Aravana Payasam reminds me of the prasadam that we get from Sabarimala and Guruvayoor temple. Anyone or everyone who visits Sabarimala or Guruvayoor gets this for their family and for the friends and neighbors. This tastes so good with the richness of dark brown jaggery, ghee and rice - I really don't have any words to describe the taste. But the saddest part was since it is a 'prasadam' from the temple we just get to taste it, may be a spoon or two because it has to be distributed between the family, friends and neighbours.
As I mentioned this payasam is made with dark brown jaggery but here in US it is tough to find the brown jaggery. Instead we get the pale golden color jaggery and so my 'Payasams' looks a bit light brown in color compared to our temple one's. But I swear, try this out and I'm sure you will never regret making it, it just tastes the same as the one we get in the temple. And if you have the option to get the dark brown jaggery, please use it instead of the light colored one's and I'm sure it will look the original aravana payasam as well. The best rice for making this payasam would be 'Unakkalari' - red colored raw rice(pachari with bran), I have used Basmathi rice since I didn't get it here. So guys enjoyyy serving this payasam for your onam fest this time...
- Raw rice/Basmathi Rice - 1 cup
- Water - 5 cups(you may need to add more if needed)
- Ghee - 1/2 cup
- Jaggery - 3 cups
- Cardamom - 3(crushed
- Cashews, raisins a handful
- Coconut cut into small slices - 2 tbsp(optional)
- Add 1/2 cup water to the jaggery and bring it to boil. Strain this jaggery syrup to remove impurities if any. Set aside.
- Wash the rain two-three times and drain the water fully. Set aside.
- Add 2 tbsp ghee in a pan in medium flame and roast the rice for say three-four minutes so that rice absorbs the aroma of ghee(do not over do it, rice will become crispy)
- Add water to the rice and get it to boil, stir till the bottom of the pan and let it cook in medium heat.
- When the rice is cooked add 1/4 cup ghee, keep stirring continuously in medium heat to blend well for say five minutes(stirring the payasam continuously makes the payasam much tastier)
- Add the melted jagery to the rice-ghee mix and cook for somemore time, keep stiring in between so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- When the paysam is thick enough add the cardamom powder. Switch off the flame
- Add a tbsp of ghee to another pan, roast cashews, raisins and broken coconut slices and add to the payasam along wiith the ghee.
- I have added 2:1 ratio for rice and ghee, you can increase or decrease the quantity of ghee according to your taste or preference. Adding more ghee defintely adds more taste but on a healthier note you can reduce the quantity of ghee to a few tbsp if you are not making it for any special occasion.
- I would suggest this payasam for kids from age 1-5 when they get fuzzy to eat rice/roti or normal food. Try this for them, they will get a break from the same kind of food. Ghee, jaggery and rice is good for their health as well. You can decrease the quantity of jaggery and ghee if needed.