I went and got this bag of whole wheat berries and you can see that's the reason for all wheat related dishes coming up. I basically bought it to make the Wheat Halwa. I used just about a cup and there were no quarter kg bags available. And it's not enough to grind into flour. Well, we have come up with the sprouts. Though that's a very good healthy option, was wondering what another way to use it up. We came out with the salad. Then we were generally talking about the wheat and how it can be used when Athamma recollected her Mom making Payasam with Whole Wheat berries. Wow, that sounds really tasty. More and more I heard about it, I was sure that's what I wanted to try next. Wheat berries are nothing but the whole wheat grains.
Amma was also talking about the same. It seems her mom also used to make this payasam. I really wonder why those age old recipes got the lost track. I wanted to learn and see how it's supposed to be prepared. It's very similar to the paruppu payasam. But it was completed so different to taste and should I say the bowl was empty in flat 5 mins. We made it for the neivedyam and so didn't know the taste until we actually tasted it. But believe me, it was simply superb. The process may seem a little complicated with soaking and cooking it for a long time, but then hey what's pleasure without pain. If I am assured of such divine taste, I would take up the task without hesitation.
Whole Wheat Berries - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup
Cashew Nuts - 10
Raisins - 10
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Water - 2 cups
Ghee / Butter - 2 tbsp (optional)
Method to prepare:
Wash and Soak wheat berries for 2 days. You can soak them during the day and drain and store in the fridge. We did this because we weren't sure if they will stay without getting spoilt at room temperature for so long. Next time, I am going to experiment with that too.
Before pressure cooking, this, wash well. Add about 2 cups of water and pressure cook for nearly 5-6 whistles. Check if the berries are soft. If not, put them back again.
Meanwhile, melt the jaggery with little water. Remove if any scum. Then add the jaggery water, cardamom to the wheat berries, and pressure cooker again. Once done, remove the lid and cook on high flame to get the desired consistency. For more richness add cashew paste.
You can leave out the nuts roasting part in the ghee as the payasam as such was quite creamy and tasty.
Roast the cashew nuts and raisins in ghee and add to the boiling payasam.
The combination was ultimate, the berries being cooked in jaggery made them a little hard on the outer but soft in the inside. It was a completely new experience. When you bite on the berries, it goes little dunking inside. You can get to chew on them and with jaggary all the way, it was divine!
Cardamom adds such taste and aroma, that it's not really the same without it!