Saturday, 7 August 2010

A Request and a Golden Old Recipe...

Before going into the recipe, I would like to share something different and also request a small favour from all of my readers out there. If you remember, I had mentioned in my previous post about me participating in a food photography contest organized by Leites Culinaria. I am happy to share you all that my picture of Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies is one of the ten finalists entrees. The final judgement is at the end of this month and there is a voting going on in their site at the moment which continues until 28th august. Please don’t forget to vote for me, if you liked my entry. Here is my entry picture which was entered in the contest:

Musaara Varakiyathu (An ancient Malabar Muslim Payasam based on wheat, coconut and Bengal Gram)

Now, coming to today's recipe, have you heard of this much popular, but an old Malabar Muslim payasam aka pudding – Musara Varakiyathu? It would be new to many out there since it is not quite a famous one. To tell you, if I were to choose one payasam among all the payasams I have ever had, this one would top almost all. Creamy and smooth with little bites from the Bengal Gram; this payasam is just my kind of payasam, a pure bliss. It is a concoction made of ground wheat, coconut and cooked channa dal and sweetened with sugar unlike many other payasam usually sweetened with Jaggery or Molasses. This payasam is prepared on just few occasions like Eid and on 15 th of Sha’aban (Arabic Month), the month before Holy Ramadan – the month of fasting.

There are few other versions of this pudding called Kaayikkari and Chakkara Choru, with almost same ingredients, but with slight difference. In kaayikkari along with the above mentioned ingredients, we also add rice dumplings and Chopped plantains – Quite rich and time consuming as well, I certainly wouldn’t dare making it all alone. Here, wheat is sometimes replaced with rice, both of which are meant for thickening the payasam. Most famous and favourite one would be Chakkara Chor, which is made of whole wheat instead of ground ones and coconut. Specially prepared white coloured jaggery, which is similar to the condensed milk is used to sweeten this particular pudding, which is no more available now. So, regular sugar is used as a substitute. I have made it quite a few times before but I just dint get the right taste that I was looking for. Finally, I had to prepare again couple of weeks back during 15th Sha’aban and it just turned out like my mom's.

Musaara Varakiyathu has the consistency of medium thick pourable custard. It starts thickening as it sits and can even slice into shapes, not really neat ones though; after it is chilled. But it can be served hot, warm or chilled. If you plan to chill it, pour into desired dish while hot, cover with cling film, and let it come to room temperature before chilling. The picture was taken after several hours of making, so it has thickened further than what it was just after cooking.


1 cup skinned whole wheat
¾ cup Bengal gram (Kadala Paripp)
3 cups (300g) freshly grated coconut
1 ½ - 1 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
½ tspful salt
6 – 12 cardamoms crushed (Add it according to your taste and love for cardamom)
2 Cups whole milk
4 cups water


1. Wash wheat and soak them overnight.

2. Cook Bengal gram until done, soft, but not mushy.

3. Grind wheat and coconut along with milk until smooth adding water if necessary.

4. Pass the ground mixture through a sieve squeezing down as much as liquid as possible.

5. There will be lot of residue left. Squeeze them to extract all possible liquid out of it.

6. Put the residue back to the grinder/juicer and more water and grind them for couple of minutes. Pass this again through the sieve and press to extract all the liquid. Discard the residue left behind.

7. Pour this liquid into a large saucepan, add remaining water if left and cooked dal and cook on a low heat, by stirring continuously until the mixture starts to thicken and boil. It should take around 20 minutes.

8. Once it comes to gentle boil, add sugar and salt, stir well and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add crushed cardamom, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes, all done at low heat. Serve hot, warm or chilled.


1.One important thing to be noted is, you have to keep stirring the mixture continuously in the beginning until it starts to boil. Else the mixture will sediment and will start to form nasty lumps. So don’t forget to stir continuously. It should take a good 20 minutes for the mixture to cook and you can notice the liquid thickening as it goes.

2. Don’t boil for too long as the payasam will get thickened. If it did, add some milk and loosen it. Don’t forget to adjust sugar if you add more milk.

