Neipayasam / Sharkkara Paysam / Temple Payasam
Ingredients (Serves 6 – 7)
1. Payasam rice / unakkalari / short grain rice – 1/2 cup
Water – 1 cup
2. Ghee – 1/4 cup
3. Grated coconut – 1/2 – 3/4 cup
Jaggery – 1 cup
Cashews and raisins – 2 tbsp each (Optional)
Thenga kothu – 2 tbsp (Optional)
Dry ginger powder – 1/2 – 3/4 tsp
Cardamom powder – 1 pinch
1. Pressure cook the unakkalari with 1 cup water for 3 whistles at medium or medium-high flame and set aside. (You can also cook it in a mankalam or any vessel but it will take around 1 hr).
2. Melt jaggery in 1/2 cup of water, strain to remove any impurities and bring to a boil in an uruli or a heavy bottomed pan.
3. Add cooked rice and add ghee little by little, stirring continuously so that it will not stick to the pan.
Add grated coconut and mix well. Cook on medium – low flame until thickened. Add cardamom powder and dry ginger powder.
4. Heat 1 tsp ghee in a small pan. Fry the thenga kothu, cashews and raisins. Pour over the payasam. Serve warm. This payasam is usually served in small portions as it is quite heavy.
This payasam is also made for Pongala, a Kerala Hindu festival, in round earthen pots but only 3 – 4 tsp ghee is used. Also, sliced banana (kadhali pazham) is mixed with the payasam, once it is done.