August 10, 2018

Aval Payasam | Poha Kheer - vegan version

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Most often the terms Vegan and Vegetarianism are confused to be one and the same. However, there is a minute difference even though the underlying principle is the same i.e. staying away from consuming meat and animal products.
Veganism goes up  one level further and restricts the use of Diary and Diary products as well . Milk, curd, yogurt, paneer/cottage cheese, ghee, butter, cheese etc are not consumed by those who follow the Vegan Diet.
When someone says they are strict Vegans the immediate questions that arise in people mind is Don't you eat sweets ? How boring, no desserts for you ?
The answer is use of coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk in place of diary milk . Trust me ,our Indian sweets can easily be made using coconut milk and almond milk which makes it taste all the more tastier and richer.

Today's kheer/payasam is one such variant which make use of coconut milk in place of regular milk and the cashews are fried in coconut oil as against ghee.

Preparation Time : 5mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity : Easy

1/2 cup of thick variety pressed rice ( jada poha / getti aval)
3/4 -1 cup jaggery ( grated / powder)
1 tsp cardamom powder
200 ml extract of thick coconut milk
(refer video below in notes section for " extraction of coconut milk at home)
few cashewnuts
1/2 tsp coconut oil


  • Wash the poha well under running water and let it stand for a few minutes.
  • Melt the jaggery in 1/2 cup water and strain  in case of impurities.
  • Add the soaked poha to the jaggery syrup and let it boil for a 2-3 minutes.
  • Slowly add the coconut milk,stir well and bring to a rolling boil on medium flame .
  • Do not over boil after adding the coconut milk as the milk may curdle.
  • Add cardamom powder and turn off the stove. The kheer will thicken slightly on cooling.
  • Roast the cashews in coconut oil and add it to the kheer. Serve warm or cold.

Notes :

  • I have used organic jaggery, hence it appears to be dark . You can use the regular jaggery that you use for cooking.
  • Coconut milk can be extracted at home by grinding the fresh grated coconut in blender and straining the extract through a fine seive.
  • (You may refer to this below video for exact procedure for extracting coconut milk)

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