I have never been a paayasam(Kheer) person for a major part of my life till now. One or two spoons will be my intake when the paayasam is made during the festivals. My paayasams were limited to Paal paayasam, Semiya (Vermicelli) Paayasam and the one made with jaggery using chana dal. This was the case before I got married. (Its only after my delivery, my sweet teeth came out in all force..:-)). Meanwhile, my husband is from Palakkad. He appreciates good food and loves sweets. That includes paayasams as well. When I was staying at my in-laws’ place subsequent to my wedding and before coming to Bahrain, my mom-in-law was listing out my husband’s favourite dishes. I stooped her when she said, ” he likes Chadachadayam”.. I was like,” Eh, what was that”?. To clarify, I am from Chennai and I was still coming to terms with the Palakkad lingo. She repeated and I repeated after her, just to get the pronunciation right. She went on to say, “Its a paayasam made from jaggery, rice and bananas”. Then we moved onto other favourites. And since I was a newbie in the kitchen( doesnt it sound similar?), I concentrated on making the basic palakkad cuisine and the paal and semiya paayasam for the festivals.
Last year, on my husband’s birthday, I bravely decided to make Chadachadayam. I say bravely because, I can never bring myself to cook something whose name I cant pronounce properly. I first learnt how to pronounce it properly (once again) and then the procedure from my MIL. Even then just before the D-Day I was very jittery. Then I spoke to sister-in-law (she stays close by) and confirmed the procedure. She corrected when I missed something and made me write the procedure in the same order.
The paayasam was a winner and my husband loved it too. And the most important thing, it was not difficult as I feared it to be. I hope you would enjoy it too.
Rice 1/3 cup
Jaggery 1 cup
Fully ripe banana – chopped finely
cardamom powder – from about 8 elaichis
Cashews ( 2tbsp) and raisins ( 1 tbsp) for garnish
ghee – 2-3 tablespoons
a. Mix 1/2 cup coconut milk powder in 1 cup water ( Milk III)
b. Mix 1/2 cup coconut milk powder in 3/4 cup water (Milk II)
c. Mix 1/2 cup coconut milk powder in 1/2 cup water (Milk I)
1. cook rice in 6 times water , till it gets to a pongal / khichdi consistency. Keep aside
2. Melt the jaggery and filter the scum
3. Add rice to the melted jaggery and cook till the raw smell of the jaggery goes.
4. Add the Milk III mentioned in the ingredients and cook for 3 minutes
5. Add the cut bananas and mix for a couple of minutes. Mash the bananas slightly.
6. Add the Milk II and mix slowly and softly for a couple of minutes
7. Add the cardamom powder and the ghee alongwith the roasted cashews and raisins and keep stirring for 3 minutes.
8. Add the Milk I while simultaneously switching off the gas with the other hand.
9. Cool it to room temperature and Serve.