Back when I was a kid – that was 3yrs back (before marriage came along) – VISHU was all about Legs & Money. I count the legs in the morning and then money in the evening! Every leg in the vicinity was a prospective money bearing tree and differentiating between a good and a bad tree was an art!
So how do you spot a bad tree? – watch from a distance and you can hear coins jingling in his/her wallet – I liked to avoid these relatives/neighbors and so outsource the collection responsibility to my brother - hehehehe!!!
Wasn’t those days fun??? Did you gals have as much fun?
Life just comes at you so fast that before you realize you are the home maker of the family. VISHU now is more about the offerings you make to the divine (vishukkani), your prayers for prosperity of your family and the great FEAST that you host for friends and family. Hmmm…sounds very interesting!!!
With me in the US, imagine how happy my relatives should be – their pockets must be full this time of the year!!!
Anyway when you talk about the VISHU feast, one major item that kids & diabetic people love the most is the ‘Payasam’. So I made ‘Nenthrapazha pradhaman’ for this Vishu and am posting the recipe here. I had posted this recipe 2 years back on 'pachakam.com' and to my disgust the recipe was copied word for word and posted on a couple of websites. Anyway, our ‘Stop Plagiarism’ effort helped me get over the disappointment and here I am again.
Please try this and let me know if you like it
- Ripe plantains(Nenthrapazham) - 1 kg.( I used 3 big plantains)
- Jaggery(Sharkkara) - 1/2 kg /according to ur taste.
- Ghee - 3tbs/ as required
- Coconut milk – from 2 coconuts / 2 cans
- Coconut pieces (Thenga kothu) - 3tbs
- Cashews - 2 tbsp
- Raisins - 2 tbsp
- Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
- Extract thick(first) and thin(second) milk from the 2 coconuts and keep them aside. Or you can use canned coconut milk.
- Steam the plantains in a steamer / idili maker until it is soft. Cut the plantains and remove the black portion inside and mash them with hands. Yes hands - don't use a food prosessor. It shouldn’t have any lumps.
- Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Fry the mashed plantains.
- Add crushed jaggery and fry well for apporoxmatly 15 -20 mins. You should stir it every now and then to prevent it from burning.
- Add the second extract of the coconut milk ( 1-can coconut milk diluted with 3 cups of water) and boil well.
- When it thickens, remove from fire and add the first extract (1 can coconut milk mixed with 1/2 cup of water) and cardamom powder .
- Fry the coconut pieces, cashews and raisins in ghee and add it to the payasam.
- when you dilute the canned coconut milk , add water more or less according to the thickness and quality of the milk.
- After adding the jaggery, check the level of sweetness and add, if required.
- Use good ripe plantains. If you don't get them, Buy good raw plantains from any grocery stores and keep it in the container in which you keep rice. The plantains will turn very ripe within 2 - 3 days.
My friend Becky Anderson made this wonderful cake for us for the vishu feast. it is a raspbery cream cake roll with almonds.. The cake was so good that we just loved it..