Payasam , Naivedyam recipes - Navratri, Varalakshmi Vratham, Fridays

I would like to share some of the kheer (or payasam) types that I think are (un)common.  Since Rangoli-sans-dots is primarily on rangoli or kolam designs, recipes like kheer or payasam and rangoli are inseparable so far as festivals like Lakshmi Puja, Diwali and Sankranthi are concerned.  They are also important for festivals like Varalakshmi Vratham, Ganesh Chathurthi, and Fridays ( especially for Sravan month Fridays  or Sravana sukruvar and  Tamil month Aadi - Aadi Velli as we call in Tamil ).  So I thought that I should occasionally add some festival related recipes.

Pumpkin (parangi) payasam for Fridays

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Required ingredients
1. Ripe pumpkin - 250 gram
2. Milk -1/2 litre
3. Sugar -as desired
4. Cardamom
5. Cashew nuts
6. Raisins
7. Optional (almonds and saffron)
Cook the pumpkin pieces in a pressure cooker. Take them out, mash and keep separately.  Boil the milk for 5 minutes and add cardamom powder and saffron (optional). Then add the mashed pumpkin to milk and stir for a few times.  Add sugar as desired.  Fry cashews,raisins and almonds (optional)  in ghee (!)  and add them to the kheer.  The taste will be similar to badam kheer.
Your special kheer as shown in the photo above is ready to serve (and eat!)

Kadalai paruppu payasam

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Place a kadai on a stove, take one cup ( 100 g) gram dhal, four or five almonds, add one teaspoon ghee and fry the till it becomes reddish brown in colour and allow it to cool. Soak in water for an hour.  Then grind the dhal almond combination in a mixer with little water or milk to get liquid consistency.

Now, heat milk on a stove, add this ground dhal+almonds to the milk, stir continuously to avoid formation of lumps.  After five minutes (approx) add sugar, cardamom powder.

Cashews, pistachios, saffron can also be added after frying the nuts. However, I use a mixture of almonds, cashews, pistachios, ground coarsely that is added without frying.


Navratri kheer recipe - Badam kheer or almonds payasam

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Badam kheer is not only an healthy option but also a mouth watering recipe particularly for those with a sweet tooth !

Kozhukattai maavu payasam for Vinayaka Chaturthi

We can prepare any of the kheer or payasam varieties for Vinayaka Chaturthi .   Some times it is easy to do something with what is available.  The kozhukattai maavu or flour prepared with rice are rolled into small spheres.  They are steam cooked in a cooker.  Then milk is boiled and these cooked spheres of kozhukattai maavu are added.  Sugar , caradamom powder and cashews fried in ghee are add to make this quick and simple payasam for Vinayaka Chavithi or Ganesh Chaturthi.


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How to prepare

Soak around 20 almonds in water for an hour.  This makes the skin separately easily .  Grind the skin-peeled almonds in a mixer after adding little milk to get a semi-solid paste.   Take milk in a vessel and boil it  till it becomes dense like condensed milk.  While boiling add saffron ( adding saffron ensures that we do not have to add artificial almond essence or almond colour powder as the saffron takes care of the colour and flavour ! ) Add the ground badam or almond paste  to the boiling milk and stir the mixture ( with the knob of the stove in sim position ) continuously till the almonds get cooked completely.  After the almonds get cooked completely ( smell of raw or uncooked almonds should disappear ) add sugar to our taste. Stir and boil again to ensure that any moisture due to the sugar evaporates and the viscosity of the kheer is maintained. Finally add elachi or cardamom powder.  Take almonds cut them with a knife fry them in ghee and add to the kheer for better plating as shown in the photo.

Sukhiyan or Suyyam  for Navratri Friday or any Friday



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 To prepare pooran or puran for Sukhiyan

Take one measure of gram dhall well cooked and mashed and the water drain, three fourth measure of powdered jaggery and cardamom powder.  Add a little ghee in a pan and cook the jaggery.  When the jaggery has melted ( cooked ) add the mashed gram dhall and mix well.  Finally add cardamom powder.  Allow the poornam to cool and form circular shapes as shown in the photo above.
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To maida, add some rice flour to increase the crispiness and a pinch of turmeric powder ( When Sukhiyan is prepared for Naivedyam we add turmeric powder ).  Add water and mix well.  Dip the spherical poornam in the solution. and fry in oil. The consistency of the batter should be such that the poornam sticks to it
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One of the specialities of Navratri is that we offer Sugiyan or Soyyam on a Friday. .

The Navratri celebrations have begun  in India.    Navaratri is celebrated in Tamil  Nadu with kolu or golu ( dolls of Gods are displayed), in  Gujarat Dandiya and  Garba dances are performed and in the east it is celebrated as Durga Puja.  In  Karnataka, Mysore Dussehra is also popular. In kerala, Vijayadashami is celebrated with fervour. ( I hope all the  information given is correct).  The list is endless.  Many festivals  are celebrated in all  parts of the  country (India) each part or state  in its own unique way but the idea is the same..  Some designs I have drawn for Dasara or Navratri or Vijiya Dasami.  Rangoli is an important part of any festival. Apart from those drawn on a daily basis, we draw some special designs for festivals.  .


