Onam is the biggest festival of Kerala. The 10-day long festival is celebrated by Malayali people across the world in the month of chingam as per the Malayalam calendar. This year it falls on September 4 and the preparations have already started. Many activities organized during this festive period including boat race, tiger dance called pulikali, tug of war competition and making pookalam. Onam is celebrated to commemorate the arrival of Mahabali. According to Hindu mythology, Mahabali was the king of Kerala and he was very powerful and a good ruler. The king was conquering the three worlds by defeating the gods. The gods went to Vishnu to stop Mahabali from taking over their world. Vishnu came to earth in the form of Vamana, a dwarf boy, and asked Mahabali to give him three paces of land. Being charitable and generous, Mahabali agreed to give the little boy three paces of land even after learning the truth that it was no ordinary boy. As soon as the wish was granted, Vamana grew and covered the earth and the sky in just two steps. The King offered himself for the third pace. Pleased with the king, Vamana revealed his identity as Vishnu and granted him a boon that he will be able to visit his land and people once a year. Onam is the day when Mahabali visits his land. The festival is celebrated to remember the period of abundance under the leadership of King Mahabali. One of the highlights of the celebration is the onasadya or the feast prepared on the 10th day. Served on a plantain leaf, the feast includes nine courses. Payasam or the dessert is an integral part of the sadya. Here is the recipe for moong daal payasam or parippu payasam by Anushruti from Rajshri Food. (ALSO READ How to Make Traditional Pineapple Pachadi, Kalan and Pulinji on the Harvest Festival).
1 cup of jaggery
1 cup of yellow mung dal (split green gram dal without skin)
1 cup of fresh coconut shreds for extracting coconut milk
2 cups of water for making coconut milk
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon cashews
4 green cardamom seeds (powdered)
You can also use packaged, ready-to-use coconut milk, but it is advisable to use freshly squeezed coconut milk for better taste.
Place a pan on medium flame and dry roast the yellow moong daal in it for about five minutes. Roast it until you get a nutty aroma and the color of the daal changes to light brown. Keep it aside and let it cool.
Wash the roasted daal and put it in a pressure cooker. Add in 2 1/2 cups of water and cook it in the pressure cooker for around 2 whistles.
While the daal is getting cooked, make coconut milk by blending the coconut shreds in a blender along with a cup of lukewarm water. Blend it and extract the milk. Use a strainer to keep the coconut shr4eds out. This is the first extract. Keep it aside. Now, add another cup of lukewarm water to the remaining shred and squeeze out the milk again. This is your second extract.
Once, the daal is cooked, open the cooker and add in jaggery. Cook it for about 15 minutes, till the mixture becomes thick.
Add in the second extract tot eh mixture and let it boil. Now, lower the flame and add in the first extract. Cook for about five minutes and then turn off the stove.
Take another small pan and add in the ghee. Add cashews and fry it till it become golden in color. Add in the raisin and turn of the flame. Add this dry fruits and ghee to the daal payasam along with the powdered cardamom. Your moong daal payasam is ready. Here is the video of the recipe.
It is simple and simply delicious. Do try it this Onam.