Nungu payasam is a creamy dreamy delightful dessert served in wedding feasts and in star hotel restaurants. It is a perfect finish to a meal for its impeccable taste and enticing flavors of nungu (palm fruit or ice apple), saffron & cardamom.
Nungu is a jelly like sweet fruit covered with astringent white skin and has little sweet juice inside. Generally elders in the family eat palm fruit with its skin and it will be given to children after peeling its skin.
Palm fruit is a summer fruit that helps to prevent or treat prickly heat and controls acidity if taken with its skin. Whenever there is an episode of chicken pox in our family or neighborhood, my paternal grand mother insisted us to drink tender coconut water tossed with palm fruit cubes to prevent or treat chicken pox.
Please check the recipe for Nungu Payasam aka Ice Apple Pudding as below:
Time taken: 15 min
Yields: 300 ml
- Cow’s milk (pasum paal) – 400 ml (boiled)
- Ice apple (palm fruits or nungu) – 2 Nos.
- Pistachios (pistha paruppu) – 1/8 cup (25-30 Nos)
- Cashew nuts (mundhiri paruppu) – 1/8 cup (25-30 Nos)
- Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup
- Cardamom (Yelam) – 1 No.
- Saffron (kunguma poo) – few strands
Mise en place:
- Soak saffron strands in a tbsp of hot milk.
- Soak cashew & pistachios separately in hot water for 1 hour (or microwave for 2 min).
- Peel pistachios skin when soaked.
- Grind soaked cashews & pista into a fine paste after adding a tbsp of milk.
- Chop palm fruits into small cubes.
- Grind sugar & cardamom into a fine powder.
- Heat a heavy bottom pan with pista paste in low flame.
- Pour milk slowly into the pan and stir well.
- When milk starts to get thickened, add soaked saffron & powdered sugar.
- Turn off the heat while the mixture reaches required consistency.
- Add chopped palm fruits while the pudding is warm.
- Close the pan with its lid for few minutes allowing the pudding to get infused with palm fruit’s intense flavor.
- Serve pudding chilled or at room temperature.
- This pudding tastes best with palm sugar.
- Do not add palm fruits when pudding is hot.