Today is the auspicious day of Varalakshmi Vratam and also is the festival of Onam. On this day, the women of the house (South Indians) usually prepare 5 or 7 or 9 or 11 varieties of special dishes (neivedhyam) for the Goddess Varalakshmi, fasting and performing special Pooja (prayers). These specialties prepared range from different rice recipes, sweets and deep fried goodies. My Amma is a very religious person and would do Varalakshmi Pooja every Friday of the Shraavana Maasam. During childhood, though the sister and I seldom understood the whats/whys of this Pooja – it was always about the food for us. Out of the delicacies prepared, half of them would be my favorites and half my sister’s. We would be eyeing amma and the specialties very eagerly as to when we would get to taste them 😀 Paramannam, a sweet rice pudding happens to be my most favorite neivedhyams of all. Infact it is not only my favorite, Amma says as per the epics, Goddess Lakshmi loves Paramannam too 🙂
There are different ways in which one can prepare this Paramannam, but the ingredients are the same. Rice, Jaggery, Milk, Cardamom, Ghee/Clarified butter and Dry Fruits. I wonder if there can be a simpler yet tastier sweet 🙂 For people like me, who would love anything with Jaggery this is such a treat. My paternal aunt who is an expert in cooking, used to make this in big bowls whenever I was visiting her, for she knew how I loved this. Her method of cooking is quite different from what amma makes and irrespective of the recipe – this is one sweet that I love the most. Today, I am going to post the easier version of it – my Amma’s Paramannam recipe.
To make Paramannam
What I used –
- Cooked Rice, 1 cup
- Jaggery, ½ cup
- Toned Milk, 1 cup
- Green Cardamom, 1 or 2
- Ghee/Clarified Butter, ½ tbsp
- Raisins, a few
- Almonds/Cashews, a few
How I made –
- In a thick bottomed pan, bring milk to a boil. Add cooked rice, stir well.
- Keeping the flame on low, keep mixing the rice and milk together so that the bottom is not getting browned. The milk and rice should come together really well. It can take about 7-10 mins.
- Add crushed jaggery and stir well. The mixture would turn a bit runny. Keep cooking on low flame.
- Add crushed green cardamom and mix well.
- As the Paramannam comes together one more time (in about 5-7 mins), switch off the flame.
- In a small pan, heat ghee/clarified butter. Add raisins and cashews/almonds. Fry until golden brown. Add it to the prepared Paramannam.
- Serve hot or cold.
- Using already cooked rice fastens the process of making Paramannam. The rice should not be cooked to a much but just be cooked. One can use leftover rice too. For neivedhyams although, fresh batch of rice is prepared.
- The milk on boiling with the rice would be well absorbed by the rice giving it a creamy texture.
- Instead of jaggery, sugar can be used but the taste is not the same. Milk and jaggery make such good combination.
- For a richer version of the sweet, add more ghee/clarified butter.
- Paramannam tastes awesome both hot and cold.