Reading Panchangam (an almanac prepared based on Indian calendar system) is an age-old custom followed every year on the day of Tamil New Year celebrated in the middle of April. A few centuries ago it was a customary that royal priests were summoned to read a new Panchangam in the king’s court mentioning important dates of the year and also foretelling the calamities like flood, war, etc. Even today every TV channel telecasts the speech rendered by astrologers predicting the next prime minister, rain fall, gold price, etc. that are of great interest to people of all walks of life .
Our New Year celebration is incomplete without mukkani (meaning three sweet fruits- mango, jackfruit & banana). A bowl of mukkani is usually kept in the pooja room & the idols at home are adorned with gold jewelry on the eve of New Year. Generally people like to wake up to the sight of sweet fruits (mukkani) & decorated idols in the New Year wishing good health & prosperity to the family.
Mukkani Payasam Recipe:
Now I have prepared a dessert using mukkani that can be served as payasam for lunch, and it tastes tantalizingly delicious when served chilled. I prefer to use nendram pazham than any other banana variety for the bright yellow color & its sweet aroma, thin coconut milk to dilute the fruit pulp, thick coconut milk to make it creamy, and also used golden castor sugar as sweetener. Actually this fruit payasam can be relished even without any sweetener. I have not added any aromatic spice like cardamom mainly to enjoy the fruit flavors to the fullest. Besides I have added roasted cashew nuts, chopped mangoes and sweet boondhi for adding delectable texture to this creamy dessert.
|Mango (finely chopped)||1|
|Jackfruit bulbs (seeded)||10|
|Coconut milk (thin)||200 ml|
|Coconut milk (thick)||50 ml|
|Golden castor sugar||as needed|
|Cashew nuts (roasted in ghee)||as desired|
|Sweet boondhi (optional)||as desired|
Mukkani Payasam preparation:
- Steam the banana and jackfruit bulbs for 5 minutes and make a fruit pulp.
- Heat a sauce pan with fruit pulp in low flame.
- Pour thin coconut milk into the pan and combine together.
- Add sugar and mix well until melted away.
- Pour thick coconut milk and mix well.
- Remove from heat and leave aside until it reaches the room temperature.
- Refrigerate mukkani payasam for few hours.
- Serve chilled after garnishing with chopped mango, sweet boondhi and roasted cashew nuts.