Monday, July 21, 2008

Recipe: Kovil Payasam

Having said so much about the invocation and installation of Bhagavathy to ward off all evils and bring in prosperity, the next question naturally is, "what is the special food prepared and offered to Bhagavathy on Karkitaka Sankranthi day?" There is no elaborate sadhya prepared and yet, being Sankranthi, something special needs to be prepared. The rice is cooked in a special way known as Pongal sadham, which is different from the usual pongals. Actually in Kerala Iyer households in the olden days, Pongal meant this Pongal sadham; we were not introduced to Venpongal or Sarkkarai Pongal then. There is a sambar to go with the Pongal and a simple vegetable curry, vadams and a simple payasam.

This Sankranthi, I prepared what in our house is known as Kovil Payasam, since this is the payasam usually prepared in the temples for neivedyams. This is a very simple payasam to make. In those days, whenever we wanted to offer payasam to the temple deity, we would carry the rice, jaggery, coconut, the uruli in which to prepare the payasam and of course one or two pieces of firewood to cook the payasam, to the temple. The Poojari then would prepare the payasam, offer as neivedyam and give the prasadam back to us. We would carry the uruli and payasam back home.

Now for the recipe

Rice: 1cup
Jaggery: 2 cups
Grated coconut: ½ cup
Ghee: 2 tbsp.
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp.


Wash the rice and cook in a pressure cooker using 3 cups of water. Dissolve the jaggery in one cup of water. Strain the jaggery and pour the strained syrup in a thick-bottomed pan. Add the cooked rice and keep stirring until all the liquid is evaporated. Add the grated coconut, ghee and cardamom powder. Offer this payasam as neivedyam to Sree Bhagavathy and partake the prasadam.


notyet100 said...

sounds delicious,..thnks for sharin..

srikars kitchen said...

Fantastic entry... THxs

Shriya said...

Interesting recipe sounds delicious and simple.

Madhavi said...

Very nice recipe, look good!!!

Sunshinemom said...

Methinks kovil payasams always taste a little extra tastier:) I like a dash of pachha karpooram:)

smita said...

Hello ammupatti,

You sound exactly the way my father used to tell stories about palakkad to us as children.

I have been following iyer traditions and recipes in your blog for quite sometime. Love to read them. Pls keep this going.

Ammupatti said...

Hi noteyet100,Shriya and Madhavi

Thanks for your comments. I am glad you liked this simple but delicious payasam.

Best wishes

Ammupatti said...

Hi sunshinemom

As I have very often mentioned in my blog, this is a payasam made in the kovils of remote villages in Kerala, where people had not even heard about pachaikarpooram in those days!Difficult to imagine, isn't it. But those were happier days.

Ammupatti said...

Hi Smita

I am sure anyone who had spent his/her childhood years in the villages would have lot many stories to tell their children. I am glad you are lucky to have a father who told you his childhood stories.

Best wishes