It is that time your sad and homesick. I terribly miss the sadhya and festivities during Onam in Kerala. I havent felt like Onam in US, even if we the onam at malayali association and onam potluck. Onam brings a lot of fond memmories and onakodies. This year who is getting me Onakodi.. :(
Split mung dal / skinless split green gram /cherrupayar parippu – 3/4 cup
Jaggery – 1 – 1.5 cup or to taste
Medium-thick coconut milk – 1/2 can mixed with enough water or 1.5 – 2 cups
Thick coconut milk – 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Cashew nuts – 10 – 15
Coconut bits (thenga kothu) -2 – 3 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
1. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Throw in some cashews and fry them until golden brown. Drain on to a paper towel. Then add the coconut bits and fry until brown. Drain on to a paper towel. Now add the split mung dal and fry for 2-3 minutes until they turn a little golden brown. Now add 2.5 cups of water and pressure cook for one whistle.
2. Meanwhile melt the jaggery in 1 cup water in an uruli or any heavy-bottomed pan, at medium heat. Stir until it reaches a light syrupy consistency. It would not take more than 10 – 15 mts. Open the pressure cooker when the pressure releases. Mash the mung dal really well with the back of a spoon and add it to the jaggery syrup in the uruli. Cook for a few minutes at medium heat. Add 1.5 – 2 cups of coconut milk. Mix well and cook at medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens. Do not boil the coconut milk, boiling will result in separated coconut milk.
3. Add the thick coconut milk. Cook for a minute at low heat. Switch off. Now add cumin powder, dry ginger powder and cardamom powder. Mix well. Finally add the fried cashews, coconut bits and 1/2 tsp ghee (optional). This payasam tends to thicken over time. Serve warm or cold.
1) I added chaokah (canned) coconut milk. Fresh coconut milk will taste best. For fresh coconut milk – Add around 1/4 – 1/2 cup warm water to grated coconut and squeeze to extract thick coconut milk(first extraction). Now add more water to the already squeezed coconut and squeeze again to get the second extraction or thin coconut milk. Finally strain the extractions through a fine sieve. You can make this process easier using a mixer. Grind the grated coconut with little warm water in a mixer. Then use a meshed strainer and press down on the coconut for the first extraction. Repeat the same for the second extraction.