Almost all festivals or celebrations call for a sadhya (feast) in Kerala, and no feast is complete without payasam(s) or Pradhaman (pudding). I love those awesome wedding feasts which ends with different types of payasam ; three varieties is almost a norm, more the merrier.
As the name goes, Pazham Pradhaman is made of ripe bananas (plantain banana variety), palm sugar, and of course – coconut milk. It’s a wonderful treat with the sweet gooey texture of the mashed banana and richness of the coconut milk, along with crunchy toasted coconut flakes to bite into. Ideal for those days where you don’t feel to care about watching calories!
You need –
- Ripe banana – 2 large (I used nendra pazham)
- Sharkara/ palm sugar – ½ cup grated or adjust to taste
- Thick (first extract) coconut milk – 1 cup
- Thin (second extract) coconut milk – 1.5 cups
- Cardamom powder – a good pinch
- Raisins and cashew nuts – 1/4 cup each
- Ghee – 3-4 tablespoons
In pan melt the palm sugar/jaggery with 2 tablespoons of water and set aside.Cut the banana into 3 pieces and steam until soft. Remove and peel the skin off. puree the bananas and set aside.
Heat a heavy bottom pan, add the ghee and fry the cashews until golden. Remove and set aside. Now fry the raisins till they puff up. Remove and set aside.
Into the same pan add the melted jaggery and stir well. Cook this till the jaggery start to thicken. Make sure to stir constantly. Add the mashed banana carefully and stir till well combined.
Add the thin coconut milk and boil over medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened. Now add the thick coconut milk, cardamom powder and bring to a gentle simmer. Turn the heat off and garnish with fried cashews and raisins.
You may serve the payasam warm or chilled.
- Traditionally fried coconut pieces are also added. Fry them after your fry the cahews.
- Be extra careful when you add the pureed bananas as the melted jaggery can start to splatter. So add the banana puree slowly.
- Make sure you are stirring the payasam constantly till done.