In September, there are 3 things I usually anticipate: a day off from work for Labor Day, a bunch of birthdays, and Onam.
Onam is a major South Indian harvest festival that can last up to 10 days, but we usually only celebrate on one day. The celebration will typically include song and dance performances, pookkalam competitions, and, my favorite, onam sadya (a feast!).
The sadya is completely vegetarian and is typically served on plantain leaves. The feast can include as many as 25 different dishes and the best part is you get to eat with your hands (just like every day, am I right?). The even better part is the dessert served at the end called payasum.
There are many varieties of payasum, but I love the version my mom makes: palada payasum with coconut milk. And, since we are all usually in such a rush, here’s the recipe version you can make in the same amount of time it takes to secretly dance and lip-sync in your room to five songs on Beyoncé’s Pandora station. It’s not like I timed it…
Kerala-Style Pressure Cooker Palada Payasum
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup palada (rice ada)
- 2 cups coconut milk (canned milk works)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 cup raisins
- 1/8 cup chopped cashews
- 1 tbsp. ghee (or use a butter substitute like Smart Balance to make this vegan-friendly)
1. Add the palada, coconut milk, 1/4 sugar, and cardamom into a pressure cooker. Cook for 10 minutes.
2. In a frying pan, add the ghee (or vegan butter substitute) and lightly fry the raisins and chopped cashews.
3. Once the pressure cooker cools down, add the remaining 1/4 sugar and mix in the fried raisins and cashews.
4. Keep refrigerated. Warm up or serve cool when ready to eat.