Pradhaman is a popular payasam (kheer/pudding) served as a dessert in traditional Kerala feasts.
If you have lived in the South Indian state of Kerala, or if you know a Malayali (a Kerala native), you’ll know that the biggest festival in this part of the world is Onam. Though this harvest festival has its origins from the Hindu mythology, Onam has become a part of Malayalis‘ cultural identity and is celebrated by all Malayalis irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, or where they currently live!
According to the legends, Onam celebrates the annual visit of Kerala’s benevolent asura king Mahabali who was banished to the underworld, or patala, by Vamana. Mahabali is welcomed with celebrations spread over a period of ten days culminating on the last day “Thiruvonam“.
There’ll be a variety of activities happening over this festive period which includes boat races, floral arrangements (pookkalam), and many dances and martial art forms. One of the biggest attractions of Onam is the festive feast called Sadya. It’s a traditional vegetarian fare served on plantain leaves with a great variety of savoury dishes and desserts.
I have shared some of the popular Onam Sadya classics on this blog before (Avial, Theeyal, Erissery, Thoran). Those were all savoury dishes, and this time we are moving over to a dessert to conclude your sadya on a sweet note!
This pradhaman is a variety of payasam (pudding) made with rice, jaggery, coconut milk and a touch of ghee (clarified butter). It’s topped off with some fried cashew nuts, raisins and coconut chips, and finished off with a dusting of cardamom powder.
We’ll start by pressure cooking some rice. Melted jaggery is added to the cooked rice along with some ghee and slow-cooked to a sticky consistency. Thin coconut milk is added and simmered till it reduces. And finally, thick coconut milk is added, cooked for a couple of minutes before finishing off with the fried cashews, raisins, coconut chips, and cardamom powder.