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California
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Sun
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Thu
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Sunday, November 27, 2022

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Payasam cakes and Mahabali cookies for Onam


Chips and savouries make up the nibbles for Onam. Until recently, dessert, especially in Thiruvananthapuram, was almost always payasam and boli in addition to pradhaman in different flavours such as ada (rice flakes), kadala (chickpeas), cheru payar (green gram), pazham (banana), gothambu (wheat) and so on. For the last two or three years, ingenious chefs and home bakers have innovated to come up with payasam cakes!

Home baker Parvathy Ravikumar says she began making the payasam cake to offer an Onam special that went beyond the colours and images of the festival. “Usually butter cake, called the sadya cake or the pookalam cake, is decorated in the colours of Onam with the help of fondants and edible colours. I wanted to make a cake that had the flavour of Onam. That is how I came up with the idea of the Onam cake and boli pudding. It is a fusion of a cake and a pudding with the flavour of the payasam,” she explains. She uses ari paal payasam for the cake. The special cakes will be available till September 12 and cost ₹ 1,300 per kilogram.

Payasam cakes made by home baker Priya Venugopal
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Priya Venugopal is another home baker who has been making the payasam cake for more than a year. She uses paal ada as a filling to make her cake. Surprised by the demand for the cake, Priya has been making payasam jar cakes as well.

“During Onam, there are more orders because customers are always on the lookout for something different. But even after Onam, I get requests for this cake for birthday celebrations of senior citizens who may not enjoy the conventional cakes in the market. I have made several cakes for such birthday parties.” Priya’s cake costs ₹ 1,200 for a kilogram.

Uruli Paalada Payasam cake

Uruli Paalada Payasam cake
| Photo Credit: Najeeb Raffic

Muffin House is another place for fans of payasam cakes. This year, all branches of the bakery-cum-eatery, including the one at Lulu Mall, have the payasam cake in an uruli. “We have been doing this for three years. So we make semiya payasam and it is used as layering for a three-layer cake. For Onam 2022, we are selling the cake in an uruli,” says chef Sheriff A of Muffin House.

They sell about 500 to 600 cakes during Onam and it is available on all days except on the day of Thiruvonam (September 8). It is ₹ 1,500 for a kilogram.

Cakes, cupcakes and cookies are also grabbing eyeballs in the season of payasam and sadya. Square One Homemade Treats at Pattom in Thiruvananthapuram has come up with a range of cakes, cupcakes and cookies that celebrate Onam.

Colourful icing that resembles the floral carpets (pookalam) made during Onam and cookies with the same theme are hot-sellers.

Vanilla cookies with frosting from Square One  Homemade Treats

Vanilla cookies with frosting from Square One Homemade Treats
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

“We began doing this in 2021 and it was a big hit. Coloured butter icing on rich butter cakes make the edible multi-coloured pookalam complete with a lamp, while the cookies come with frosting that celebrates different Onam motifs such as Atham, Mahabali, country boats and flowers,” explains store manager Georgina Shiju.

Pookalam themed cake from Square One Homemade Treats

Pookalam themed cake from Square One Homemade Treats
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The vanilla cookies with frosting on top cost ₹ 30 apiece while the cakes starting from half kg cost ₹600 .

In addition, they also have a payasam sale on the same days. Every day, five different types of payasam will be available.

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