Vermicelli & Sago in Sweet Concoction of Raisins and Cashews|
Recipe Submitted by Kavitha Ramasamy.
"This is an easy to do south-Indian dessert. It is a milk-based dessert. The Indian name for this dessert is ‘payasam’. For Indians, ‘payasam’ is a must have dessert during festivities. Its’ sweetness marks the joyous mood of the people eating and enjoying happy moments. This dessert can be savored on its own but Indians usually have it with crispy appalams/pappadams (Indian flour crackers) and vadais (Indian donuts). The dessert comes in many variations but the recipe below is the base for most variations. It is an easy yet excellent treat for the sweet and even the not-so-sweet tooth.
Rock sugar is used in this recipe, which adds subtle, mellow flavor, as well as a translucent finish, to the dessert. For savory cooking rock sugar is preferred to its white granulated counterpart."
Vermicelli (broken into small pieces: 1/2 cup)
Cashew Nuts (broken pieces: 2 tbsp)
Water (2 cup)
Sago (1/2 cup)
Rock Sugar (1 large)
Milk (skim or full-cream: 2 cup)
Raisins (1 tbsp)
Grounded Cardamom Seeds or Powder (1/2 tsp)
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Orange-Red Artificial Food Coloring
Heat some ghee in a pan. Stir-fry the vermicelli and cashew nuts until they turn a golden brown. Keep them aside.
Boil the water in a pot with sago and sugar. When sago becomes translucent and sugar is melted, reduce the heat by half. Add the roasted ingredients and milk. Continue to stir the mixture frequently to prevent milk from sticking to bottom of the pot. Let it come to a roaring boil. The mixture should be a little thick, not watery at all. Remove pot from the stove. Add the last four ingredients and give the mixture a final stir.
Let mixture cool off. To enable quicker cooling, place a bowl of the mixture in a bigger pot/bowl of ice-cold water and ice-cubes. Can be served warm or chilled.
Editor's Note: Sago is a starch common in Indian cooking. You can find it in many Indian or Asian markets or even larger grocery store chains - and online. Sometimes it will be labeled as "sabudhana," "javvarisi," or pearl sago. In a pinch, pearl tapioca can usually be substituted with excellent results.