On the friday following the Varalakshmi Vratham poojai, Coconut payasam is prepared. The coconut which was kept on the ‘Kalasam’ for the poojai is stored in a rice bag, through the week and then used for this preparation.This payasam recipe is vegan and gluten free.
Pure goodness of delicious, smooth, flavoured coconut milk is indeed a treat for the Gods!
Prep time : 30 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves : 4
- 1 large coconut
- 2 tsp rice
- 3/4 – 1 cup sugar or jaggery
- 7 – 9 green cardamoms
- 7 – 9 saffron strands
- a dash of grated nutmeg powder
- a pinch of edible camphor | pachai karpooram
- Wash, rinse and soak the rice in lukewarm water for about 15 mins.
- Grate the coconut. Peel and powder the cardamom in a mortar and pestle.
- Grind the grated coconut along with the soaked rice and about 1 1/2 cups of warm water in a blender. Filter with a strainer or a muslin cloth and obtain the 1st extract of (coconut + rice) milk. Repeat the procedure twice, to obtain the 2nd and 3rd extract of (coconut + rice) milk.
- Mix and pour all the milk extracts into a vessel and heat it over a low flame and stir continuously. When it gets heated up, add sugar or jaggery and when it starts to simmer, switch of heat and add cardamom powder, grated nutmeg powder, saffron and pachai karpooram (lends a divine aroma). Coconut payasam is ready for neivedhyam.
- Do not allow the milk to boil as the milk will curdle. On the other hand, if removed too soon, it will have a raw smell. The thumb rule is to allow the milk to get hot enough i.e upto its simmering point but not be allowed to boil.
- Since it is for neivedhyam, one can err on lower levels of sugar. If required one may add more sugar after the neivedhyam.