3. Payasam is usually sweeter when it is warm and less sweet if served cold.

Update: 12/08/2010

For those of you who find it difficult using fresh cocont can replace coconut by coconut milk powder
For that Method is slmost similar, but a few changes.

1. Mix coconut milk powder (250 grams) in 2 cups of hot water until well dissoved. Keep it aside

2. Grind wheat in whole milk and process as mentioned in step 4, 5 and 6.

3. Add the wheat and milk mixture to a large bowl, pour in coconut milk solution, cooked dal and then continue cooking as mantioned in step 7 and 8. I have never prepared it this way, and this is my mom's approximate measurements. Please add or reduce water, milk and sugar as necessary.

This post of mine goes to the event: Iftar Moments Hijri 1431 hosted by Ayeesha of Pearl City.

This recipe also goes for the event Joy From Fasting to feasting hosted by Lubna of KitchenFlavours.

This recipe is going to be an entree in Monthly Mingle - Party treats events hosted by sara of sara's corner, which was  originally started by Meeta.


Suji said...


Congrats on making it to the finals..I loved your pic and have voted for you, Good luck....

That glass of payasam looks simply great...

Suji (Kairali sisters)

Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) said...

looks divine...lovely payassam...gorgeous white n cute presentation..

Umm Mymoonah said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful looking dessert.

Unknown said...

wow, wow, wow, what a beautiful looking desert, loving every pic and enjoying it virtually.

I will surely vote for you as I looooooooooooove your photography :)

RV said...

Congratulations once again Shabs. Wishing you to win this contest. And the wheat payasam looks delectable and you have shared so much information and you have made the whole process simple.

Nithu Bala said...

Dear Shab, Congrats for being on the final list of the photography competition...Good luck:-) Have just voted for you...

Delicious payasam recipe..loved it..perfect for umm's event..

Hari Chandana P said...

Done. Gud luck dear :)

Saraswathi Iyer said...

Hi Shabs, you can send in any vegetarian dish which suits the party theme. Yes you can send in. thanks for visiting my blog.

Melodie said...

This looks amazing. I have never heard of this and so appreciate you linking it up at my carnival. Thank you and good luck!

Lidia said...

Congratulation for being on the final list, your photo is so beautifull.........I will vote for you!
Love your paysam recipe, never tested but it looks so good!!

Bergamot said...

good luck to you on the competition... the payasam looks good..i generally do not much care for payasam but this one is something I too would like try in Ramadan. One question - What do you mean by skinless wheat

Sailaja Damodaran said...

Just now voted.All the best to you.Looks like your have already celebrating the victory with a super payasam.

Ms.Chitchat said...

Congratulations on being one of the finalists. Loved ur click and voted for u too:)Hope and wish u win.

Unknown said...

I've never heard of that desert, but it looks lovely. I am sure I would like it because i LOVE cardamom.
Congratulations on the brownies daaaaahling, it really is a fabulous picture.
HOpe you are having a great weekend.
*kisses* HH

Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

Shab thats a great news...I will definitely vote for you. and the picture is very the payasam too. your foodography is great.

Shabs.. said...

Thank u all for the support.

Reshmi Ahmed said...

Hi Shabs,
i have given my vote for u :) all the very best to u !!!!!
ur payasam looks yummy yummy.

Roshu said...

ramadan is on the way...thanks a ton for this recipe

Shabs.. said...

Thank u all for the support and kind words..

Roshu, if you r trying it out, let me know how it turned out for u.

Nitha said...

Your photo is really great and congrats on making to the final.. Already made my vote there..

The payasam looks delicious..

Nitha said...

Yeah Shabs. .The meringues are really sweet.. Perfect for sweet tooth people like me..

I tried out the lemon cake and came out perfect.. Did some alterations to ur recipe; still you remain the inspirer.. Shall post it soon..

Fathima said...

Congrats for getting selected as a finalist! That payasam looks yum... will definitely make during Ramadan....

Valarmathi Sanjeev said...

