Kasa Kasa Payasam

Poppy Seed Payasam is a nutty and creamy sweet dish made with white poppy seeds, coconut and saffron simmered in milk and topped with toasted cashews. Payasam is a typical Indian traditional sweet usually made for festivals and as a sweet treat in homes.

Poppy seeds are tiny seeds known as kasa kasa in Tamil. Indian recipes usually use white poppy seeds rather than the black ones, so look for them in your Indian supermarket. They are used for their flavour, texture and thickening qualities.

Did you know that poppy seeds calm the mind and stimulate the digestion? In Ayurveda the taste is pungent, astringent and sweet. Its heating action acts as a vata calmer. Used with nutmeg or valerian they can induce relaxing sleep.

Similar recipes include Char Grilled Stone Fruit with Scented Yoghurt, Sago Payasam, Vermicelli Payasam, and Besan Payasam.

Browse all of our Payasam recipes, and all of our Desserts. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Kasa Kasa Payasam”

Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal from Jaffna (without milk)

A dish for Thai Pongal especially, but also wonderful at home.

Pongal is a creamy rice and mung dal dish from South India (and from the Tamil cuisine in Sri Lanka) which can be made savoury and sweet.  In many ways, pongal is similar to the kitchari dish of North India.

Sweet pongal is made at home, but also made as naivedyam and prasadam – gifts to the gods during the different festivals. It is the essential dish for Thai Pongal, a festival each January where families cook sweet pongal over an open fire (if possible).

I love it for breakfast, particularly in the coldness of Mid Winter.

You might like to browse other Pongals, and some Kitcharis. Have a look at our other Naivedyam and Prasadam dishes, and other Thai Pongal dishes. Read about Thai Pongal, or browse other Rice dishes.

Continue reading “Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal from Jaffna (without milk)”

Avial | Aviyal | Vegetables in a Coconut and Yoghurt Sauce | From Kerala, India

Avial is a gentle dish from Kerala, made with vegetables and coconut.

Avial is a gentle dish from Kerala. It is a thick mixture of vegetables and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. In essence, the vegetables are boiled or steamed and then dressed with the coconut-cumin-yoghurt sauce. Each family’s sauce is different from the next family’s. In our recipe today we are using cumin in the sauce.

Avial is considered an essential part of the Sadya, the Keralite vegetarian feast. It is commonly made with elephant yam, plantain, pumpkin, carrots, beans, Eggplant, cucumber, drumsticks and snake gourd. Carrots and beans are recent but delicious introduction. Bitter gourd can be included in some regions also.

Continue reading “Avial | Aviyal | Vegetables in a Coconut and Yoghurt Sauce | From Kerala, India”

Sweet Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal without Milk

A beautiful sweet dish for Pongal, or any time. Enjoy!

A great dish at any time, sweet, nourishing and comforting, and especially good for the South Indian Thai Pongal Festival and similar festivals in other parts of India, in January. A mixture of rice and mung dal sweetened with jaggery, it is a warming and comforting dish.

You might be looking for other Pongal recipes. There are sweet versions (sakkarai), and you might like to try the others: Sakkarai Pongal from Jaffna; Sakkarai Pongal with Milk and Sakkaria Pongal without Milk.

And there is a savoury version, called Ven Pongal. You can see that one here.

Or browse all of our Kitchadi recipes here, and our Rice recipes here. Have a look at all of our Indian dishes. You might like to take some time and browse all of our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Sweet Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal without Milk”

Thengai Saadham | South Indian Coconut Rice

Try this coconut rice from Sth India with your next curry.

In Australia, rice as a savoury dish was rare until perhaps the 1990’s. We grew up rarely eating rice – in fact I can’t really remember my mother cooking it other than as a sweet dish. And as Australia adopted rice as an accompaniment to savoury dishes, it was always plain boiled rice to soak up sauces – the occasional curry, English stews, vegetable braises etc. Times have changed and we have been influenced by our Asian and Indian migrant populations, and many families would now own a rice cooker.

This is a South Indian Coconut rice dish from Tamil Nadu. There is a Balinese Coconut Rice also, Nasi Lemak, you can see it here. The Balinese one is made with coconut cream, while this recipe is made with fresh/frozen coconut.

Similar recipes include Kiribath – Sri Lankan Coconut Rice, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, and Balinese Coconut Rice.

You might also like to try Urad Dal Garlic Rice, Peppered Rice, Tamarind Rice and Mango Rice.

There are several ways to cook rice – Absorption method, Steaming or Oven Finished Rice.

Check our different Coconut Rice Recipes. Or simply browse all of the Rice dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Thengai Saadham | South Indian Coconut Rice”

Pepper Rice | South India

An exquisite dish, flavoured beautifully with the pepper, balanced with curry leaves and sesame seeds

There are so many recipes for rice, especially rice flavoured with other ingredients. Carrot Rice. Lemon Rice. Curd Rice. Tamarind Rice. Sesame Rice. Coconut Rice. Green Mango Rice.

Pepper rice is easy to make and the aroma! It is an exquisite dish, flavoured beautifully with the pepper – the flavour is so well balanced, not too hot but hot enough (it is pepper after all). Pepper here is the main ingredient, and the rice is the carrier.

This recipe has pepper as the main ingredient, with curry leaves and sesame seeds to offset the heat of pepper. The aromatic flavour of curry leaves, the mild nutty taste of sesame seeds and the sharp flavour of pepper blend into the rice giving it an irresistible authentic flavour.

Are you after other Mixed Rice recipes? Try Carrot Rice, Spicy Eggplant Rice, and Golden Turmeric Rice. You might also like to try Kolache Poha, Coconut Rice, and Kampung Rice.

What about Pepper in recipes? Try Black Pepper Tofu and Pepper Rasam.

Browse all of our Mixed Rice dishes, and all of our general Rice dishes. Checkout all of our Pepper recipes too. Explore our Indian recipes here, or be inspired by our Late Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Pepper Rice | South India”