I guess I have been working on all the challenges this month. I can't believe it myself! All the other posts, apart from the challenges are pulled from my drafts. When the dip in cooking happens, challenges do boost up your mood. What I do is I print out the recipe challenge and post it on my fridge door based on what to post first. So each time I go up and down the kitchen, my eyes go on it and the date of posting. That helps me to keep a mental calculation of the last date by which I should finish making it. Another thing I do is that most of the time, or almost every time I halve the recipe. You will always see that my posts serve not more than 4. This helps me to control our intake - most of the challenges are unfortunately sweet posts and though I wish to skip, just because I am tempted, I go ahead and make them but ensure that I only have a small piece to enjoy, so does the whole family. Once we like it, then I repeat it at a later date in a larger quantity. There are two pointers to this - if the recipe succeeds, everybody enjoys it in limits and if it fails, at least I know I am not trashing a huge quantity, which Alhamdulillah, has happened to very rarely and I always pray that I don't have to trash food!
For the Shh Cooking Secretly Challenge
for this month, I was teamed with Sujata
and was given the ingredients - chana dal and jaggery. Nothing came to my mind apart from this pradhaman. Pradhaman, which literally means "the first" is a type of kheer prepared with jaggery and coconut milk as the base. This is how it differs from payasam, which is made with a milk and sugar base. In fact, I never knew the difference still I started blogging and I must say blogger friends like Meena
made me understand the basic difference. It had been long since we had enjoyed some pradhaman at home and during a weekend afternoon, we made it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you, Sujatha for the wonderful choice!
Kadala Parippu Pradhaman
3/4 cup kadala parippu (chana dal)
1 block (200 gm approx) jaggery
1 cup moonam paal (really thin coconut milk)
3/4 cup randaam paal (thin coconut milk)
1/2 cup onnaam paal (thick coconut milk)
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp ghee
3 tbsp coconut cuts
Wash the kadala parippu well. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pressure cooker and roast the dal till fragrant. Add a cup of water and pressure cook for 6 to 7 whistles. Switch off and allow the pressure to go by itself. At the end of the cooking, the dal would be mushy but not totally mashed.
Meanwhile, add 1/2 cup of water to the jaggery and melt it completely. Drain the jaggery mixture for any impurities. Add to the cooked dal along with ginger and cumin powder and start boiling.
Simmer for around 10 minutes till the mixture starts getting thick. Add in the moonaam paal and cook further for 10-15 minutes till the pradhaman starts to get thick. Add the randaam paal and cook further till it thickens. Finally add the onnam paal, cook for another minute and immediately switch off. Do not boil after adding the onnaam paal otherwise it will break.
Heat remaining ghee. Fry the coconut pieces, then the cashews and raisins. Pour into the prepared pradhaman. Serve hot or cold as per your preference!
1. You can dry roast the dal instead of doing it in ghee.
2. I used karupatti/ palm jaggery in this recipe. You can use any type of jaggery as per your wish. Thank you Sathya
for clarifying, it indeed gave a nice flavor to the pradhaman!
2. Ensure to cook the dal along with the thin coconut milks for sufficient time so that the dal gets cooked thoroughly. You need a bit of patience for this. Otherwise, when you serve, you will have the liquid on the top and the dal at the bottom of the pitcher, which is not a very interesting scene! Cook on low flame till you feel satisfied with the thickening.
3. As it cools, it tends to thicken. Add a bit of warm water to loosen up.
4. To know how to make coconut milk, you can refer to this post
. However, I resorted to the easier way of making it with coconut milk powder - for moonnaam paal, I used 1 tsp in 1 cup of water, for randaam paal, I used 1 tsp in 3/4 cup water and for the onnaam paal, I used 1 heaped tsp in 1/2 cup of water.
Would you want to know what Sujatha cooked up with the ingredients I gave her? Then please do check out her post! :)
To see the other posts that I had done for this challenge, you can check out here