Unda Payasam. A Traditional Kerala Sweet Dish.

Childhood memories are probably the fondest and naturally there’s a concern when some of the reasons for such memories disappear over time.

One such thing facing extinction is the ‘unda payasam’ a typical Kerala dish. It’s a true Kerala dessert as a key component is the ‘ethakka’ the Kerala banana.

I used to like Unda Payasam, equal to or more than the ‘Ada Pradhaman’ the numero uno of all payasams.

That’s why I thought of making it when I got some ethakka. Of course, I am drawing from memory and taste as to how it would have been made.

Ingredients: 1. Kerala banana ( ethakka) 2 medium size, 2. Rice powder 1 cup, 3. grated coconut 1/2 cup, 4. Coconut Milk (thick) 1 cup, 5. Jaggery 1/2 cup, 6. Ghee 1 tablespoon, 7. Cardamom seed powder 1/2 teaspoon, 8. Salt.

Mix rice powder with grated coconut and some salt and add hot water to make into a smooth paste.

Unda

Take 3/4th of the dough and make into small balls. Make small balls as it will slightly expand on cooking. Place them in a steamer and steam for about 15 minutes.

Ethakka

Cut the Kerala banana into small pieces. Heat the ghee in a pan and roast the banana in it. Roasting for a few minutes is sufficient.

Payasam

Take the rest of the dough in a hard bottom vessel. Pour about 4 cups of water and place on the burner. Add grated or powdered jaggery according to the sweetness required. Allow the mixture to come to boil.

Add cardamom powder and mix well. Add the steamed undas and roasted ethakka and allow the jaggery to get absorbed in them too.

When the payasam assumes a slightly thick constituency, add the coconut milk. Reduce the flame and allow to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Unda Payasam is ready. The sweet and slightly sour ethakka is giving the payasam a unique and delicious taste. Also the rice undas make it a rare pleasant feeling.

Mighty pleased at recreating the fond memory and in reviving this traditional dish. Simply yummy and absolutely satisfying.

Unda Payasam. A Traditional Kerala Sweet Dish.

Healthy, Traditional and Exotic!

I am always amazed at my wife’s ability to cook many exciting dishes simultaneously when she’s in the kitchen.

I am not a cook, but I have the passion for it. My focus is to make exotic, traditional and healthy items. And I used to do that by making one item once in a while.

Yesterday I decided to make a change. To do a multitasking, like my wife. And here’s the result.

1. Hulled barley boiled, 2. Chakkakuru mezhukkupuratty and 3. A copy of manga thera.

With health in focus and since the usual grains like wheat and rice are unhealthy, I followed expert advice and made barley rice. It’s almost like boiled brown rice with a welcome nutty taste.

Chakkakuru mezhukkupuratty is as traditional as karimeen fry to a Keralaite. This dish of jackfruit seeds is so very good.

And manga thera (Mango Bars) is the most exotic and time consuming item. Here’s a quick fix, just to prove that next summer, I could be making the weeks long process of real manga thera.

On the whole a very satisfying day of multitasking in cooking.

Healthy, Traditional and Exotic!

Cooking Prawns. A Successful Journey Into The Unknown.

I did it, and it’s the most yummy!

We got some fresh prawns straight out of the net of fisherman. Circumstances made me the only cook available to see that the freshness is not lost in the freezer.

Googled a traditional recipe and found something which could be my favourite, ‘prawns with thengakoth (coconut slices).

Marinated the cleaned and about half kilo prawns with salt and kudampuli (cambogia) washed again and drained.

Put in a hard bottom Cooking vessel and added the following ingredients- one sliced onion, 6 shallots, half coconut flesh sliced, 6 garlic pods, one inch ginger finely cut, one tablespoon chilli powder, 3/4 tablespoon coriander powder, 1/4 tablespoon turmeric, one pinch of fenugreek powder.

All mixed well and cooked with water enough to be just below the prawns.

In a separate pan diced some curry leaves and a teaspoon of mustard in coconut oil. Added to the almost cooked prawns with more coconut oil and salt to taste. Covered and cooked till dry.

And it turned out Yum yummy yummiest. Believe me.

(Published in my broadcast group titled ‘Cooking Exotica & Fitness’ where I have my experiments with traditional food and delicacies. Prawns is bold and happily successful).

Cooking Prawns. A Successful Journey Into The Unknown.

A Pineapple Revolution In The Offing. Wine and Jam!

As posted in the broadcast group ‘Cooking Exotica & Fitness:

Pineapple Jam.

There’s a pineapple revolution taking place in Kerala. Rubber plantations are on the decline and pineapple cultivation is happening in earnest. Kerala government has decided to grant licence for wine production and I can see pineapple wine in a big way. Perhaps it may rival grapes and we even may have wines of the best pineapple region Vazhakkulam, branded as “VAZHAKULOGNE”. Here I made pineapple jam from memory with a big ripe pineapple. A little bit of Chef’s innovation has been there. I crushed half the skinned pineapple in Nutribullet and cut the other half into small slices. Added water, sugar (preservative) and placed on the stove for boiling. When it was half done added Kerala spices of cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. One table spoon of gelatine and lime squeezed are also added. Continued on small fire for the right constituency and taste. Delicious 😋

A Pineapple Revolution In The Offing. Wine and Jam!