To mark the advent of the new year a feast spread is usually cooked at home. A full course lunch with a sweet dish and some fried stuff features in the menu on this occasion.
In recent times I have cut short the quantity; neither do I cook as many items. However, the sweet dish and the vadai have not gone off the list yet. I made the poori payasam to mark the new year and the mandatory maanga and veppampoo pachchidi. Dishes those are cooked specially on this occasion are to bring out the six forms of taste and this practice symbolically indicates that life is a mix of good and not so good, but we have to accept that as it is and learn to live through the same.
1/4 cup semolina
1 tablespoon sugar
Ghee for deep frying the pooris
1 litre whole milk
100 grams sugar
few strands of saffron dissolved in one table spoon milk
1/2 teaspoon powdered cardamom
One tine pinch of crushed nutmeg
Mix the semolina with one tablespoon sugar and salt with just enough water to form a slightly stiff dough.
Cover the same with a damp cloth and leave aside for about 20 minutes.
Knead again for a few minutes to make the dough elastic.
Pinch out small size balls and roll out thin discs. Or opt to roll a big circular disc very thin and cut out strips.
Heat the ghee to almost smoking. Deep fry the rolled out dough until very crisp.
Meanwhile boil the milk in a heavy bottom utensil and simmer on low fire to reduce it to about 3/4ths of the initial volume. Keep the fire low and let the milk be simmering. Add the sugar and allow it to dissolve completely. Finally add the saffron and the powdered condiments to the milk.
As you take the fried poori off the ghee, Drain and quickly dunk it in the simmering milk.
Allow the pooris to soak in the milk for an hour.
Serve at room temperature or chilled or if you desire so, warm the payasam to just above room temperature.
Usually no other garnishing is required.
The texture and taste of this payasam is most certainly worth the effort.