Carrot Payasam (4 Servings)

Ingredients

Carrot 250 g

Sugar 1½ cups (½ cup if condensed milk used)

Almond 20 pieces

Milk 2 cups when condensed milk used (3 cups if only milk used)

Ghee (clarified butter) 1 tbsp

Saffron 1 pinch soaked in milk

Condensed milk ½ tin

Method

Soak the almonds in warm water and after removing the skin grind into a smooth paste.

Grate the carrots or cut into small pieces and cook till tender. When it has cooled grind into a coarse paste.

Heat ghee in a wok and fry the carrot till the color starts changing. Add the almond paste and cook till the mix blends well. Add the sugar and cook till sugar has melted. Add the condensed milk and stir well (on a low flame). Add the milk and remove from fire. Add saffron and chill the kheer before serving.

Chef’s Note:

In case you are using only milk heat the milk in a wide vessel till it reduces to half the quantity before adding it to kheer. Add 1½ cups of sugar when no condensed milk is used.

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Milagu Kuzhambu (6 Servings)

Ingredients

Tamarind (fibreless)   1 lemon-sized ball

Pepper corns 1½ tsp

Dry red chilles 8 to 10

Coriander seeds 1 tsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Asafotida ½ tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Arahar dal 1 tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Curry leaves 1/3 cup

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Oil 2 tbsp

Jaggery small piece (optional)

Method

Soak the tamarind in warm water for about half-an-hour.

Heat about a teaspoon of oil and roast all the ingredients (chillies, pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dals – in that order) till you start getting the aroma.

Add the roasted ingredients in the blender along with the soaked tamarind and grind to a smooth paste. Add the salt, asafotida, and curry leaves and grind well. transfer the mix to a pan and add water to make a thick fluid.

Heat oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds. When it starts spluttering pour the mix in  the mix and let it thicken on low heat till the mix starts boiling.  Add the jaggery when the mix is boiling. Serve hot.

Kept in the refrigerator, this can stay good for 10 days.

Chef’s note

If you do not want a thick kuzhambu, extract the  pulp from the tamarind instead of grinding it with the masala.