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Friday, September 6, 2019

Elaneer Payasam

So far in the series,
Malaadu / Hurigadale Unde
Dry Gulab Jamun
Coconut Burfi / Kobbari Mithai
Almond Halwa / Badam Halwa

I didn't plan to include a payasam / kheer recipe in this Sweets' series until I tasted elaneer payasam. To be honest, I wanted to try this just because it is a coconut based one but after tasting this, I feel like this is the most delicious payasam I ever tasted, hands down. Even my husband who doesn't like coconut had a sip and said it tasted really good. The payasam basically makes use of coconut in all forms - the water and the coconut meat of a tender coconut and milk obtained from grated coconut aka coconut milk. 
Coconut water is a healthy and nutritious drink that is keeping people hydrated for ages in India during the hot, summer days. No wonder, the western stores are now filling the aisle shelves with the coconut products in colorful, artificial packages. The street vendors selling coconut water on the roadsides / bus stops are a common sight in towns across India. A vendor bores a hole at the top of the coconut using a machete and pops in a straw through it, making it easier to drink the clear coconut water. The sellers also break the shell of the tender, green coconut into two halves if requested, to eat the tender coconut pulp inside. This coconut water is not the same as the white colored coconut milk that is prepared by grinding the grated coconut from a mature, brown shelled coconut. Taste-wise, the coconut water maybe either mildly sweet or even bland which I don't think anyone prefers to sip on. The coconut milk is high calorie one while the coconut water has fewer calories and is a wholesome beverage that comes in a natural package. It is more economical and healthier than modern day milk shakes / ice creams. 
The payasam is made in two versions, one requires no cooking and the other one involves cooking like this version. This seems to be a popular sweet dish in some regions of Tamil Nadu and I even read somewhere that it appears in all Chettinad wedding feasts. I basically adapted the recipe from the web sources and made this kheer. In case, tender coconut meat is not available then grind some coconut along with coconut water for some thickness. Also, some extra coconut meat may be added to the kheer at the end, if preferred. The coconut flavor obviously is prominent in this kheer and no other flavorings are needed. The common garnish of ghee toasted raisins and cashews (generally used in a payasam) are also not added in this kheer, I think. However I added and also recommend some minced nuts to add color and contrast. I liked the crunchy nut bits while sipping this superb tasting payasam. 

1 and 1/2 cups full-fat milk
2 tbsp. condensed milk
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup thick coconut milk

Ingredients to blend:
3/4 to 1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup tender coconut meat (or as much quantity as in 1 tender coconut)

* Heat milk in a non stick pan or a thick bottomed pot. When it comes to a rolling boil, add condensed milk and sugar.
* Lower the heat and simmer the milk until it slightly thickens, stirring frequently. There is no need to reduce the milk quantity to half. Turn off the stove and let the mixture cool.
* Meanwhile, puree coconut water and tender coconut meat in a blender. Add this and the coconut milk to the cold milk mixture from the above step. Mix well.
* Chill the kheer before serving.


Srivalli said...

That glass looks sinful Suma. This is surely a popular item on the wedding menu or other gatherings in Madras these days. As you said, it is surely one of the best payasams I have tasted in recent times. Especially the chilled version that gets served tastes out of the world. I still have this on my to do list and waiting for an occasion. Never thought of this while making my list, anyway, there is always another time.

Narmadha said...

One of my favorites too and your glass looks so tempting. Beautiful presentation and would love to grab it

Harini R said...

OMG! That is definitely a sinful glass of payasam. During my last visit to India I tried my best to make this payasam but somehow it never happened. Now I need to hunt down a tender coconut in the stores as this payasam is just calling me from all directions :)

vaishali sabnani said...

Coconut is a favourite with me - I do make the coconut punch with the coconut water and it’s soft meat , but never made or heard about this payasam . There’s no way this recipe can fail , it sounds fantastic .
Seems I have to attend a South Indian wedding now . Lol !

sushma said...

Totally a different dish for me. Payasam with coconut milk and water is nice idea. Must try dish.

Amara’s cooking said...

Never tasted this payasam but the ingredients and real interesting . Coconut milk and water.... it sounds delicious. Must try.