Monday, January 25, 2010

Pazhyam Pradhaman (Payasam/Kheer made out of Kerala Plantains)

The first month of 2010 is about to end but I wanted my first post this year to be a new sweet recipe tried by me. I am the queen of Procrastination but thankfully my daughter's Star Bday came before the month could end and I made this lovely sweet..Pazhyam Pradhaman.

Pazhyam Pradhaman is made of "Nendran Pazhyam" - the Kerala Plantain.Its used in its raw and ripe forms for a variety of Kerala Specialities- Banana Chips, Sarkaravarti,Kaya Mezhakupartiyathu, Steamed Nendrans and much much more. Though the rest of the items mentioned here is almost a part of our daily lives, I had never tasted or made it ever.

I remember the first time I had heard of it was ages ago in a mallu movie where the comedian(might have played the hero's friend) describes how to make pazhyam pradhaman , his mouth watering all the time. I was never sure if he was actually giving the recipe or just "cooking it all up"

Anyways the first 2 lines of that recipe was always in my mind and this time I decided to try out Pazhyam Pradhaman for Sunshine's Star Bday. I based my recipe on those lines from the movie.

Its a very easy recipe , however just ensure that you plan well in advance as you need the plantains to be really ripe.

This is how I made it:

Serves - About 20 serving bowls

Nendran Pazhyam(Kerala Plantains) - 8 (Overripe)
Jaggery - 500 gms or more as per your taste
Ghee - 6 tbsp
Coconuts - 2 whole
Cashew Nuts - Handful
Raisins - Handful


1.Jaggery - Melt the jaggery in a bowl by adding just enough water to cover half the jaggery and let it boil till the entire jaggery melts. Strain it and keep aside

2.Coconut - Keep aside 2 inch piece of coconut and grate the rest.Take out coconut milk in 3 stages.
1st Milk - The first set of milk taken out of the freshly ground coconut
2nd Milk - Once the first milk is taken out use the same coconut and extract milk for a second time.
3rd Milk - USe the same coconut to extract milk for a 3rd time.

3.Cut the 2 inch piece of coconut into small and thin bits

4. Peel the Plantains, slice it to remove the strip of seeds in the centre. Cut into small cubes

To Make:

1. Heat 4 Tbsp of Ghee in a thick bottomed pan

2. Put in the deseeded and cubed Plantains. Cover and let cook on low flames for about 8 min till the Plantains are red and soft. Take off heat and Mash using a masher or a flat ladle.

3.Once well mashed add enough melted jaggery to make a paste. Mix well and let cook for about 15-20min till the mixture reaches the jam consistency. Keep stirring in between to avoid the bottom getting burnt.

4.Pour the 3rd milk and mix well. Cook till thick.When thick add the 2nd milk and let boil.Once the mix boils add the 1st milk, mix well and take off the fire.

5.Adjust taste by adding more jaggery syrup if required.

6.In another saucepan, heat 2 tbsp of Ghee. When hot add the coconut bits. Fry till it reddens. When red, add cashewnuts and once the cashew is almost done add in the raisins.Let cook for 30 secs and take off fire.

7.Empty the saucepan into the pradhaman

8. Serve slightly warm or Chilled

Preparation Time : 1 hour
Cooking time :45min - 1 hour.

Some changes you could make are :

1. Steam the plantains instead of frying in Ghee
2. Blend the cooked Plantains in a Mixer instead of mashing
3. The Pradhaman tends to get thick as it cools, in case you want it thinner just
add more coconut milk to get the right consistency.Adjust sweet with the jaggery

It might look like little hard work but is really really worth it.