Friday, April 15, 2011

Palada Pradhaman

Ellavarkum ente Vishu Ashamsakal - Wishing you all a very happy New Year. 
“Vishu” is an important festival of Kerala. It marks the start of a new year. On this day, every malayali wakes up to see the ‘Vishukani (look below for mine)which is an arrangement of auspicious articles. Generally consists of an idol or photo of Lord Krishna, a decorated ‘Uruli’ (a shallow circular metal vessel) that contains raw rice, a gold ornament/ coin, yellow coloured fruits and vegetables, a mirror, a sacred book, betel leaves, yellow flowers 'konna' (cassia fistula), etc. Each member in the family is taken blindfolded and then they are made to see the Vishu Kani (that’s the first sight of the day). Then the children set out to burst crackers. After bath they wait for a very exciting custom, ‘Vishukkaineetam’ where the elders in the family distribute money to the younger ones (I still wait for it!). Then it’s time for the next best agenda of the day, ‘food’. Saddhya (feast) is a major part of all Kerala festivals and celebrations. My saddhya is going to be at mom’s place and it’s incomplete without a dessert, so here’s my contribution. “Palada Pradhaman” is the queen of payasams. Here’s an easy recipe of Palada Pradhaman 

Preparation time: 15minutes
Cooking time: 1 - 1.5 hours
Serves: 10-15

You need: 

200gms ready made rice ada(cooked rice flakes - I used double horse)
3 litres milk ( prefarably full fat milk)
1 cup water
750gms sugar
5-6 cardamoms (powdered)
2 tbsp ghee
15-20 cashew nuts (broken into two)
10 - 12 raisins

Wash ada in cold water
Soak in half litre of boiled water. Keep it covered for 10minutes and drain completely 

In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of ghee. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins and keep aside 

In a pressure cooker, add milk,water, sugar and ada. Cook on medium heat until the cooker releases one whistle. Turn off the heat 

Wait till it’s safe to open the cooker (instead of making it in a cooker, you can heat milk, sugar and ada in a thick bottom kadhai and stir continuously until it reaches a thick consistency, but a pressure cooker helps you save time) 

Open the cooker and you’ll notice that the pradhaman has changed to a light pink colour
The payasam shouls now be of a slightly thick consistency. (If not, stir gently on a medium flame for another 10mintes) 

Add powdered cardamom and fried cashwenuts n raisins…

Serve hot or chilled! Enjoy your feast!

Benefits of making pradhaman in a pressure cooker:

  • It’s faster 
  • It’s less stressful as you don’t need to keep stirring for hours together 
  • It helps in quick caramalisation of the sugar (so you get that pink colour faster) 
  • It tastes exactly like the traditional palada pradhaman 
  • It is the easiest way to make this yummy dessert!

Try it and post your comments...
Yours Tastefully!


  1. It was too good, Binitha! I just made semia payasam yestarday, so I may not venture into trying this immediately. But I definitely will! And I must tell you that you are doing a very noble and wonderful job. Only thing, I am not able to keep pace with (trying out your recipes) the speed at which you post recipes. Lots of pending recipes to be tried......:) Thanks once again!!!

  2. thank you so much for such a loving and encouraging comment. You make my new year even more special. Am glad you enjoyed the Palada pradhaman that i made. Do try it some other time.