Hyagreva - Naivedyam for Navratri and Thursdays 

A naiveydam or offering that can be prepared on Thursdays or Navratri Thursday is Hyagreeva.
The ingredients required are bengal gram mashed coarsely , powdered jaggery, khus khus, cardamom powder,kopparai or dried coconut  and cashew nuts.

First the cashews are fried in ghee, and khus khus is also fried in the ghee after removing the cashew nuts.
Then dried coconut is added ( kopparai ) and fried.  When the colour changes mashed bengal gram and mix well.  Then jaggery is added and cooked till the jaggery melts and sticks to the bengal gram.  Finally add cardamom powder mix again.  Cashew nuts are added to the top.

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Navratri festival in Tamil Nadu is celebrated with kolu (or golu) a display of dolls.  It is also customary to draw a rangoli daily before the kolu apart from other decorations that are made.  So nine rangoli are required for nine days and hence many rangoli designs for Navratri that can be drawn for the kolu have been drawn by me. I have shared a few


Offering aarti to Navratri kolu is also an integral part of Navratri celebrations.  A simple aarti is shown in the image below.  Add water to a plate, mix a little kumkum, light two diyas and offer aarti singing relevant aarti songs. 


Vinayaka Chathurthi  kozhukattai,  Deepavali and sweets ( bakshanam as we say in Tamil ) and Navratri and sundal are synonymous. It is customary in Tamil Nadu to invite relatives, friends and acquaintances to the kolu (arrangement of dolls ) and offer them sundal. This is done for nine days or evenings rather.  Sundal is offered with haldi and kumkum. Of course they are healthy snacks for the evening too.  So some sundal recipes for Navratri.   


Naivedyam for Navarathri and Fridays - Paal poli 

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  • The dough can be prepared with rava or maida ,  I have used rava
  • Chiroti rava is preferable or ordinary rava can be dry ground in a mixer 
  • Add a small pinch of salt , knead the dough and cover it with a wet cloth
  • Let the dough absorb the water for at least two hours
  • Using a rolling pin roll the dough into small circular pieces as we do for pooris
  • Then using a fork pierce the flattened dough at a few places so that the holes are through
  • This ensures that air is not trapped inside the poori when frying ( application of Physics by our elders in cooking ! )
  • Fry the pooris , pressing them while frying to remove any little  air that may be inside
  • The flattened poori is soaked in boiled milk
  • Milk  is already kept boiled adding sugar , cardamom powder and saffron
  • After the pooris are soked for a few minutes remove them  and garnish with pista , cashews and almonds for plating
  • This can also serve as an excellent Diwali sweet recipe idea 


Apart from kolam, payasam, sundal and naivedyam form important part of Navratri celebrations

Sundal recipes for Navratri


1. Kadalai paruppu sundal 


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Assuming that ten ladies are invited for Navaratri kolu we need half kilogram kadalai paruppu or bengal gram. Soak for 30 minutes.  If you have sufficient time soak for 45 minutes.  Unlike this sundal  other sundal varieties require 12 hours soaking. So this can qualify as a quick sundal recipe too.  

The soaked bengal gram can be cooked separately in a vessel after adding water for cooking or in a pressure cooker. ( in a pressure cooker allow just two whistles ).

In a vessel take two  table spoons of cooking oil, add one teaspoon mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida (perungayam in Tamil ) for flavour, two red chillies of medium size and curry leaves.  Now add the cooked bengal gram after removing excess water.  Add salt to taste.  Cook for a few minutes till moisture is removed.  Adding grated coconut enhances the taste and flavour.
Few decades back sundal was distributed to guests in pottalam as we call it.  Now we can distribute it through ziploc plastic bags ! When we were young, we friends went to most houses in the street  to see the Navaratri kolu but it was actually for the sundal pottalam.  When we came out of a house we would open the pottalam immediately to see what sundal variety was inside!

2. Mochai sundal 



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Assuming that ten ladies are invited for Navaratri kolu we need 250 gram of mochai or Indian bean. Soak for 12 hours. Usually we soak it over night.  Cook it in a pressure cook after adding a pinch of turmeric powder.  Stop cooking after three whistles.

Now the steps are same as in the case of the previous sundal .  In a vessel take two  table spoons of oil, add a teaspoon mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida   Add half teaspoon red chilli powder.  Of course we can adjust depending upon how hot it turns out to be.  Now add the cooked bengal gram after removing excess water.  Add salt to taste and grated coconut.  Cook for  two minutes .


3. Red karamani sundal 



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Similarly, we can have pattani sundal, peanuts (verkadalai ) and rajma sundal
Kondakadali sundal - the same procedure as described for the other varieties above.
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 For peanuts sundal we can add a pinch of turmeric powder ( it is optional ) but the taste changes considerably.
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The third sundal variety for Navaratri season is red karamani sundal.  The steps for making this sundal are as given in mochai sundal variety. However we can add half teaspoon coriander powder to get a different flavour.

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