Thursday, February 8, 2018

Samba Ravai Paysasam - Broken Wheat Pudding

Around the Kongu Nadu region of Tamil Nadu the wheat product of choice was samba ravai or broken wheat not wheat flour. Before making chapathi became popular, this broken wheat product had a special place in the Kongu kitchens. I doubt if I had eaten white ravai upma that often. Upma as a breakfast item was not a favorite among the younger set and the white upma was even more disliked than the samba ravai upma.

Unlike the almost pasty white ravai - the cream of wheat or white ravai which is made from the wheat kernel where the bran and the germ are substantially removed - not so good. Samba revai in contrast is made from whole wheat kernels - good for you.

Take a look at this pictorial which shows the different parts of the wheat kernel.

Courtesy: Great Harvest of Thousand Oaks, California.

As we all know using the whole grain is better than just loading up on the endosperm or the starchy portions of the grain. Samba ravai comes up with its own benefits. While samba ravai upma is the more popular recipe made from samba ravai, believe it or not it is perfect for making dessert. While its white counterpart is not my favorites for making payasam, the samba ravai has a texture that is suitable for making payasam. Quick, easy and delicious and ready in less than 20 minutes.

Have you heard of sara paruppu or charoli in Hindi? Called Buchanania lanzan in English, these are tiny nuts with a mild taste of almonds and are often found as garnish in sweets. These are perfect for this payasam.

Samba Ravai Payasam
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  1. 1 cup of Samba Ravai / broken wheat
  2. 2 1/2 cups of milk
  3. 1/2 - 3/4 cups of sugar - used raw sugar
  4. 2 tbsp raisins
  5. 1/4 cups of cashews + Sara Paruppu (Charoli in Hindi)
  6. 2 tsp ghee
  7. cardamom powder
  8. saffron threads a few
  1. In a thick bottomed pan heat milk, till it comes to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for another 5-8 minutes in medium heat.
  2. Add the samba ravai and let it cook for another 8 minutes or so while continuously stirring to avoid getting burned or stuck in the bottom.
  3. Add sugar part way through the cooking process.
  4. While the wheat is cooking, heat a pan and add ghee, roast the nuts cashews and charoli, when they slightly turn color add the raisins and saute for a minute. Turn off the heat.
  5. Add the roasted nuts and raisins, to the cooked wheat. Sprinkle saffron threads if using and turn off the heat.

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