Cherupayar payasam is a traditional Kerala desert and an essential constituent of the Onam sadya, a multi course lunch prepared during the festival of Onam. It is also a popular sweet served with lunch on weddings.
- Cherupayar parippu (moong dal/green gram/lentils) - 200 gms
- Jaggery - 400 gms
- Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
- Thin coconut milk - 3-4 cups
- Cardamom powder - 5 nos
- Raisins - 1 tbsp
- Ghee - 1 tbsp
- Coconut pieces - handful of finely sliced
- Salt - a pinch
- Ginger powder - a pinch (optional)
Making the jaggery water
Take a pan with 1 cup of water in it, add the jaggery chunks to it. Turn on the heat on medium flame and allow the jaggery to melt. Switch off the heat when all the jaggery chunks have melted. Filter the contents to get the jaggery water, keep it aside for later use.
Heat a pan on low flame, add the moong daal to it. Stir it for about 5 minutes till it turns reddish in color. Turn off the flame and allow to cool. Now thoroughly clean the moong daal using water and finally drain it.
For the preparation we need 2 types of coconut milks, though one is optional. The thick coconut milk is required and would be used towards the end of the preparation. The thin coconut milk, which is simply the second extract of the coconut that we get after the initial thick milk is taken, is an optional ingredient. Since I have not manually extracted the coconut milk myself, and have used a ready-made coconut milk, I have not used a thin milk.
Transfer the drained moong daal into a pan or pressure cooker for cooking. Now we add the thin coconut milk to it. Cook the daal on medium flame till it turns easily mash-able. This might take about 30 minutes if you are using a pan, in case of a pressure cooker, 3-4 whistles should be sufficient.
With the pan still on medium flame, add the jaggery water to the contents and mix everything well. Let the contents to get cooked till the liquid starts to boil. Now, simmer it for another 20-30 minutes. Stir the the contents continuously making sure it does not stick to the bottom. On low flame, continue to cook till the liquid contents become almost half the original quantity, and the daal well cooked.
The daal mixture should've now become thick in consistency, now add the thick coconut milk to it. Continue to stir the contents. Care should be taken to ensure the contents do not boil. When it just starts to boil,turn off the flame. Add the cardamom powder, a pinch of ginger powder and a pinch of salt to it. Give it a good mix, and keep it aside.
Making the tadka (tempering)
Heat another pan on low flame, add 1 tbsp of ghee to it. When the ghee is hot, add the finely chopped coconut pieces on to the pan. When they turn light golden in color, add the raisins. Roast them till they start to pop. Next add the cashew nuts, and roast them till they turn light golden brown in color. Turn off the heat. Add the contents of the pan to the moong daal mixture. Again give it a nice mix.
Cherupayar payasam is now ready. Enjoy 🙂