Happy Tamil New Year ! usually at home, on this day, apart from a special puja and going to the temple, the afternoon lunch is a traditional one with rice, sambar, curries along with vadai and payasam. As we're in Bangalore now, it's not a holiday today, both my husband and daughter are not at home for lunch, so I just made some Aval Payasam/Kheer. I have used organic red aval, since that's the only one that I buy now and I have used jaggery and coconut milk. I can say, this is the most easiest of all payasams/kheers, a little time for soaking the rice flakes/poha and extracting the coconut milk and hardly 10 minutes of cooking. I thought, I'll keep it ghee-free, so instead of the usual ghee-roasted cashews and raisins for garnishing, I have used some chopped dates..
Need To Have
- Red Rice Flakes/Sigappu Aval - 1/2 cup ( thin variety )
- Jaggery - 1/2 cup
- Coconut Milk - 3/4 cup
- Green Cardamom - 4
- Chopped Dates - 1 - 2 tablespoon for garnishing
Heat the jaggery with 1/2 cup of water, once it is melted, strain and keep.
Wash and soak the aval/poha in just enough water to cover the flakes for 15 to 20 minutes. I have used fresh coconut milk, just used 1/2 cup ( packed ) grated coconut, blended it with first 1/4 cup of warm water, squeezed out the milk, then again blended it with another 1/2 cup of warm water, squeezed out the milk one more time, strained the milk and used. Once the rice flakes are soaked for 15 minutes, cook it along with the jaggery syrup for 5 minutes.
Then add the coconut milk and cardamom ( remove the inner pods, powder and use ) and let it come to a slow boil, then switch it off. Serve it garnished with the dates.
I had actually used 3/4 cup jaggery, but since I felt it a little too sweet, also since I garnished the payasam with dates, I felt that 1/2 cup would have been more than enough.
I have avoided ghee and nuts, you can roast some cashews in a little ghee and add to the payasam.
Depending on your preference, make the payasam thick or thin, if you want it really thick, then cook the aval and jaggery, a little longer, but don't cook too much after adding the coconut milk, the coconut milk might start to give out oil or sometimes curdle too, you can use thick coconut milk, reduce the water used to extract the milk.
The color of the payasam was not very attractive, might be because of the red poha/aval or also because of the jaggery color, I have used organic jaggery powder.