Gothambu Payasam | Broken Wheat Kheer

Broken wheat payasam or gothambu pradhaman
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Gothambu Payasam is a popular Kerala dessert made with wheat, coconut milk and jaggery. Payasams or kheers are puddings made with milk/coconut milk a sweetener starch/fruit and flavored with a aromatic spices. No special occasion meal or sadya in Kerala or for that part most of South India is not complete without the dessert – payasam.

Broken wheat payasam or gothambu pradhaman

It  is  nearing  Onam  –  the FESTIVAL  for  people  with   Kerala  roots.   Read  more  about Onam here. It  brings  back a  lot of  nostalgia  and   of  course  cravings  for  ‘nadan food’.   Chief  among  them  are the various  payasams   and  plantain chips .

Kheers or  payasams   come in  many different  flavors,  depending  on the  fruit  or  starch used –  check out  these  2  very different  versions – semiya  payasam  and  jackfruit pradhaman.  Some  are   smooth  and  drinkable  (think smoothie)  while  others  are semi solid  almost  like a  thick custard.

Broken wheat payasam or gothambu pradhaman

Gothambu payasam   is   made  with broken  wheat  cooked  in coconut milk and  jaggery.   The  texture  is  more  soupy than  that of a  custard  with  the  broken  wheat  providing the  much needed  textural  contrast.  A  few  aromatic  spices    like cardamom , and  dry ginger   enhances  and  complements  the  flavors.

Payasams   made  with  coconut  milk and  jaggery  are  usually called  pradhamans  and  this   recipe  in fact belongs  in that  category. It is   gothambu  pradhaman   or  wheat pradhaman ,  but  we are more  accustomed to calling  it  gothambu payasam .

Broken wheat payasam or gothambu pradhaman ingredients
These are the  ingredients used –  add nuts / raisins / coconut bit  and  spices  to  your  taste.  

This  is  the  payasam  that  my mom used  to make  for  special  occasions.   I am  not  sure  which one   I like  more   this  wheat payasam  or  parippu paysam!    I have  often  heard  that  gothabu payasam is  easier to digest than the  ones  made  with   dals (beans),  but  some  find  wheat  to be   hard  to  digest as well – so there  you  take your  pick.

Wheat  is  not  a  native  crop of  south India.  Whole  wheat  used  to be imported  from  other parts  of  India and   milled  as  needed.  Broken   wheat  is  nutritious  as  it  is the  whole  wheatberry   broken  into  smaller pieces.   The  smaller  size helps  to  reduce  the   cook time  while  maintaining   the   same  nutritional values.

Broken  wheat  or  nurukku gothambu or  sooji  gothambu as  it is  called  was  definitely not  a  typical  everyday ingredient. Broken  wheat  comes  in   many grades –   fine  to coarse . I  prefer  the  larger ones   that  do not  disintegrate as  it  cooks while  my  many other  cooks  in the  family prefers  more  fine  grained  textures.   Which one  you choose  is  up to you .

The  finer  ones  give  off  more  starches  and   thickens  more ,  while the  larger  ones   gives  you a  better  textural  contrast.

Making Broken wheat payasam or gothambu pradhaman
These  are  the  steps  to making  gothambu payasam – for  detailed  instructions  scroll down to the   recipe.

Traditionally  pradhamans are made  with   fresh  squeezed  coconut  milk.   Check out  this  article  on how  to  make  fresh  coconut  milk . The  recipe  below  uses fresh coconut milk  and  the canned  or  powdered  versions  can be  found  in notes.

Canned  Coconut  milk

There are  different  types  of  coconut  milk  in the  market.   If  you  have   coconut cream  use   that as  the  thick milk  or  use  the    solids  settled  on the  top of  the  can.   Dilute  the  remaining  milk to make   thin  milk.

Powdered Coconut  Milk

Mix  the  powdered   milk according  to package  directions .  Use  the   double  quantity   water  for   thin milk and    ½  quantity  for   thick milk.

The   most  important  thing  to  keep in mind  is  that  you can make  the  thin milk as  thin as  you want . The  excess liquids  can  be  cooked  out.  The  thick milk is  used  to   finish off the  dish, and  you do not  want   to   boil  the  payasam  after  adding  it ,  because  it  has a  tendency to split  when  boiled  vigorously. This  is  why  coconut cream  is a good  choice.  In the  case of  powder you could  just mix it  with a  little  payasam   to make a thick slurry and  add back in.