Congratulations Shabs. Beautiful pic..i have voted for you.

Payasam looks lovely and yummy. Wonderful pic, nice presentation.

Nands said...

Hi Shabs,

Congrats for making it to the finals. Loved your pic and has voted for you.


Unknown said...

YOu have a lovely space over here....will surely vote for you and will be in touch with you....Your food photography is just awesome...

Jehanne said...

hi there, came across your blog only yesterday and I tried your chicken fry masala with neychoru today and it turned out to be fabulous! thank yu for giving out wonderful recipes on your blog, and I hope you make it through the food photography competition. Just curious, are you working or fulltime housewife?bcoz u seem to manage your time really well blogging and cooking, impressive!

Pavithra Elangovan said...

Hey shabs I really loved this dessert.. the whole wheat which u have mentioned is the normal wheat which we make atta? or if it is different post the picture of that or send any link to me dear.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Congratulations on your photo getting there - it is beautiful and I'll vote for you!

Sushma Mallya said...

Congrats shabs,will surely vote for you as your pics are always beautiful and very professional...sorry shabs couldnt reply that day as amit does keep me busy all day and planning to go for a vacation as well...

Shabs.. said...

Thanks u all for the support and vote.

Nitha, thx for trying out the cake...Iam glad u liked has become our family fave now!

Thanks for trying out the recipes and the feedback. And thank you so much for ur lovely comment, it really brought a smile:).BTW, I am not working at the moment, just looking for jobs. That's y i am able to manage cooking and blogging. I guess once I start working, this blog is gonna be dead:(

@Pavi, I will try to take a better pic of the wheat and put it up. But for the time being, You can find it in my Alisa recipe. It is under malabar recipes label.By the way, I dono which wheat is used for making atta, but i think thats the one!


Shabs.. said...

Thanks u all for the support and vote.

Nitha, thx for trying out the cake...Iam glad u liked has become our family fave now!

Thanks for trying out the recipes and the feedback. And thank you so much for ur lovely comment, it really brought a smile:).BTW, I am not working at the moment, just looking for jobs. That's y i am able to manage cooking and blogging. I guess once I start working, this blog is gonna be dead:(

@Pavi, I will try to take a better pic of the wheat and put it up. But for the time being, You can find it in my Alisa recipe. It is under malabar recipes label.By the way, I dono which wheat is used for making atta, but i think thats the one!


Shah cooks said...

sorry for the late response.. i was just thinking abt how much ur fotos have improved when i read ur post. really great going and u have my vote.
as for the musara.. looks abs. delish.. i love the rice pidi kadalakari, but never heard of this one. we have godumbu varakiyathu which is made with whole wheat, not paste. will paste this and let u know.

Unknown said...

assalamualaikum shab,

ur blog is devine..awesome..mashallh mussaara is soo tempting..!here we call it as we add banana pieces...!keep going take care allah bless uu..

Parita said...

Congratulations! Will definately vote for you dear, love that click! Payasam looks so festive!

shahana said...

Hi dear,Loved your pic alot n my vote is 4 u for sure.

Shabs.. said...

@mallugirl....thanks dearie...i have learned to handle camera after starting a blog!we too have quite a few versions of this one....we are not actually a afan of the the pidi version.

@shenaz,Waalaikum mussalaam
Thank u so much for stopping by, ur comment and blessings. We also call kaicurry for the same one with banana peices...i dint know this name actually. This name is an ancient name and i dont think it's in use anymore..its called kaicurry generally, but we have it with with or without kai:)...Here sinc ei dint use kai(ripe plantain), i dint feel like calling it kaicurry.

@parita,thanx dear.



Unknown said...

I just voted for you..Congrats on getting selected to the finals and good luck!!

Never heard of this payasam before, it looks very beautiful..Lovely pictures!!

Asha @ FSK said...

Congrats on being selected as finalist for the Leite's Culinarya contest!! Your photo is gorgeous!! Justly deserved ! :)) Good Luck for winning :))

Nachiketa said...

congratulations on making it to the finals... just voted for you.

The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

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