Diwali – The festival of lights is here and there is no other better way to celebrate it than preparing and indulging in your favorite sweets. These sweets are usually overloaded with loads of sugar, ghee or oil. But, I wanted to prepare something simple, delicious and sweet without the ghee or oil with less sugar. I want to share with you this simple creamy delicious dessert called Payasa. ‘Payasam’ or ‘Payasa’ is a South Indian creamy pudding, made from milk, without eggs. The ingredients (can be rice, split bengal gram, poppy seeds etc) are cooked in milk which makes it very creamy and delicious.
This recipe consists of sago pearls which are slowly cooked in milk, water and sugar for around 20 minutes. The milk reduces in half and becomes rich and creamy. The sago pearls turn transparent indicating they are cooked.
Another twist in this recipe is the addition of cocoa powder. The mix of chocolate flavor with cardamom may seem odd, but it works. Divide the sago payasa into equal halves and add the cocoa powder to one half. So now, we have a cardamom flavored and a chocolate flavored payasa. Serve it in a glass or a mason jar to showcase the layers. You can add in chopped nuts and dry fruits of your choice. I have used almonds, cashews and cherries in this recipe.
Usually payasa is served both warm or cold. But, I personally like it chilled. Refrigerate it for at least 1 hour and indulge in this sweet, yet not too sweet dessert ! 🙂
HAPPY DIWALI !!! 🙂
Total : 30 Mins
PORTIONS : This recipe makes about 300 ml of payasa /pudding.
- Sago Pearls – 5 Tbsp
- Milk – 1/2 Cup
- Water – 1/2 Cup
- Brown sugar – 2 Tbsp
- Cardamom powder – 1/4 Tsp
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – 1 Tsp
- 4 Almonds and cashews chopped
- Halved and pitted sour cherries – 5
- Soak the sago pearls in water overnight. The pearls should completely submerge in water.
- In a sauce pan on medium heat, add milk, soaked and drained sago pearls, cardamom powder, brown sugar and water. Bring it to a boil, and then lower the heat. Simmer for around 15 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure the sago does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- The milk will reduce by half and the mixture will slightly thicken.
- Remove half of the payasa/pudding into another bowl and set it aside (plain payasa). Turn off the heat and to the remaining payasa/pudding in the sauce pan, add the unsweetened cocoa powder and stir well.
- In a jar of a glass, pour in the plain payasa, add chopped almonds, cashews and sour cherries. Top this layer with the chocolate flavor, chopped nuts and cherries.
- Serve it warm or cold.