Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Shape Of Puddings To Come

This past week, weird and unlikely things happened to me.

I saw (and ate) green chaklis

A khakra arranged itself like the crescent moon

My niece told me she wanted a "snake cake" for her third birthday and certain promises (from the tailor, the electrician) were kept. I wanted to not go to work at least one day this week but kept accepting various assignments that came my way, despite myself. I also made fair use of two mangoes that The Spouse bought the previous week.

The skin of one of them was just beginning to pucker so I told him to put them on the dining table so that we couldn't miss them when we walked in from work. Increasingly, the thought of merely peeling, slicing and dicing them and eating them as a pre-good night's sleep snack in a cool air-conditioned room seemed less appealing than a hot morning spent making mango payasam. (I have a sadomasochistic streak, I suppose.)

Over that sleepless night, though, I discovered I didn't really want to make mango payasam if it involved looking up recipes, measures, proportions and the rest of that stuff. I did try, half-heartedly, but gave up soon enough. After all, what was the guarantee that I'd have all the ingredients? I wanted to use up the tin of condensed milk that I have but I really didn't feel like braving a rice and mango combination in oversweet milk, nor did I want to wrestle with the thought of how much ordinary milk I should use and how I should use the rest of the condensed milk because the recipes didn't call for an entire tin.

But there was Mikcee and it has been rather neglected since I bought it a month ago. A mikcee being used just four times in a month in a South Indian home? Shameful! A new mikcee at that? Shameful and worse! It was time I gave it its due.

But I wasn't done with the payasam yearning just yet. All these confused feelings - thrift (use up mangoes, condensed milk, mikcee), craving (dessert, Indian flavour) and novelty (it had to be different) culminated in this ... pudding, shall we call it? Glop is more like it but that's what happened after it stayed in the fridge for hours - when I beat it in the mikcee, it attained this pneumatic, souffle-like quality that had me wonder at my unlikely and rare potential for serendipitous happenings. (If only I knew it was going to be shortlived and fall flat, I wouldn't have wasted any grey cells marvelling and feeling grateful.)

Glop connotes something unappetising but this isn't so boring, and it was tasty, and it is summer and you should have mango-something, so here's how you go about it:

Milk: 1/2 litre (500 ml)
Mango pulp: 1 cup
Sugar: 4 tbsp
Semolina/Rava/sooji: 1-2 tbsp
Ghee/clarified butter: 1-2 tsp
Cardamom: 1, heated and crushed/powdered

Boil the milk well. Turn the heat down completely, stir in the sugar and let it dissolve.

Meanwhile, heat the ghee and fry the semolina lightly. Turn off the heat and add this to the milk. Mix well but gently till milk thickens. Add the cardamom/powder.

Turn off the heat and cool it completely.

Add the mango pulp to the milk-semolina mixture and whiz in the mixer.


By the way, did you notice the mango shape inside the green chakli? Quite season- and situation-appropriate, don't you think?

Here's the second of the promised five links to Haritha's blog. (I know, I missed out three posts in between, but I don't think it's fair to retrofit them into old posts.)

Don't forget Of Chalks and Chopsticks - get that imagination working and send me your entries by May 31.


  1. never prepared or had mango payasam, very new recipe and concept. Love the chakli and mango shape in it. And, wow, I have never heard of someone demanding for "snake" cake, really unusual :)

  2. Maybe the added green color to the chakli/
    I hav eno idea what this khakra is. SHould ask my sis.
    Same like priya said i have never heard of anyone asking a snake cake. If yuo had posted one i sure would have ran away from teh post.

  3. A snake cake is a cake in the shape of a snake! I told her it's not available so now she wants a fish cake!

  4. "A mikcee being used just four times in a month in a South Indian home? Shameful! A new mikcee at that? Shameful and worse!"
    I would have said mine I use a mickcee four times a day,more likely!
    Yes the mango shape in the green chakli very appropriate and I marvelled at it as soon as I saw the picture!
    So finally the payasam was something mango flavoured rawa payasam I guess....quite interesting Sra.

  5. What was the purpose of rava in the payasam? Mango payasam sounds so yummy, send me some :)

  6. Finla, a khakra is a Gujarati snack, it's a very thin, crispy, crackly chapati kind of thing.
    Lata, aren't you tired of washing the mixie so many times?
    Jyothsna, purpose of rava - I once tried rava payasam and I liked the texture, thought it would add thickness.

  7. "...Pudding to Come" - how Wellsian, and just in time for today's apocalypse. ; D

    I want to try chaklis - any color will suit me. I'm in a snack-y mood now.

  8. entertaining post :) I hate washing mikcees too :P aah but due our insatiable thirst for coconut milk in anything remote edible, the mikcee happens to be a constantly used gadget at home. the payasam looks lovely! and green chakli? That's the first time ive seen one. though the crescent shaped khakra has woken up the khakra craving in me.. and my sole mission after work today is to get some :)

  9. Sra, asnake cake might be easier to make than a fish cake unless she wants a cobra with a hood and all.

    Mango payasam sounds good but me not fond of tapioca yet.

  10. Mango pudding is beautiful, sra! Also coveting the green chaklis... :)

  11. Folks, thanks for your comments. Just getting back after a brief break. Susan, Sarah, did you get your snacks?
    Bong Mom, there's no tapioca there! And we got a Nemo cake full of red and blue.
    Aarthi, Linda, thanks :)


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