Neipayasam / Sharkkara Paysam / Temple Payasam
Nei payasam / Sharkkara Payasam Recipe
Ingredients (Serves 6 – 7)
1. Payasam rice / unakkalari / short grain rice – 1/2 cup
Water – 1 – 1.5 cup
2. Ghee – 3 – 4 tbsp or as required
3. Grated coconut – 1/2 – 3/4 cup
4. Jaggery – 1 cup or to taste
5. Cashews and raisins – 2 tbsp each (Optional)
Thenga kothu – 2 tbsp (Optional)
Dry ginger powder (chukku podi) – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Cardamom powder (elakka podi) – 1 – 2 pinches
Jeeraka podi / cumin powder – 1/8 tsp or to taste
1. Pressure cook the rinsed unakkalari with around 1 – 1.5 cup water for 2 – 3 whistles over medium or medium-high flame and set aside. (You can also cook it in a man kalam/claypot or any vessel but it will take around 1 hr).
2. Melt jaggery in 1/2 – 1 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 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, dry ginger powder and jeera powder.
4. Heat 1 – 2 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 rich.
This payasam is also made for Pongala, a Kerala Hindu festival, in round earthen pots but only 3 – 4 tsp ghee is used. Sliced banana (kadhali pazham) is mixed with the payasam, once it is done.