March 13, 2012 by Leanne Vogel March 29, 2017For more on the flavors of India series, check out: Dhal Aloo Kofta, Aloo Palak, Gluten-free naan and Malai Kofta. Everyone thought I was crazy for going to India. They warned me about theft, feared for my safety, and were genuinely concerned when I told them I hated Indian food. How could someone that hates Indian food go to India, let alone go to an ashram that would surely be serving nothing but? I know, I’m a crazy one. My plan to conquer India was simple – open myself up to embrace the culture, religion, daily practices and food, no matter how awful it looked or scary it was to be unsure of the ingredients. This plan what what allowed me to have such an amazing trip. Not only did I learn more about the world and a culture I’d never experienced, I actually started to enjoy it, including the meals. At the ashram, the plates would come fully stocked with the days’ meal. I donated my bread to a neighbor and mashed everything together with my right hand (best EVER!) before going to town on the pile of food before me. I began to look forward to the Indian meals on my flights, the briyani’s in restaurants, and the mound of food that was our cooking class. Needless to say, I was converted. I enjoyed many a delicious meal along the journey, but will always have a soft spot for payasam. It’s sweet, hearty, and seemed to always be one of the cheaper things on the menu which is always an added bonus! Payasam is an integral part of traditional South Indian meals. In many cases, it’s served on a flat banana leaf instead of in a dish or bowl and eaten with the hands as with all other meals in South India (which is SO fun!). What I loved also, is that in South India, payasam is generally made with jaggery and coconut milk in place of sugar and milk making it less processed and tastier in my opinion! My favorite way to enjoy it was alongside rice and other curries, but I’d gladly eat a whole bowl on it’s own with no complaints whatsoever. Lucky for me, now I can recreate it any time I fancy, with rice or otherwise and so can you!
HI! I’M LEANNE
Nutrition educator + keto enthusiast. I want to live in a world where every woman loves her body, nourishing fats are enjoyed at every meal, and the word “restriction” isn’t in the dictionary.