Monday, August 22, 2011

Gasagase Payasa / Poppy seeds drink

I learned how to cook like most of other women in India. By watching their moms, grand mothers and aunts. I learned by watching my mother. She never measured anything in day to day cooking. Needless to say, I did the same and still do. When I blog about some of these dishes, I have to literally measure and keep a note of it. This is not only good but is immensely helpful in some situations.
Why am I telling you all these? I have to tell you something to make you understand the reason. Two years back, we all went to my brother-in-law's place for a ceremony. Since I was the 'main cook' and to make my life easier, I had done some prep work before I went. You see, I am not very comfortable in some one's kitchen that too when I was cooking for 45 people. I had made the mix for this dish. All I had to do was boil it with water, coconut milk and add sugar. When I finished making it, since I had not measured anything, I tasted it and added more sugar to adjust the taste. Someone, who was watching me like a 'hawk' (let's see if anyone can guess who it was) told me that it needs to be boiled again since I added sugar. I just said I would and never did it since I knew that it was not needed for the sugar to dissolve since the whole mixture was still very hot. I wish I had posted this before that. I could've made it without tasting for sugar.

One year back -  Craisins and White chocolate Biscotti, Coconut Jaggery Rice, Kara Sev
Rice - 1 TBSP
Poppy seeds/Gasagase/Khuskhus - 1/2 cup
Coconut - Grated about 2 cups (Or use 1 can of coconut milk)
Cashews or blanched almonds - 1/4 cup (optional I use it to thicken the drink. You will need less liquid and sugar if you omit this - See Notes)
Cardamom - 6 - 7
Nutmeg - a pinch
Sugar - 1 1/2  - 2 cups depending on how sweet you like the drink (I used 1 1/2 cups)
Milk - 1 1/2 cups (See Notes)
Water - 6 cups

Rinse and soak rice. Add poppy seeds to it and let it soak for an hour at least. Some people roast the poppy seeds but it gives a smoky flavor. I prefer to keep it raw. Grind the rice and poppy seeds with cardamom, nutmeg, coconut, cashews or blanched almonds (if using). Poppy seeds are stubborn. They won't grind so easily. Use the water already measured little by little and grind till smooth. Transfer the ground paste to a big pot. Dilute the paste with remaining water. Turn on the heat and let it come to a full boil stirring occasionally. The foam will look curdled, but don't worry about it. When it is boiling all over, add sugar, milk and mix well. Let it come to a full boil again. Adjust sugar if needed and turn off the heat. Serve warm, cold or even hot on a winter night.

Reduce the water by 1 - 1 1/2 cups if omitting nuts. If you omitted coconut and used coconut milk, reduce the water by the same quantity. Some people add more milk and less water, but since coconut and nuts are quite rich, I tend to reduce the milk. Go with what you like the best.


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  1. Gasagasa payasam luks so healthy and refreshing,ideal for health..

  2. Oh, I hate cooking in someone elses' kitchen... and some one watching... how horrible.

    But a beautiful drink!

  3. oooh.. i havent heard of this one.. its almost like thandai with added coconut.. i learnt when i had to cook for myself when i was studying for my masters:)..
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  4. this sounds great!!!! i thnk it tastes good too!!!!

  5. This looks out of this world. My, how I am crazy about poppy seeds. I'm assuming you used the white ones.

    (And, yes, I can guess who the hawk was. ; ))

  6. We add jaggery to gasgase payasa. Adding sugar is new to me

  7. Thanks everyone.
    Susan, Hahaha you guessed it right.
    My mother added jaggery too. My aunt added sugar. I liked the color of what the end product is when you add sugar and use that now.

  8. ahhh this looks so good! i love nut/seed milk :D

  9. That looks like a delicious drink!

  10. Delicious!! Love this kheer!!

  11. just heard about this kheer last week from one of our friends....gud to get some nice sleep after having this...

  12. Looks so tempting and delicious.

  13. wow this is something so new to me..somewat like thandai but its too good..

  14. After having that one glassfull of payasa I can doze off! Gasagase payasa reminds me of my mom making it specially to eat it with idlis.

  15. Hmmmmmmm love it. I love sweets but as rest dont I wait for a chance for some company to make them. Next time it will be this and I will put everyone off to beb hehe:) Evil me.

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  16. This is new to me...sounds almost like a mix of thandai and firni with coconut added in. Have to try this sometime soon.

  17. Just a repetition of some comments above - Of course we know who was watching you with hawk eyes :D
    And my MIL also uses jaggery instead of sugar... for the color reason you mentioned she chooses the lighter colored ones... And another step which she follows is to strain the ground paste so that there is no residue of coconut or rice or poppy seeds... She makes it wonderfully tasty!


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