So there is  no  milk ? Is it  vegan then ?

It is  true  that  this  kheer  does  not use  milk, but  traditionally a  little  bit  of  ghee  is  used to  fry the  garnishes.  So if  you  are  concerned  with milk  solids , chances  are  that  there won’t  be any.  To make  it  completely vegan   either   dry roast  the  nuts  and  raisins  or  roast them  in a  little  coconut  oil.

Here  the  recipe  for  Broken Wheat or  Gothambu Payasam.

Gothambu Payasam
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Resting time
20 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Broken Wheat Payasam is  a  traditional Kerala  dessert made with coconut milk, jaggery , broken wheat and  spices. It is  a  delicious  sweet  treat  that  is served on special occasions. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Calories: 316 kcal
Author: Syama
Ingredients
  • 1 C Broken Wheat Notes
  • 2 - 3 C Jaggery Grated , See Notes
  • 2 C Grated Coconut Packed See Notes
  • 3 -4 Green Cardamom
  • 1/8 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • ¼ Tsp Dry Ginger Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Cut into small pieces
  • 10 - 12 Cashew Nuts
  • 2 Tbsp Raisins
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee Use as needed
Instructions
Prepare Coconut Milk
  1. Mix grated coconut with warm water and squeeze out the milk 3 times. (See Notes) . Reserve 2 C of thin milk, 1 C Medium thick milk and ½ C thick milk (Check notes for canned/powdered milk).

Cook The Broken Wheat
  1. Wash the broken wheat and drain in a strainer. Heat the pressure cooker and add the broken wheat along with 2 C of thin milk and 1 C water. Cook for 1 whistle or about 6 to 7 minutes after it has reached full pressure.
Prepare the fried garnishes
  1. In a small pan heat 1 Tbsp of ghee and toast the coconut bits . Stir the coconut often to prevent burning. Once the coconut has browned all around drain from the ghee and reserve .
  2. Add he cashew nuts to the pan and toast till golden brown. Add more ghee if needed. Drain and reserve .
  3. Add the raisins to the ghee and toast till it fluffs up. Drain and reserve.
Make Payasam
  1. Add the jaggery to the same pan and cook over low heat. As it begins to melt add 2 to 4 tbsps  of   water to prevent it from burning. If you are working with more yellowish jaggery this is the time to caramelize it a little to get that  brown color.

  2. Once he jaggery has liquefied , pour it through a strainer  to remove any impurities.

  3. Open the cooker and check if the cracked wheat is cooked through. If needed cook a few more minutes. 

  4. Add the melted jaggery and 1 C of the medium thick coconut milk to the  wheat . Mix and let the mix come to a boil . Reduce the heat and let it slow boil until the mix looks a little thick . Taste and adjust jaggery to your taste.

Season
  1. Powder the cardamom seeds and cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle.

    Add the powdered spices to the  payasam.

  2. Add the thick milk and mix together. Turn off the heat once tiny bubbles begin to appear on the sides of the payasam. Do not let it boil.
  3. Mix in most of the fried raisins, cashew nuts and coconuts. 

Serve
  1. Cover the pan and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

    Transfer to the serving dishes and garnish with the remaining fried bits.

Recipe Notes
  • The directions are for pressure cooker, to make in a stockpot bring the water wheat mix to a boil and cook on low for 25 .
  • Broken wheat is also known as cracked wheat or sooji gothambu.
  • For  ore  details on making  fresh coconut milk  check here.
  • If using canned milk – skim off 2 tbsp solids for the thick milk , Mix the rest together and dilute ½ C with 11/2 C water to makes the thin milk and use the rest as the semi thick milk.
  • Adjust the jaggery as per desired sweetness.  Different  batches of  jaggery vary in  sweetness. 2 C   grated  jaggery  used  here is  equivalent  to  about 300g.
  • When not available brown sugar or piloncillo can be substituted.

 

Nutritional info for informational purpose only.  Actual  values  may vary based on the brands/products  used. 

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Broken wheat payasam or gothambu pradhaman

Broken wheat payasam or gothambu pradhaman


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