If you are in Kerala during this time of the year, you would be seeing bananas (or plantains as they are called in the US) in every shop and in every house. This is the season for nenthrappzham - it is used for making banana chips, paysam, pazham varattiyathu, sharkara varatti, pazham nurukku and in many other forms.
Here is a delicious payasam recipe using bananas to sweeten your Onam this year.
Ripe banana/Nenthrappazham- 3
Jaggery - 300gm
Ghee : 5tbsp
Dried Coconut Slices -1/4 Cup, cut into thin slices
Cashews - 1tbsp
Raisins - 1tbsp
Roasted cumin Powder / Dry ginger and cardamom powder- 1/2tsp
Thick Coconut milk - 3/4 Cup
Thin coconut milk -3 Cups
Make a syrup of jaggery by adding water and filter the syrup and set aside.
Pressure cook the skinned bananas and keep aside to cool. Mash the cooked banana, there should not be any lumps.
In a heavy bottom vessel, heat 3tbsp of ghee and golden fry the dry coconut slices, cashews and raisins ,set this aside. Add the mashed banana along with the remaining ghee along cook till it starts to thicken. Now add the jaggery syrup. Keep stirring when it becomes the consistency of fruit jelly add 2 cups of thin coconut milk. When it start to boil add cumin powder( if you prefer the aroma of cardamom and dry ginger add it instead but at the end.) mixed in the remaining 1 cup of thin coconut milk. When the pradhaman stats to get thick remove from the stove and add the thick coconut milk . Finally garnish it with the fried coconut slices, cashews and raisins. Pazha Pradhaman tastes best when cold.