This year's Onam was special, as one of my dessert recipes got featured in The New Indian Express Onam article. People often ask me the difference between Payasam and Pradhaman. Payasam is mostly made of rice/semiya/rice flakes, milk, sugar, and other ingredients. Paal payasam is a very popular payasam that is prepared at home as well as in temples as prasadam. Once in a lifetime, one should try the Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple Paal Payasam. Some payasam does not contain milk and it will be made of jaggery like Aravana payasam which is the main Prasadham from the famous Shabarimala Temple. It's made of red rice, jaggery, ghee, and dry ginger. Nei payasam is also similar one and all the jaggery-based payasam are guilt-free foodgasmic indulgence. My most favorite milk-based payasam is Paalada. The Paalada which we get at the wedding Sadhya is the best, which has a light pinkish color.
Pradhaman is made of jaggery, two extracts of coconut milk, few spices like cardamom, dry ginger, cumin powder, ghee, and other ingredients. Pradhaman is not made in temples because of its making process. Its time-consuming and the popular pradhamans are Ada (rice flakes), Parippu (Moong dal), Kadala (Bengal gram), Mathanga (Pumpkin), Chakka (Jackfruit), Pazham (Banana), etc. Pineapple, Mango Pradhamans are not traditional ones, but people love to explore new flavors and these ingredients make a great flavor bomb. Here is the recipe for my version of Pineapple Pradhaman.
Kaithachakka | Pineapple Pradhaman
Pineapple - 1 (500 gms), finely chopped
Jaggery - 350 gms
Water - 1/4 cup
Coconut milk (1st extract) - 1 cup
Thin coconut milk( 2nd extract) - 2 cups
Sago/ Tapioca pearls - 1/4 cup (soak for 15 mins)
Clarified butter/ Ghee - 4 tbsp
Cardamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Dry ginger powder - 1/4 tsp
Cashewnut, raisins, coconut bits - 1 tbsp each
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat ghee and fry the nuts, raisins, and coconut bits till golden brown color and keep it aside.
- In the same pan, add the chopped pineapple and fry till it turns slightly brown.
- Turn off the flame and once it cools down, take out 3/4th portion of fried pineapple and grind it to a fine paste.
- Heat the pan, add the ground pineapple mix to the chunks and fry for 1 min.
- Boil the sago with the required amount of water.
- In a pan, add jaggery with 1/4 cup and bring it to a boil.
- Strain the jaggery syrup and add it to the pineapple mix.
- Combine it well. Add boiled Sago at this point.
- When jaggery starts boiling, add the 2nd extract of coconut milk.
- Cook for 5 mins and add powdered cardamom and dry ginger powder.
- Keep the flame on low and add the 1st extract and turn off the flame.
- Garnish the pradhaman with fried nuts, raisins, and coconut pieces.
- Make sure you remove the thick part of pineapple as it takes longer time to cook. Use the flesh and chop as finely as possible.
- Always use nicely riped and sweet pineapple. If sweetness is less, add a bit of sugar while making the paste.
- Sago should be cooked properly, before adding it to the Pradhaman. Once the jaggery is added, then Sago won't cook.
- Add a pinch of crushed cumin powder along with cardamom and dry ginger powder (optional).
Thanks Anila Kurian from The New Indian Express for featuring my recipe. Here is the link for Onam article - Festive feast
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