Monday, September 25, 2017

Kadale Bele Payasa AKA Yele Kone Payasa - Split Bengal Gram Sweet Porridge

The first dish to be served on auspicious occasions in a Banana Leaf Meal / Bale Yele Oota/ Vazhai Elai Virundhu is Bele Payasa or Paruppu Payasam (Lentil Porridge). Even when the menu comprises of other exotic sweets a Yele Kone Payasa is a must in traditional feasts. Kadale Bele Payasa /Kadalai Paruppu Payasam prepared using split Bengal gram is a flavoursome festive Payasa/Payasam which can also be relished hot or cold as a dessert after a full meal. This delicious lentil pudding is served on the right hand corner of the bottom half of the banana leaf. Hence it is known as Yele Kone Payasa (roughly translates to leaf corner Porridge). At the start of the meal the thick porridgy Payasa/Payasam is swiped off the leaf using four fingers excepting the thumb and then relished by licking it off the fingers, virtually making it a finger licking dish!

Split Bengal gram dal - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1 cup
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 cups
Rice flour - 1 tsp
Cardamom (2 numbers) and edible camphor(the size of a pin head) powdered together
Cashew nuts/almonds and raisins - 2 tbsps
Ghee - 1 tbsp

1. Pressure cook Bengal gram dal adding two cups of water until three whistles.
2. Melt jaggery in 1 cup of warm water and filter it.
3. Grind coconut gratings with rice flour into a very smooth paste adding water.
4. Cook the filtered jaggery water and the cooked dal together until it thickens emanating a very pleasant aroma.
5. Add the coconut and rice flour paste and cook till it blends well with the Payasam. The consistency should be thick enough, so that it is not runny when served on the banana leaf.
6. Add the powdered cardamom and edible camphor, and switch off flame.
7. Garnish with ghee fried cashew nuts/almonds
and raisins.

Enjoy the Kadalebele Payasa / Kadalai Paruppu Payasam as a dessert or as a mid morning energy booster!

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