Vella payar brings back nostalgic memories. The first thing that comes to my mind is Navarathri days. This will be invariably prepared as prasadom on one of the nine days. On other festive occasions too, Amma used to prepare this. One day while I was reliving those memories with my husband, I could not resist the temptation to make it immediately. These cow peas are the kind which does not need much of pre-soaking. I soaked them for half an hour in hot water for easier cooking. There are two varieties of black eyed peas - white and brown. Usually brown variety is used for this. I too have used the same.
Black eyed peas/cowpeas/vellapayar/karamani - 1 1/2 Cup cooked
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Water - 3 Tblspn (just enough to melt the jaggery)
Grated coconut - 3 tblspn
Ghee - 1 tspn (optional)
I pressure cooked the cow peas. Cow peas can be well cooked. Even if turns mushy, its alright. Since on adding to jaggery, they tend to turn hard. Heat a pan. Add jaggery and water. When jaggery is fully melted, switch off the stove. Strain the syrup to remove any impurities. Heat the strained syrup to soft ball consistency. Stir in cooked cow peas. Keep stirring till there is no moisture . Amma says you can find a coat of grey to the cooked mix and that's the indication to stop. Garnish with grated coconut and teaspoon of ghee. Ghee surely adds a flavor to it. And for neivadyams, it is customary to add a drop of ghee to the dish.
With small quantity, it doesn't take more than 10-15 minutes to get cooked in jaggery. But when making in large quantities, it surely is a test to your muscle strength since it needs a longer period of stirring, to avoid getting burnt at the bottom.
I am sending this bowl of sweet to Srivalli's Mithai Mela.