Quinoa Payasam

The slightly chewy quinoa, the rich flavour of jaggery, the creaminess of coconut milk, the fragrance imparted by cardamoms and the crunchiness of toasted nuts, make this dessert pure ambrosia.

Quinoa_payasam

Serves 4-6
Ingredients

1 cup/190g small pieces of jaggery
½ cup/100g quinoa, cleaned, soaked in water for 20 minutes and drained
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup/250ml thick coconut milk
½ teaspoon ground green cardamoms
2 teaspoons Ghee
8-10 cashew nuts, coarsely chopped
8-10 raisins

Method
1. Place the jaggery and ½ cup/125ml water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until the jaggery dissolves. Remove from the heat.

2. Bring 2 cups/500ml water to a boil in a medium pan. Add the quinoa and salt and return to the boil.

3. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes or until the quinoa is just tender.

4. Add the jaggery syrup through a strainer to remove the impurities. Let simmer for 8 minutes.

5. Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes before stirring in the cardamoms. Remove from the heat.

6. Heat the Ghee in a small pan. Add the cashew nuts and stir gently until golden. Add the raisins and stir until they puff up. Immediately add the entire contents of the pan to the quinoa.

7. Cover the dessert and let stand for 5 minutes. It will thicken further as it cools. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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