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Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Claypot Cooking: Poha Payasam with Almond Milk

అటుకుల పాయసము

Claypot
Claypot Cooking: Poha Payasam with Almond Milk

I had been looking for a decent clay pot for cooking for a long time. Last weekend, I have come across one at a local grocery shop called Apna Bazar. The clay pot is from India, very well crafted and decorated with pretty floral design. The size is good and it also has a well-fitted lid. Price $12.

I brought the clay pot home, prepped it by soaking in water and then simmering the water for few times, half an hour each time. Simmering was done on stovetop following the clay-pot cooking principles. First warm the pot on low heat and then gradually increase the heat to medium level. I never tried high heat setting fearing that it might crack. Although it was on electric stovetop, this method has worked very well. Like the iron box on steam setting, the clay pot hissed every time, but absorbed this newbie trails kindly. I felt confident enough to try out the real deal and did the opening ceremony with payasam preparation yesterday. The sweetness that comes with clay pot cooking, combined with sweetness of the payasam, it was a good experience.

The following poha payasam with almond milk is very easy to make. And I think, it has a taste that delights most everyone. If you prefer, semiya or sabudana can be substituted for poha.


Toasted Poha, Golden Raisins and Chironji Nuts

Recipe:
(for two to four people, for one meal)

3 cups almond milk (badam paalu)
½ cup maple syrup (or sugar to taste)

1-tablespoon ghee
2- tablespoons golden raisins
1-tablespoon chironji (Saarapappu or charoli)
1-cup poha (atukulu, rice flakes)
1 teaspoon freshly crushed cardamom

1. Place almond milk in a wide pot on stovetop. Add maple syrup. Slowly, on medium-low heat, simmer for about 20 minutes, until three cups have reduced to about two and half cups.

2. While almond milk is simmering, in a small kadai or wok, take ghee. On medium heat, warm the ghee. Add golden raisins and saute, constantly stirring. Wait until they puff up like round balloons. It’s a beautiful sight and worth the wait. With a slotted spoon, remove the balloons to a plate.
Add chironji nuts to the kadai. Toast them to pale red. Take them out and add poha. Toast for couple of minutes just until they are warm to touch. Together, they will look like shown in the photo above.

3. Add the toasted poha, golden balloons and chironji nuts to simmering almond milk. Sprinkle the crushed cardamom. Mix. Turn off the heat immediately. Cover the pot and let the poha absorb the almond milk. Poha is like cereal flakes, softens quickly.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Just before serving, drizzle a tablespoon of maple syrup. This poha paysam with almond milk is as nutritious as it is tasty and makes a comforting dessert for people who fear the hormonal effects of regular milk and soymilk.

Claypot
Claypot Cooking: Poha (Atukula) Payasam with Almond Milk

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Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Almonds, Poha (Atukulu), Indian Sweets 101 (Thursday April 10, 2008 at 2:26 pm- permalink)
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Rosematta Atukula Upma

Upma with rice flakes or poha, also known as “Atukula Upma” in Telugu, is a favorite at thousands of road-side stalls specializing in serving quick meals in Andhra, India. The preparation starts with sautéing of vegetables, seasoning and then moistened poha is added. Cilantro, lime juice and roasted peanuts are the garnish, and it is served hot with a side order of coffee or tea. For centuries, this common food fare is a “fills the belly and wards off the hunger” kind of morning meal whether one works as a tenured servant or as a daily laborer.

For our meal today, I have prepared the upma with rosematta poha. The red colored rosematta rice grains which have been parboiled, are flattened by heavy rollers, then dried naturally. This produces coral colored rosematta poha with pronounced nutty taste, which is just addictive. Keeping up with the upcoming season and the festivals, I have added green chickpea sprouts and pistachios to upma. Coral and green, it was a good meal.


Rosematta Atukulu and Green Chickpea Sprouts

Recipe:
(makes a sparse meal for two)

2 cups Poha (atukulu, rice flakes)
1 red onion or 3 small shallots - finely chopped
3 - Indian or Thai variety green chillies - finely chopped
1 cup - chickpea sprouts (small brown or green variety)
¼ cup - roasted and unsalted pistachios (or peanuts)
¼ cup - finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

for seasoning:
1 tablespoon - peanut oil
1 tablespoon - urad dal - toasted dal tastes wonderful in upma
¼ teaspoon each - cumin and mustard seeds
1 sprig - fresh curry leaves
¼ teaspoon - turmeric
Salt and lime juice to taste

Heat oil in a wide skillet. When oil starts to shimmer, add and toast curry leaves, urad dal, cumin & mustard seeds- in that order. When seeds start to pop, add the onion, chilli and chickpea sprouts. Saute to tender, for about five minutes.

Add the pistachios and cilantro. Sprinkle turmeric and salt. Mix.

While they are cooking, add poha to water and submerge for about 30 seconds. Quickly drain into a colander, or with your hands remove and add the poha to the skillet. (This is done to moisten the poha and do not keep them in water for long. They’ll lose the bite and turn to mushy.)

Toss to mix, and stir-fry for two to three minutes. Serve hot.

Atukula Upma with Chicory Coffee
Worshipping the Verdant Season with Coral Atukula Upma

Health Labels:
Traditional India-Vegan, Diet-friendly
Rosematta Poha: Carbohydrates, the complex kind
Chickpea Sprouts: Protein and Vitamins
Pistachios - Hormone-free fat
Spices - Digestion-aid and for well-being

Notes:
Tomatoes, beans, grated fresh coconut etc are also added to the poha upma.
Rosematta poha, purchased at Apna Bazar, Bellevue, WA.
Rosematta Poha Snack - the sweet kind, from Kerala.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Poha (Atukulu), Rosematta Rice (Tuesday March 11, 2008 at 6:03 pm- permalink)
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