Hello dear readers!
My blog is finally back after being down with virus for more than a few weeks. I am super happy that my readers can finally view my site.
Because of a terrible terrible malware attack I was forced to take a blog break. it was so bad that while cleaning all the infected areas a large chunks of my previous posts had to be deleted! Yes, all my posts after February are gone!
After the initial panicking, shock and a bit of crying I have finally come to terms with the fact that all my efforts from past 6+ months are wiped off. I initially thought about just forgetting about it and moving on but so many people want me to re-blog all those recipes. I am so overwhelmed with all the support emails. I am humbled to know that you all care so much for me and my blog. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that you actually want those recipes back.
On the brighter side, I still have all those photos and recipes with me. I am considering re-posting all of them once again but that might take a long time. While I was fixing all these problems I decided I need to change the look on the blog as well. Thank you Blog Milk for this beautiful minimal blog layout. I am still working on certain aspects of the new design but that will happen slowly.
But for now I am here with a Diwali recipe for you all. I don’t really celebrate festivals but I am sharing this delicious recipes for all of you who do. ‘Diwali’, the festival of lights is a very special festival for most Indians. Right now almost every Indian family will be making lots of sweets and sharing it with their friends and family. I thought It’ll share a simple dessert with you all and in my typical fashion it’s healthy, easy to make and can be enjoyed by almost everybody s it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar free!
Today I am sharing a recipe of one of my favorite Payasas. ‘Payasa’ also more popularly known as ‘Kheer’ was the only kind of dessert I grew up on. Traditionally we made several different kinds of Payasas for almost every happy occasion or celebration. Payasas can be made from several ingredients like rice, wheat, lentils, dates, cashes, almonds, fresh fruits, cucumber, etc. Apart from the main ingredient it has freshly pressed coconut milk and jaggery as a sweetener. I guess it was popular because it required very few ingredients which were cheap and easily available. Living in rural Indian those days meant no access to markets or shops so payasa was the best dessert one could come up with.
Looking back I realize that apart from being easy to make, cheap and very simple it also had to be one of the healthiest desserts around! It’s lite, refined sugar free, mostly dairy-free, gluten free, and not deep fried like most other Indian desserts! I chose to share this particular ‘cashew Payasa’ recipe here as it’s almost impossible for anybody to not like it! Creamy soft cooked cashew is paired with a thick coconut milk sauce with is flavored with cardamom and sweetened with jaggery. Flavours and mild and minimal. You can control the sweetness and creaminess depending on your palette. I think Godambi Payasa’s simplicity is it’s speciality.
Make this healthy yet rich dessert to complete your holiday meal.
This recipe was featured in the very talented Divya Yadava’s online magazine’s latest Fall/Winter Issue. Head over to her magazine for a little interview where I talk more on how I started blogging, my inspirations, my photography and childhood memories of Diwali. While you are there make sure you check out some amazing recipes and gorgeous photography by Divya and several other fabulous bloggers from around the world.
If you are using store bought coconut milk for the recipe, you might have to add water depending on how creamy/thick your coconut milk is. Check the consistency of the final payasa and thin it down according to your taste.
Use good quality golden colored jaggery for the best results. You can replace this with sugar but the flavor will never be the same.
Cardamom compliments the cashew the best but you can also try to use saffron in this recipe for a different variation.
- 1 cup cashew nuts
- 1 cup think coconut milk
- 1 cup thin coconut milk
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup powdered jaggery
- 1-2 green cardamom pods
- 1-2 tbsp rice flour
Soak the cashew nuts in hot water for an hour. Discard the water and place it in fresh water. Bring the pot to a boil and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cashew is cooked soft. You can leave the cashew nuts slightly hard or cook them soft depending on your preference. Make sure they still hold their shape and not turn mushy though. Drain the water and keep it aside.
To make your own coconut milk at home, first grate all the flesh out of a coconut. Put it in a blender with a cup of water and blend it into a smooth paste. Now place a cheesecloth over a big bowl and pour the coconut paste into it. Slowly squeeze all the milk out. This first extraction of milk will be thick and creamy. Now put the remaining coconut paste back in to the blender with another cup of water, blend again and extract the more diluted coconut milk.
Place the thin diluted coconut milk in a pan, add powdered jaggery and crushed cardamom pods into it. Let it simmer till the the jaggery has completely dissolved. Now add the cooked cashew nuts and continue to simmer. Make sure it’s simmering on low flame and not boiling. Boiling coconut milk might lead to curdling.
Mix the rice flour in a few table spoons of water and stir it well. Make sure there are no lumps in it. Now slowly add this mixture to the simmering coconut milk, stirring continuously. Now add the thick coconut milk (first extraction) and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes till the payasa reaches the desired consistency.
Serve hot, warm or cold.