As young adults we religiously practiced having abhyangam (oil massage) every Sunday followed by sumptuous meal and a hot glass of gasagase payasa - result a rejuvenated body and soul. I remember elders advising us to have gasagase payasa whenever we complained of lack of sleep, body heat, mouth ulcers. I had seen this work. This indeed is a home remedy for insomnia, mouth ulcers, nausea, body heat etc and is mentioned in Ayurvedic texts also.

Gasagase is white poppy seeds used extensively in Indian cuisine. Gasagase Payasa is very popular in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. This simple payasa is so endearing that we love to prepare this on any occasion - festivals, feasts, guests at home. I found an excuse to prepare gasagase payasa when a nephew came calling and was suffering with mouth ulcers?. Thought of sharing the recipe for this simple home remedy.

Have all the ingredients ready - should not take more than 20 minutes to prepare this payasa - here is how.

Poppy seeds - 50 gms
Coconut grated - 1 1/2 cup
Raw rice - 1/4 spoon
Cardamom - 5
Clove - 4
Nut meg - a small piece
Almonds - 8 - 10 (optional)
Jaggery - 150 - 200 gms
Ghee - 2 spoons
Milk - 1 cup

Roast poppy seeds on low flame, along with rice, till aroma wafts
Dissolve jaggery in 3-4 cups of water and filter
Boil jaggery water till it becomes sticky
Grind roasted poppy seeds, coconut, cardamom. nutmeg, almonds to a smooth paste adding about 1/4 cup water
Add this paste to boiling jaggery syrup with constant stirring, simmer for 5 minutes. Tasty Payasa is ready now.
Add ghee and a little hot milk before serving

Poppy seeds will have fine sandy dust - clean poppy before use.
Poppy seeds may also be soaked and used instead of roasting.
Demerera sugar may be used instead of jaggery
Organic jaggery will be clean, hence may be used directly.
Certain jaggery types will curdle milk, check with a little milk before adding to payasa
Few grains of rice should be sufficient. Too much rice will thicken the payasa