- Cooked and pureed pumpkin - 1 cup heaped
- Powdered jaggery - 1 1/2 cups
- Coconut milk - 3 halves of coconut
- Coconut bits fried in ghee - 2 tblspn
- Dry ginger powder -1/2 tspn
Chop pumpkin into cubes. Pressure cook with just enough water to cover the pieces for 2 whistles. You can cook on stove top also till it is mashable. Drain the water and mash the pumpkin pieces till smooth. Alternatively can pulse for few seconds in the mixer grinder. The drained water can be used in soups.
Extract three sets of milk from freshly grated coconuts. I have written here about extracting milk.
Melt jaggery in a cup of water and strain for any impurities. Heat the melted jaggery syrup in a thick bottomed vessel. When the syrup thickens, stir in the pumpkin puree. Continue cooking till it thickens to a flaky consistency so that the pumpkin must have absorbed the sweetness very well. Add the third, thin coconut milk and keep stirring. When it reduces to half in volume, add the second, slightly thick coconut milk and continue cooking till it reduces to almost half in volume. Switch off the heat and stir in the first, thick coconut milk. Heat ghee in a pan and fry the coconut bits till brown. I did not have any coconut left so fried cashews instead. Add dry ginger powder.
My husband and mother-in-law and friends who tasted this payasam could not guess the ingredient as pumpkin. It was very tasty and creamy, similar to parippu pradhaman.
P.S Watch out for the review of a cook book, which contains recipes from a leading restaurant chain in India.