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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Aval (Poha) Payasam & Thenkuzal

My husband's family celebrates Sri Krishnastami with great devotion and fervor. They fast the whole day and perform the pooja in the evening. Various savory and sweet dishes are prepared for the occasion. Some of the commonly prepared dishes in the evening are various kinds of chaklis, paalakayalu and poha dishes.
The usually preferred and prepared chakli happens to be thenkuzal or thentharlu, one of our family favorites. Though aval or poha payasam is not prepared at our home, I thought it would be a perfect dish on this asthami. I got to try them both for the first time and they turned out fabulous.
Aval Payasam and Thenkuzal are my contributions for Sri Krishnastami - RCI - Tamil Festival Foods, hosted by dear Viji of Vcuisine.

Aval Payasam:
Payasam lovers would just fall in love (as we did) with this simple yet scrumptious dessert. I have used evaporated milk to make the kheer extra creamier and thicker. It is optional though.

Poha - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 cup (Whole milk is preferred)
Evaporated milk - 12 oz / 1.5 cups (or substitutewith whole milk)
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Cashews and raisins - 1 Tbsp
Ghee - 2 Tbsp

Fry the poha in one Tbsp ghee till it turns golden brown. Add the milk to poha and cook it till it is done. (If the mixture has become solid before getting cooked, add sufficient evaporated milk). Then add sugar, cardamom powder and the evaporated milk (if not added already) and cook till the sugar melts. Then simmer it on low flame for about 10 - 15 minutes and turn off the stove.
Heat the other tbsp of ghee in a small pan. Add cashews and raisins to it. Fry till the cashews turn golden brown and the raisins turn plump. Add this to the above cooked poha. Stir well.

Note: The above measurements would yield a payasam with a thicker consistency, which I personally prefer. 1/2 to 1 cup of extra milk may be added, if more liquid is preferred and the sugar level may need to be adjusted as well.
Thenkuzal / Thentarlu

This heavenly tasting, crunchy, munchy snack is called thentarlu in our family. It is paler in color compared to murukku, simple to prepare and is perfect for every occasion. My mom or MIL would have gone with a freshly milled batch of flour. I have used the store bought rice flour and urad flour and thenkuzal were great.

Rice flour - 2 cups
Urad flour - 1/2 cup
Melted butter - 1 Tbsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
A pinch of asafoetida
Water - 1 & 1/4 cups (I needed this much. This may vary)
Oil to fry
A deep frying pan & a Chakli press
Making Thenkuzal:
Mix well all the ingredients (except water & oil) in a mixing bowl. Then gradually add water to the bowl and make a dough, almost like rice flour rotti dough. It should not be watery or very hard, should be somewhere in between.
Heat oil in a small wok / deep frying pan. When the oil is hot enough to fry, turn down the heat to medium flame. To know whether the oil is hot enough do this little test. Put a pinch of the dough in the hot oil. If it sizzles and come to the surface of the oil immediately, then it is ready. If the pinch of the dough stays at the bottom, then the oil is not hot enough.
Usually the chakli press is sold along with several plates which are interchangeable. For Thenkuzal, use the thenkuzal plate, the one which has bigger perforations than a sev one or simply, the one with plain holes. After fixing the plate, take a small portion of the dough and fill it into the chakli press and in a circular motion, press out the dough into the oil. The coils of dough would form a concentric circle. This dough is easy to work with and you can make two to three separate circles at a time or a single one.
Fry till they turn attain a slight golden tinge. You don't have to fry them till they turn golden brown as murukku. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towel covered plates.
Repeat the same process with the remaining dough and fry them in batches. Frying thenkuzal takes very less time, if you do it on a medium flame.

Post a Comment


Chandrika said...

Suma, the payasam and thenkuzal look great! By the way, I have a question.. ( don't hit me) :-)..Why is it called as Thenkuzhal? There is no 'then' in it right?

Anonymous said...

Both items looks so good. I never made an Aval Payasam before. I am going to try it very soon.

Thanks for an excellent post.


Madhu said...

Suma what a combo! I never made payasa with avalakki, will try this next time. Thenkolalu looks mouth watering.Nice entry.

Suganya said...

Thenkuzhal looking so white is a sign of experience in bhakshanam making. You have lots, Suma!

Latha said...

both dishes are so perfectly made. Thenkuzhal has the right colour. Thanks for sharing, Suma:) I thought of sharing a tip. My mom says for any deep-fried murukku items, it's better to dissolve salt in water, strain and use the liquid. If there are any impurities in salt then that causes fireworks in the kitchen;)

Happy cook said...

Wow looking at the paysam itself i fell in love with it. So you can imagine what will happend to me if i ate them :-))))

Rajitha said...

yumm...i love thenkuzal and i really do not rememeber the last time i ate them...i will make it, and it is pretty easy when u just mix the flours!!

Asha said...

Suma, both look delicious! I love the color of Thenkuzhal, so white. I always tend to add chilli pd which makes it reddish. I will try this way. Great entries Suma, good work!:)

Sirisha Kilambi said...

Suma....the payasam looks so good ,a lovely color....slurp.....
The thenkuzal also looks so tasty.....crunch..crunch......Nice one dear :-)

Namratha said...

I'm really missing my chakli press :( I've seen so many murukku and crunchy snacks recipes all this month and I can't even try any of them.....wahhhhhhhh!

I love Thenkuzal, we call it Thengolu, yummy Suma, send me some!

Kribha said...

Both of them looks so delicious. Aval payasam is making my tongue water. My grandma makes white thenkuzhal like you. Nice recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Mandira said...

suma, they both look great, will try it soon :) and thanks for the MW moon dal snack recipe. I am going to try it this weekend.

remya said...

wow!!! both dishes looks yumm...love ur thenkuzhal..grandma makes for diwali..i'm feeling nostalgic...thanku for sharing

Sia said...

lip smacking recipes suma... bookmarked.

Seena said...

Wonderful, Suma..especially the payables looks so tasty..

Puspha said...

Yummy duo. Thanx for sharing.

Vcuisine said...

Suma, Both entries and your detail explanation shows your experience. They are so lovely. Thenkuzal looks so crisp and pure white. Very nice. Thanks you Suma for sharing your recipes. Viji

Suma Gandlur said...

Thanks. I have no idea why they are called so. I don't know Tamil and I thought you were a Tamilian. :)

Anonymous said...

Then - Honey. My reason to call them by the name would be - it should melt in your mouth like honey does. I guess it has to do with the perfect consistency when made.

anu said...

Itts superb...But can u tell me which poha to use? Thin or Thick?

Suma Gandlur said...

I have used the thick variety poha.

Anu said...

Hi Suma,

Aval payasam and the thenkuzal looks very very inviting :)

I am Anu from My Scrawls. I have posted my version of aval payasam in my blog. Do visit my blog in ur free time. would be happy to receive ur comments :)