4 cups water until cooked soft (3-4 whistles).
- The channa dal should crumble on crushing between fingers but shouldn't turn mushy fully. This is perfect.
- Add grated jaggery to 1 cup water, heat, and mix until dissolved.
- Then, add this to the pressure cooked channa dal and bring to boil.
- To this, add the powdered cardamom and jeera - dry ginger mixture.
- Let this simmer for about 2-3 mins.
- Add coconut milk and before it comes to a full boil, remove from fire and set aside.
- Heat ghee and add the coconut pieces.
- When it starts to turn brown, add the cashew nuts and raisins.
- When they turn golden brown, dunk the entire thing into the prepared payasam.
- Serve hot or chilled
Pressure cook the channa dal with 4 cups water until cooked soft (3-4 whistles). The channa dal will crumble on crushing between fingers but won’t turn mushy fully. This is perfect. Add jaggery to the pressure cooked channa dal and bring to boil.
To this, add the powdered cardamom and jeera-dry ginger mixture. Let this simmer for about 2-3 mins.
Heat ghee and add the coconut pieces. When it starts to turn brown, add the cashew nuts and raisins. When they turn golden brown, dunk the entire thing into the prepared payasam.
Kadala parippu payasam can be served hot or chilled. I like it either ways although one-day-old chilled payasam holds a special place in my heart. When serving kadala parippu payasam for Onam Sadya, prepare it first thing in the morning and serve warm at the end of the meal.