Thursday, May 21, 2009
Mani Payasam (Jevvarisi Payasam) - Sago Dessert
Jevvarisi or Sago (Sabbakki / Sabudana) was our first solid baby food in the days when cereal food tins for babies were still a long way off in the market. Mother roasted the sago and ground it to a smooth flour and stored it for her babies. Two or three table spoons of this flour was cooked in water to a gruel (koozh) like consistency. Though I don’t remember my ‘jevvarisi koozh’ days, I cannot forget the way my younger siblings relished the koozh, sometimes with milk and sugar, and other times with mashed lentil and thin rasam. The way they chuckled with the koozh smeared all over, when mother turned away her face in mock fright to avoid their koozh filled kisses! This still remains a happy picture etched in my mind.
Jevvarisi payasam has been an all time favourite among the children in our family. The Sago or tapioca pearls look like transparent glass beads when cooked, and tastes heavenly in the creamy milk and sugar payasam, thus earning its pet name “Mani Payasam” (bead payasam).
Sago, a product derived from the tuber tapioca is full of starch. It is also said to be a good coolant. The addition of milk and sugar makes this heat buster and energizer into a refreshing drink on hot sweltery days.
Sago – 1 cup
Milk – 3 cups
Sugar – ¾ cup
Ghee – 2 tsps
Raisins – a few
Cashew nuts – a few
Cardamom powder – 1 pinch
1. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and roast sago until all the pearls pop up.
2. Boil milk with one cup of water and add the roasted sago.
3. Cook on low flame stirring now and then until all the pearls become transparent like glass beads.
4. Add sugar and cook till it blends well.
5. Add cardamom powder and roasted cashew nuts and raisins.
This Mani Payasam can be served warm.
If you want to covert this to a cool and exotic dessert add a drop of vanilla essence instead of cardamom powder and chill it. Raisins and cashew nuts are optional. Serve the chilled payasam in tall glasses topped with a scoop of vanilla or kesar pista ice cream.