So what do rising stars eat - especially when they are on a strict diet, monitored by two sincere, feeling dieticians who continue pouting even after you've told them you made up for the piece of chocolate cake at the office party by having only a guava three hours later and a whites-only-full-of-veggies omelette two hours after that?
I really won't take you through my diet sheet. Suffice it to say my meals nowadays are full of brown rice, oats, millets and broken wheat in various permutations and combinations - I don't remember if I've ever eaten most of this stuff! And what's a diet without a little temptation, which was raked up by this and egged on by this, after which I followed a trail of links, then lost patience - 'WTH! Boiled, parboiled or raw, I'm just going to make it and see how it turns out!'
So I took
1/4 cup of Kerala matta rice
1 pack (200 ml + a little more) of coconut milk
1 cup + An indeterminate amount of water (lots)
6 spoons (not tsp, not tbsp, just any spoon) of dark jaggery
A healthy dose of plump cashewnuts
A tsp of ghee/oil
Some powdered cardamom
I pressure-cooked the washed rice with a cup each of water and coconut milk. It didn't boil enough, so I put in the indeterminate amount of water (maybe even more than a litre) and pressure cooked away, for several whistles (maybe 8-10).
After the pressure fell, I opened the cooker, added the leftover coconut milk and stirred and stirred. I began with one spoon of jaggery, and finally stopped at six when it became clear no amount of jaggery would sweeten that mess.
I turned off the heat.
Then I fried the cashews in the ghee and added it to the mess along with powdered cardamom.
Ultimately, not bad at all! I actually enjoyed the tablespoon of payasam I had as a post-lunch treat - maybe I was content with it because I'd skimmed off many cashewnuts before that.
In a typical case of dieter's dishonesty (hey, did I just coin a term?), this didn't make it to my food diary. It would save the dieticians some angst, and it was only a tablespoon, after all.
And still I was to become a rising star!
- It's been three days, and the payasam, despite being in the fridge, is still moist.
- Just 1/4 cup of rice turned into the amount you see in the picture, so be prepared! I don't know how I'll ever finish mine, considering that I'm going away and The Spouse won't even look at it.
- To veganise this, just use oil instead of ghee to fry the cashews. Coconut oil will probably make it more coconutty.
Remember, I'm hosting Of Chalks and Chopsticks, so please send me your entries - there's just two weeks left.
Payasam Dessert Vegan/Vegetarian Rice