அனைவருக்கும் என் மனம்கனிந்த தமிழ்ப்புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்.
നവ വര്ഷ ആശംസഗള്
Hearty Tamil New Year and Vishu wishes to all of you
Tamil and Malayalam New Year was celebrated over the weekend. Most people mistake me for being from Palakkad (a city bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu) - let me clear that misconception right away. I was born in Chennai, but grew up in Trivandrum, so in that sense I'm what people would call - a 'pseudo-mallu'. My love for all things Mallu and Kerala include but are not limited to - the land, the people, the language, the music, movies and the aviyal :P
On Saturday, a few of the Malayalee students at Tech got together for a Vishu celebration - with an elaborate sadhya (special meal) and an adipoli movie. Here's what was on the menu - parippu, sambhar, aviyal, erisheri, pulisheri, kootukari, kichadi, 2 types of thoran, 4 types of payasams (paal payasam, parippu payasam, semiya payasam and ada pradhaman), complete with boiled rosematta rice (kuthari), pappadam, upperi and pazham! You can imagine what a heavy meal it must've been. The only thing missing was the banana leaf!
I generally do not cook much of the typical mallu fare at home, with the exception of aviyal (I could just eat bowls of aviyal by itself for all meals of the day all week....u get the point!!). So for a potluck, the safe bet would have to be a payasam - yet I wanted to try something different. Hence the highhhhh calorie ada pradhaman (you can make exceptions on festive occassions)
Here's how I prepared the exotic, yet simple Ada Pradhaman (to serve 20 ppl)
- Make a trip to the nearest mallu grocery - India Bazaar some 14 miles away to get ada (not all indian groceries carry the ready to cook ada), 750 gm of jaggery and a couple of cans of coconut milk - thick milk and light.
- Get ready other ingredients - broken cashews (20 pcs), small bite size chunks of coconut, ghee, powdered cardamom, 2 tsp of rice flour.
- Cook the ada in a pot of boiling water for about 20 minutes. Be sure to stir, so that the ada do not stick to each other. The ada is nothing but dried thick rice sheets cut into small squares. There are recipes online explaining the process of making ada from scratch, but if available, the ready to cook ones make life much easier.
- Once cooked, drain the ada and run under cold water, to prevent sticking together.
- In a separate saucepan, melt the jaggery under low heat by adding a tablespoon of water. Once melted, take care to leave the heavy residue from the jaggery behind or strain it before adding it to a heavy bottom pan with the cooked ada. Stir till well combined.
- Now add ½tsp of cardamom powder to the mixture, followed by a can of thick coconut milk.
- Add rice flour to the can of light coconut milk till well combined. This is the thickening agent for the pradhaman. Add this mixture 5 minutes after adding the thick coconut milk.
- Now garnish with cashews and small coconut chunks fried in ghee. Be liberal with the ghee ;o) and add it to the payasam after using it to fry.
- The payasam should be a semi-liquid consistency and ready to be devoured! *slurp