Desserts/payasam are part of every celebration and festive occasion in Kerala. There are different verities of payasams, but let me talk about some fruit payasams that are my absolute favorites. I must confess that a perfect fruit payasams we need patience, but the result is an exotic and extremely appetizing dessert.Chakka/Jack fruit, pazham/ plantain and mambazhayam/mango payasam/pradhaman are among the best of fruit payasams.Pineapple pradhaman /payasam was new to me. I tried this for the first time at my cousins wedding. It was yellow in color and I am sure was made with sugar.It was a payasam to die for, extremely flavorful and sweet. I wanted to try a home made version of pineapple payasam and opted jaggery instead of sugar. This was part of our Vishu Sadhya ( Malayali New Year) and it was yummy. I read once that pineapple takes longer time to cook and for curries its flavor is best when it is cooked and mushy. So make sure you cook this down really well, this will also enhance the natural sweetness and gives it a caramelized flavor and taste.Try this jaggery version,you will surely love it.
Pineapple- 3 cups- pureed
Pineapple finely chopped- 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 kg
Ghee- 3 tbs
Sugar- 3 tbs
Thick coconut milk- 1 cup
Thin coconut milk- 3 cups
Cashew nuts and raisins- a few
Dry ginger powder- 1/2 tsp
Cardamon powder- 1/2 tsp
Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan and roast cashew nuts and raisin,drain and set aside.
In the same pan add finely chopped pineapples and fry for 4-5minutes and then the pineapple puree. Return it back to the pan and simmer.Stir in between and allow to cook and thickens till it resembles jelly or halwa. The mixture will start leaving the edges of the pan. Add thin coconut milk and sugar and simmer.
In a pan melt jaggery using one cup of water. Allow it to boil till the jaggery melts. Strain and add to the pineapple mixture and cook for 12-15 minutes till it thicken and reaches the desired consistency. Mix in thick coconut milk, cardamom powder and ginger powder.
After one minute switch off the flame. Finally garnish with fried cashew nuts and raisins. You can also add ghee fried coconut pieces.
Hope you will all enjoy!