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Day 199: Neipayasam

Simple homemade sweets are my favorite. I have always preferred the simplest sweetmeats over the extra special pastries from other places. Most of south Indian style sweets make use of jaggery for the 'sweetness'. The moment I see this simple delicacy, I smile. I smile because it brings back memories of my beautiful home and state. Yes, I am talking about 'nei payasam'. It is nothing but sweet rice based pudding but made with jaggery. It also has a good amount of ghee;). Nei means ghee and payasam means pudding.

Image Courtesy: Google Images

The smell of a nei payasam can be so delightful that I cannot remember a day that we did not have it from a Kerala temple (rather most). Every visit to our family temple at Alathur was extra divine with the ambrosial serving of 'madhura nei payasam'. The ingredients are very simple and procedure even more. All you need in any kind of nei payasam is rice, ghee, jaggery, dry ginger. To garnish small cut pieces of coconut, cashews, and raisins are used. In a few places they even add a few bananas. I think the deliciousness comes from the patient and sincere preparation techniques employed in strict traditional ways. They use the traditional vessels (uruli) to cook this as an offering or nivedyam. 

The sheer joy of getting a hot tall container full of this sweet offering and then taking it home to share it with the rest of the family was always great. There is this other beautiful Devi temple in Malappuram. Here, in the Ganesha's sannidhi, special offerings are made for marriage prayers. The usual routine is that that specific prayer is offered for 3 years. One day a year. Each year, the strength of that jaggery in neipayasam varies  in an ascending order and the 3rd year it is called kadum madhura payasam. 

Okay, here are a few links that show how to make this delicious payasam: Sharmis passionPalakkad cookingKurry leaves. These are a few of my favorite links:) Please search for more ! 

Enjoy a sweet weekend. 
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