I love November, purely for the reason that it holds so many celebration days for me and my family and it starts from today:)
On this day, 11 years back in, on a quite evening in the university medical library is when my hubby Mr.M asked me to be his life partner in a very subtle gentle way. We had actually started talking a year back and became very good friends.
I was stunned and surprised. Honestly I thought he was stressed out because of the final year exams which we had in 2 months time and I just brushed it off as a joke. No, he was serious and finally I said yes:)
Today is the 11th year anniversary of that special day and it just seems like yesterday...:)
My hubby's B'day, our marriage anniversary, blog anniversary are to follow in the forth coming days of November.... So it is celebration time..:) Ada pradhaman is my family favourite especially my hubby's. So let's start this special month with this special treat..:)
Have I mentioned that my mom is from Kerala? My parent's love story started in Madras Medical College in 1973 and is a very interesting one. I will let you guys know some other time. So this is my first post reflecting my maternal side. I am so fortunate to have the best of both states and cuisines which had given me the opportunity appreciate different flavours ...:)
It is my most favourite sweet treat as it was my grand mom's speciality. She used to make everything from scratch - the rice ada, coconut milk etc. I made the rice ada at home but not exactly from scratch.
The coconut milk is store brought. Making the payasam with home made ada makes the payasam tastes so much richer and tastier...
This post has pics taken in two different occasions. I made this payasam when I was in India this march. I took all the pics, not thinking much of the props and the presentation. It was the usual brass uruli, lamps and silk garments reflecting Kerala tradition.
I wanted to post it for Onam but then when I looked at the pics again, I was not really satisfied with the pics. My presentation was so ordinary and after seeing the recipe posts for Onam from my fellow bloggers, my pics were just....nothing worth looking at:(
So I made the recipe again last week and took new pics. So the "making the ada" pics are from the previous preparation and the "finished payasam" pics are from the second preparation.
Concept of presentation: I wanted the pics to have a fresh look with a very colourful contemporary feel but not to lose the essence of recipe. The wide mouth glass bowl resembles the brass uruli with a touch of bright colour from the flowers. The silk cushion covers in the back ground gives a very rich feel. The bead work in the saree on which the bowl is placed adds a bit of visual texture. The candle and incense cone gives a very aromatic feel to the pics....
Let me know your thoughts....:)
Home made ada:
Rice flour [store bought]: 1 cup.
Water: 1 cup [you may not need all the water]
Salt: 1 pinch
Coconut oil: 1 tsp.
Banana leaf strips: 8-10.
1.Wash the banana strips and pat them dry. Keep aside.
2.Seive the rice flour to break all the lumps. Add salt, coconut oil and enough water to make a paste.
3.Spread this paste as a thin layer on the banana strips leaving 1 cm space on the sides.
4.Roll the strips into rolls. Place the rolls with the open ends facing down and steam them in a steamer or idli cooker for 10 -12 mins.
5.Take the strips out of the steamer and cool for 10 mins.
6.Unroll the strips and remove the cooked ada from the strips.
Keep warm until required.
Ada Pradhaman: Adding coconut oil is my gran's way of making the payasam. You can completely skip the oil and use ghee instead of it. I would really recommend you to try making it with coconut oil as the flavour and aroma it lends to the dish is just wonderful.
Cooked ada: 1 cup.
Powdered jaggery: 1 cup.
Hot water: 3/4 cup.
Medium thin coconut milk [see notes]: 1 cup.
Thick coconut milk: 1 and 1/2 cups.
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp.
Ghee: 1 tbsp.
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp.
Fresh ginger [optional]: 1/2 inch piece
Ginger powder: 1/2 tsp.
Fresh coconut flesh : 2-3 pieces about 1 inch in length.
Whole cashews: 8-10.
Raisins: 2 tbsp.
Coconut strips: 8-10 [1 inch pieces]
Coconut oil: 1 -2 tbsp.
1.Chop the coconut into very tiny pieces and fry in the coconut oil. Keep aside.
2.Place a deep heavy bottomed pan on medium flame. Add the powdered jaggery and hot water. Stir gently until all the jaggery is dissolved.
3.Remove from fire and strain the syrup to remove all the impurities.
4.Return the pan to the fire with the syrup.
5.Add the cooked ada, chopped coconut pieces, fresh ginger, cardamom and ginger powder.
6.Mix well and let it simmer for 6-8 minutes. By this time the mixture would have thickened slightly.
7.Add the fried coconut pieces along with the oil, ghee and medium thin coconut milk and give it a good stir.
8.Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile fry the cashews, raisins and coconut pieces in coconut oil. Keep aside.
9.Add the thick coconut milk and just heat through.
10.Remove from flame. Gently remove the piece of ginger. Add the garnish on top of the payasam which is very pleasing to the eyes.
Let the dish rest for a couple of hours for the flavours to mingle. Serve warm or cold.
Notes:I have added more coconut milk than needed as I love its flavour. You can reduce the amount of the thick milk to 1 cup. The colour of the payasam really depends on the colour of the jaggery. So look out for the jaggery shades when you make the payasam..:)
Medium thick coconut milk: Mix 1/2 cup of thick coconut milk with 1/2 cup water to make medium thin coconut milk. If you are extracting it from coconut scrapings, then use the milk extracted the second time.
I didn't cut the cooked ada into tiny pieces. I just cut them half hazardly into pieces of different sizes. You can cut them into tiny pieces if you wish. Next time I should try freezing the ada.
Scribbled by Reva