September 23, 2008

Cabbage Payasam (A South Indian Milk-based Sweet)

Printable version here.

Cabbage Payasam sounds weird, to say the least. That’s what I also thought the first time I saw the recipe. The credit for this recipe goes to Vasantha Moorthy, whose “Cabbage Rabadi” from the book “The Vegetarian Menu Book”, I have adapted to make this payasam.

The first time I ever made cabbage payasam, I was quite skeptical about a how a vegetable like cabbage (more famous among cabbage haters for its “smell”) could be a part of something so nice. This payasam has, however, been a hit every time I’ve served it  for its great taste and always elicits surprise and disbelief from our guests when they discover that there was “cabbage” in their payasam!




It’s my birthday today. I’m a year older and hopefully, a lot wiser.
Traditionally, birthdays are not big celebratory affairs except the first one. Birthdays start with offering prayers at a temple and then a more elaborate meal than usual where the sweet dish is always a payasam (a milk or coconut milk based sweet, usually made with rice or sometimes lentils or fruit like ripe plantain or jackfruit).

So today’s payasam was Cabbage Payasam and this is how I make it. Do ensure that the cabbage you use is as fresh as you can get it, with greenish leaves and tender. Payasam can be made with skim milk, but to get the full flavour of this preparation.

Ingredients:


1¼ cups finely chopped cabbage

1 litre milk (I used ½ L of 3% fat and ½ L of 4.5% fat)

½ cup sugar

1 tbsp chopped almonds

2 tbsp chopped pistachios

5 pods cardamom, powdered


Method:


Pour the milk into a thick bottom or heavy pan. Bring the milk to a boil, then add the cabbage. Allow to come to boil, turn down the heat and simmer till the cabbage has cooked and is soft.

Keep stirring frequently while the cabbage is cooking to ensure that cream does not form on the sides or the top and that the cabbage does not catch at the bottom of the pan. The milk in the pan should have reduced by more than a third of the original quantity.

Add the sugar and the chopped almonds and 1 tbsp of the chopped pistachios. Cook further till the milk-cabbage mixture is a little thicker. Add the cardamom powder, mix well and take the payasam off the heat.

The consistency of the payasam should be such that you can drink it from a glass. If you would like it thick enough to serve in dessert bowls, just before adding the cardamom powder, mix about 1 ½ tbsp of rice flour in 3 tbsp of cold milk and add this to the cabbage-milk mixture while stirring constantly. This will cause the payasam to thicken a little. Pour into individual bowls and garnish with the remaining 1 tbsp of chopped pistachios.

Serve chilled. This recipe serves 4 to 5.

I have to apologise for the quality of my picture as it really doesn’t do justice to the payasam. Please don’t let it discourage you from trying it out. Hopefully, next time I shall be able to take better ones to replace this.

27 comments:

Cham said...

Vegetable payasam , wow sounds very interesting. But Cabbage has a weird smell i am wondering ur sweet smell :)
Looks pretty Aparna

Happy cook said...

Happy birthday to you Aparna.
Yeah i did get a shock when i read the title and i sure had to come and check to see if i readit correct

sunita said...

many happy returns of the day, Aparna...and that is definitely a different recipe :-)

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Mishmash ! said...

Many many happy returns, Aparna :)

yeah the title did sound weird to me :D

Curry Leaf said...

WARM BIRTHDAY WISHES,I am curious abot the taste of this dish.fusion of veg and sweets

usha said...

happy birthday aparna! interesting vegetable to use for payasam... your payasam picture looks great... :)

Divya Vikram said...

Looks just delicious..Am bookmarking this..Thanks for the recipe..And my birthday wishes to u Aparna..

jayasree said...

Belated B'day wishes to you, Aparna. Payasam with cabbage? I am sure I wouldnot have bothered to give it a try if I had read in a cookbook. But now with your assurance, I might give a try.

Sunshinemom said...

Belated 'Happy Birthday', Aparna, and thanks for the cabbage payasam - who new the humble cabbage had such inner qualities:)

Rachel said...

Birthday Wishes to you Aparna!

A very novel payasam atleast to me :) Have a great year ahead and many more to come...

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Aparna! Happy birthday to you!. Please sing while you read these lines. I hope you have a wonderful day filled with laughter and fun. I will take your word and make this payasum sometime soon.

Annarasa said...

Wishing you a great day and a wonderful year!! Happy Birthday:)
Apu

Srivalli said...

Happy birthday dear Aparna..may you enjoy many more with family and cook lots of such weird dishes for us..heheheh...but seriously the picture looks very elegant!..won't have guessed its cabbage...

Sia said...

never in my wildest dream i would have thought of using cabbage in payasa.
wishing u many many happy returns of the day girl :)

Priya said...

Wishing u many more happy returns of the day Aparna...too tempting paayasam..bookmarked..

sra said...

Belated Happy Birthday, Aparna!

I saw a recipe for Cabbage Kheer pinned to a notice board in my gym, shuddered silently and walked away hurriedly! But then, I've heard of brinjal and onion halwas as well, this has got to be better!

Yours looks as normal as payasam can be!

Rajani said...

wishing you a belated happy birthday! the cabbage payasam looks nice, I am really tempted to try it out. but yes i do worry how well it will go down with others, but i think my mother might be game!

Ivy said...

Hi Aparna, Happy Birthday to you (come on sing it again).. Needless to say that I was surprised to see cabbage in a dessert but you picture is just fine.

Usha said...

Happy Birthday Aparna...the payasam looks wonderful...I would have never ever thought of using cabbage in payasam...

Bharti said...

Happy Birthday dear! I hope you have a wonderful year.
Really? Cabbage in a dessert? That just sounds unbelievable!

Srividya said...

Belated happy birthday Aparna. I have to try cabbage payasam one day.:)

Madhuram said...

Belated b'day wishes Aparna. I've also heard about this before, but did not get the courage to try it. I have made payasam using ridgegourd though.

Sudeshna said...

Hi Aparna,
I always thought cabbages are meant for salads and side dishes, but cabbage for dessert is absolutely new for me. This is a really lovely recipe. I have stumbled your post too. Catch me at my blog, hope you'll like it.

bee said...

happy birthday, dear aparna. i'm really sorry you had to eat cabbage, though. :D i refuse to believe this didn't stink.

Jayashree said...

Cabbage payasam??? I Don't think I'll ever muster up the courage to try this, but I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

Aparna said...

Thanks for all those wonderful birthday wishes.

Like I said, I had the same reaction when I first saw cabbage in a sweet dish. But believe me its very nice. Tastes and looks a lot like palada pradhaman.

And Bee, thanks for the commiseration, but I actually like cabbage.:)