Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Payasam For A Rising Star

I'm a 'rising star' - or so my gym would have me believe. Today, I found out that my name had been put up on a poster in a decorative script under that head and my weight loss of 1.5 kg had been marked against my name. (Later, at weigh-in, I found I had lost 500 grammes more, so the net loss is 2 kg).

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.


  1. You are a STAR my dear Sra.. Oh don't tell me about these temptations. How many time I have faked to have resistance towards those decadent desserts. Sometimes I go ahead and savor some instead of looking at it incessantly with my eyes wide open... This is a delicious looking dessert.yumm.. See I have started craving again...

  2. OMG, did you get my previous comment.. I typed such a long message and it threw an error when I submitted...sobs.. I am still craving at this dessert and fighting hard to resist my temptations..

  3. It is sad that diets and rice can't go together. One teaspoon Sra?

  4. Dieter's dishonesty....now tis is the term I wud luv to use everyday...ask me hw I fool myself whilst dieting.
    BTW never made payasam wit brown rice...will try soon.
    Ur post is very funny n I can soo relate it to myself..the agony of dieting.

  5. I wish i could loose so muchas you do. Congragulaions. It is holiday hre and i think i am gaining every day . Love love payasoma and this onei love, mom used to make this a lot.

  6. you are good Sra. made such a tempting dish and only had one tbsp? I would have finished the bowl in one go. my sweet tooth is the biggest hardle of my dietery goal. good luck with your diet regime rising star!

  7. 6 tsps of jaggery, Sra? That's not dishonest at all, considering that this payasam is usually made with 3 cups of jaggery+ 1 cup of rice during festivals. Plus, you used brown rice.....so, it's healthy too :-)

  8. Always love sweets made from the rice+coconut+jaggerry combi ... reminds me of prasads at temples. Good luck on your diet and weight loss prog Sra! :-)

  9. Well, dieter's dishonesty!! hain..I just love the way you coin some terms Sra...I have put on some weight while staying back home..Good for you to loose some..Payasam looks delicious , never tried eating brown rice though..
    hugs and smiles

  10. Congrats Rising Star !!! May you rise and shine more.

    You should put your daily diet here, like Kay does, that would be a motivation

  11. Wow! Great job, you rising star, you! ;-)

    Paz xoxo

  12. A star indeed! And in my eyes you are very determinate cos you still go to the gym and not walk out halfway like so many I know do...

  13. Congratulations Sra, it is no small feat indeed. I did manage to loose 5 lbs 3 months ago only to gain back all of it a month ago :-( Me and diet don't go along very well. Love the payasam.
    Thanks for trying the vegetable Kurma I hope you liked it though.

  14. Congrats to you! This is awesome.

    Everything in moderation...even rising stars deserve dessert. This looks delicious!

  15. How did I miss the rising star post? Now I remember, I was busy eating chocolate cake with ice cream. I didn't lose any and am pretty sure gained some, which is why I don't keep a food diary.
    Congratulations on loosing 2 kgs. That is 4 and a half lbs here, which is a big deal!

  16. Moderation and portion control! I've been eating everything and without guilt. My weight loss is not dramatic but it has worked for me over a period of time. I think it works because I don't look at it as a diet and I don't have any foods that I must or must not eat. I eat a lot of rice and rotis. The only thing that I have consciously reduced is bread but then I substitute it with rotis or bagel thins. I think the most important thing is to not starve yourself or deprive yourself but to allow yourself to indulge (within reason) from time to time.

    Lots of luck with your weight loss! You know I will be cheering for you!

  17. Lovely payasam, nice to be here. Following you to keep in touch.Best wishes.

  18. 3 cheers to the raising star!!Its really nice to see ur dieting is working out :).Payasam looks yumm..Really Sra,I can imagine how much payasam u have left.Happened to me when I tried payasam with forbidden rice..

  19. Your gym didn't know that you are already a star?!! hmph!

    Kudos on the weight loss and sticking to your diet! :) The payasam looks amazing, I guess one tbsp at a time is as good a compromise as any!

  20. I love the rising star certificate at the gym! good luck with your healthy eating!

  21. That was really hilarious Sra..I was ROFL reading about your "Mess", but I am sure it was good..:)

  22. Wow! Congrats on the weight loss! Looks like you're doing it right.I hope you won't mind,I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!


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