Archive for August 12th, 2008

Gasagase (Poppy Seeds) Payasa

Poppy Seeds Payasa

This is one sweet dish which makes you sleep really really well when you drink this. Also, we used to eat this when we had mouth ulcers; in other words bayi hunnu. No, I am not kidding, it is true. I make this only during weekend when I know we have enough time to sleep at least for 6-7 hours.

Take a look at some interesting facts I found out about these truly amazing seeds:

  • The seeds have appetising qualities.
  • The use and dangers of poppy plant derivatives, such as morphine, heroin and codeine, are well known.
  • In the Middle Ages an anaesthetic was produced called ‘the soporific sponge’, an infusion made of poppy, mandrake, hemlock and ivy that was poured over a sponge and held under the patient’s nostrils.
  • Other names: kus-kus, khus(h)-khus(h), cus-cus
  • Although the drug opium is produced by “milking” latex from the unripe fruits (“seed pods”) rather than from the seeds, all parts of the plant can contain or carry the opium alkaloids, especially morphine and codeine. This means that eating foods that contain poppy seeds can result in a false positive for opiates in a drug test.

Now, I know why we sleep like crazy when we drink this payasa, right? Anyway, this dish is one of our all time favorites, and so here comes the ingredients and procedure to prepare this payasa.


  • 4 tsp poppy seeds or gasagase
  • 7 tsp rice – soaked in water for at least 2 hours
  • 1/4 fresh coconut grated
  • Jaggery to taste
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground Cardamon powder
  • 2 cups milk


  • Fry the poppy seeds in very little ghee for a 4-5 minutes.
  • Once they cool down, add the fried poppy seeds, soaked and drained rice, and coconut and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Next, in a heavy bottom pan add this ground mixture and also add jaggery. Make sure you keep stirring the payasa, if not the payasa will be burnt.
  • As the payasa keeps boiling, it becomes more and more thick. At this stage, slowly add the milk and keep stirring.
  • Once you get the desired consistency for the payasa, add the cardamom powder.
  • Serve it either hot or cold.

Poppy Seeds Payasa

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