Kadalebele Payasa/ Chickpea Pudding

Payasa is an ultimate comfort dessert. I know I did die for a good Cheesecake or say Chocolate Eclair but they satisfy just my sweet tooth, not my soul. I guess it is more to do with what we eat when we are young - the degree of familiarity.The aroma, textures that are familiar, makes me feel that they know the right spot to light up in my soul. We Kannadigas are notorious for serving Payasa for all occassions, weddings, child birth, postpartum..and not to mention funerals and this has done a great deal to increase my affinity with these decadent delicacies.

When my mother was here helping me with my new born, she fed me umpteen number of Payasa, almost one everyday. The lore has it that, as much as a new mother, that too a breast feeding one eats sweet like Payasa the sweeter her milk will be and happier the baby will be!! My guess is more to do with the calorie part of it. Most Payasas are rich and that will go a long way to take care of the nutritional requirement of a new mother and her baby. What ever it was, this is something mom made almost a year back and I have been pretty lazy to write about. Now is the time I guess.

We will need,

Chickpeas Split /Channa dal   1/2 Cup
Jaggery                                   1/2 Cup
Fresh grated Coconut             1/2 Cup
Ghee                                       2-3 Tbsp
Raisin                                      2 tbsp or more
Cashew                                  a handful
Saffron                                  a few strands (optional -I love it)
Cardamon                              2 pods

  1. Pick and clean the Channa dal. Wash it with several changes of water. Soak it for at least 2 hours.
  2. Cover it with fresh water and cook it is soft. Set it aside.
  3. Meanwhile, grind the coconut and Jaggery into a smooth paste with a little water. The paste should be as smooth as sandal paste (Mom says!! )
  4. Crack open the cardamon and pound the seeds into a fine powder. And combine it with the coconut paste.
  5. Soak the saffron in a tablespoon of warm water or milk. Set it aside.
  6. Heat about 1 tbsp of ghee, throw in the cashew pieces, toast it till golden and remove it from heat. Repeat it for raisins using the remaining ghee.
  7. Fold in the coconut mixture into the cooked dal and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer.
  8. If using saffron, add it to the dal mixture.
  9. Finish it with the toasted cashews and raisins. Pour in the ghee the was used to toast the cashews and raisins. Serve hot/cold or at room temperature. I usually have it in all forms!!
P.S: If you prefer your Payasa to be thick like 'eating' consistency, add about 3/4 cup of water while cooking the dal. If the dal remains uncooked and becomes dry add a  little more hot warm 1/4 cup at a time. If you like your Payasa at 'drinking' consistency the way I do, be generous with water right at the beginning. Control the amount of water to alter its consistency.


Hari Chandana P said...

very delicious kheer.. looks tempting :)

AJ said...

Looks yummy!!

Lakshmi said...

dal payasams are best. Payasa looks yumm