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.

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