Payasa is a dessert item often served at the end of a lavish meal, or had as a sweet during festivals and celebrations. Despite full meals, no one can ever refuse a cup of tasty payasa.
Types of Payasa:
There are multiple types of Payasa popular in Karnataka. Payasa is named after its main ingredient such as Sabakki (Sago), Shavige (Semiya), Rice, Badam, Fruits such as mango, moong dal and carrot.
How is Payasa made?
Besides the primary ingredient (such as Sago/Semiya etc), milk, sugar/jaggery, toppings such as cashew and grape are main ingredients of payasa. The main ingredient like Semiya (vermicelli) is fried for a few minutes and then introduced to a bowl of hot milk, added with sugar. The mix is stirred continuously to let vermicelli absorb the essence of milk and sugar. The cooking process varies slightly depending on the main ingredient. Fruit based payasa may not involve any cooking and is often prepared by mixing fruit extract with milk and sweetners. Taste enhancers such as cardamom, cashew, dry grapes etc are added in generous quantities to payasa.
Where to find Payasa:
Payasa is often one of the items in any premium plate meals or buffet meals in most restaurants. Most restaurants allow Payasa to be ordered separately as well. Payasam can also be prepared at home in easy steps if you have kitchen access.