Nei Payasam is a special payasam made with Unakkalari, jaggery, and ghee and served during festival occasions in Kerala Temples.
Unakkalari is a kind of raw rice used in Kerala and the rice is used without removing the rice bran. Nei Payasam, also called Aravana Payasam is cooked in a brass uruli that is thick bottomed and cooked on low flame to get the flavours are nicely mixed. Though this is similar to the Sakkarai Pongal, the way this payasam is cooked makes all the difference.
As I have said in a few posts, I had planned for these months with the other recipes from the Thali posts. Unfortunately with us not sharing the Thali posts, we are forced to share these recipes very reluctantly without sharing the whole thali pictures. It was such an unexpected turn of events.
Anyway, I had managed to click a few pictures without the whole thali in view. So sharing some of those for this week which is the last in the series of BM#113, Traditional Sweets.
I adapted my recipe from here and had a delicious time enjoying the sweet. Since I didn't have this rice variety, I had to use basmati.
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This is a simple recipe made with just a handful of ingredients. The flavour comes from the raw rice variety used to make this.
Jaggery is the sweetener used to make this dish and the colour depends on the jaggery used.
Nei Payasam | How to make Sharkara Payasam
- 1/2 cup Basmati Rice / Unakkalari
- 4 tbsp Ghee
- 1 cup Jaggery
- 3 cups Water
- 1/4 cup Coconut Grated
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
- A Pinch Dry Ginger Powder
- Handful Cashews
- Soak jaggery in 1 cup of warm water and then crush it well.
- Then heat it up until it is slightly thick. Cool down, strain and keep aside. You don't have to check for string consistency.
- Wash and soak the rice. Add 2 cups water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Rice should be cooked till soft but not mushy as we want the grains to be seen.
- Measure and addd jaggery syrup.
- Mix well and cook in low flame till the jaggery syrup blends well with the rice. Once this is done, add grated coconut.
- Mix well and cook for 2 mins, then add ghee little by little.
- Keep mixing, at one stage the payasam will get thick and saucy in consistency. Add roasted cashews, cardamom powder, dry ginger powder and switch off.
- Serve hot