When we cook black-eyed-peas in a sweet roast, we call it ‘vella payaru’. It literally translates as ‘jaggery with black eyed peas’. This is the offering I made today as prasad or bhog. It is a very tasty dish, and gets done in minutes.
Since I am blogging a dish every day, I am not able to plate and style as well as I would like to. It is a time consuming, though enjoyable, and not suited for week-days. However, this morning both Jr.P and Jr.H were at home when I was taking photographs, and Jr.P did not like the way I had piled up the sweet. He wanted to do something fancy, and today’s presentation is totally his styling. What do you think? I am terribly proud of the lad! The tower crumbled after some time but held long enough for me to take some good photographs.
If you cannot find jaggery use toddy palm sugar, Coconut palm sugar, Gula Melaka if you reside in S.E.Asia, and whole cane sugar or voll-rohrzucker if you are in Germany. Adjust sweetness. The result may not texturally be the same as with jaggery though. Please note that I have not used any of the substitutes mentioned. These are what I have gathered from fellow bloggers here in comments to another jaggery based recipe.
Recipe: Vella Payaru [Black eyed peas in a jaggery based sweet]
Yield: Serves 4-5 portions
Black eyed peas | Lobia | Chowli | Roongi | Payaru – 1.5 cups | 250g
Powdered jaggery – 1 cup | 164g
Fresh, scraped, coconut – 1/2 cup, pressed | 45g
Dry roast black eyed peas well on even flame in a wok, till aromatic and lightly speckled with brown. Add water and pressure cook on high pressure for three whistles. Let cooker cool naturally. Drain the residual liquid from the legumes.
Place the wok back on heat and add jaggery. Add a tbsp. of water and melt jaggery completely, stirring all the while on medium to low flame.
When melted, strain through a muslin cloth to separate impurities. Clean out the wok and put back on heat with the strained jaggery.
Add coconut and black eyed peas, and cook, stirring all the while, on low heat, till the mixture turns dry, about 10-15 minutes.
Optional: Add podded and pounded cardamom from 4-5 pods, if desired.