Vishu is almost here. It is one of my favorite festivals. I love keeping the Vishu Kani. A typical Vishu Kani consists of an Uruli filled with rice, the Kani Vellari or Malabar Vellarikai, other vegetables and fruits like snake gourd, mango, jackfruit, banana, a mirror, an Idol of Krishna, a new cloth, gold ornaments etc and ofcourse, the kani is incomplete without the Kani Konnai also known as Laburnum. The Kani is arranged the previous day night and viewed early morning on the day of Vishu which usually falls either on the 14th or 15th of April.
The Kani konnai is not easily found in most parts of the country. Most of the years I make do with some yellow flower. But this time, I am really happy, as the place I live in, is lined with these trees and is in full blossom. So this year’s Kani is going to be adorned with the Konnai.
No festival is complete without a feast and no feast is complete without a Payasam.
We usually prepare the Pal Payasam in our house for Vishu. But I love Pradhamans and I had this packet of Rice ada with me, so I prepared this pradhaman a couple of days back. It turned out super delicious, perfect for any feast. I have already posted the Palada Pradhaman, which is equally tasty.
What you’ll need
Serves – 4 to 5 generously
- Rice Ada – ½ cup (I used store bought)
- Powdered Jaggery – 2 cup
- Thin Coconut Milk – 4 cup
- Thick Coconut Milk – 1 cup
- Coconut pieces – ¼ cup, cut into small pieces
- Cashewnut – few (optional)
- Ginger Powder – ½ tsp
- Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
- Cardamom Powder – ½ tsp
- Ghee – 2 tbsp
- Soak the ada in plain water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Now drain the water, and add about 4 to 5 cups of water and cook the ada in it till the ada is really soft. Make sure ada is soft, even if it turns a bit mushy it is ok, as the ada, will separate once we add it to the jaggery syrup.
- Strain the ada and wash it well in cold water. This will prevent sticking. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a heavy bottomed Kadai, with jaggery and ½ cup water, filter for impurities. Wash the Kadai and pour the jaggery syrup back into the kadai.
- Let this boil for 6 to 7 minutes, or till the syrup reaches a slightly thicker consistency.
- Now add the cooked ada and sauté it well. Keep stirring and sauté till the syrup thicken again for about 8 minutes. Add a tbsp of ghee and sauté for a couple of minutes more. This is the most important step. This is when the ada will get the sweetness from the jaggery, else ada will taste bland.
- Now add the thin coconut milk and mix well, allow to boil for atleast 10 minutes, or till the mixture is slightly thick.
- Turn off the flame.
- Add the cardamom powder, cumin powder and dry ginger powder to the thick coconut milk, mix well and add it to the Pradhaman.
- Heat a small frying pan with ghee and fry the coconut pieces till dark brown. Fry the cashews if using and add it to Pradhaman.
- You may feel the consistency is very lose and not thick, but the payasam will thicken as it cools. And the consistency will be perfect. There won't be any need of adding extra milk. If you want it thicker, then you may reduce the thin coconut milk to 3 cups.
- The sweetness was perfect, if you want more or less, adjust accordingly.
- The ada I bought was very small and cooked very fast; cook your ada depending on its size. Make sure it is completely soft else, after adding to the jaggery it will become hard and feel like it is not cooked.
- I used KPL coconut milk powder, the taste was very good. I found it better than the tetra pack, but nothing to beat the taste of fresh coconut milk. Refer my Chakka Pradhaman post to know how to extract coconut milk.