Sugarcane juice has been an integral part of Indian cuisine for centuries. It is a refreshing drink that is consumed across the country during the hot summer months. In addition to being a popular drink, sugarcane juice is also used in various Indian festivals for recipes. For example, rasawal, cheruku rasam pongali, raoh ki kheer, ganne ka kheer are a few names. The versatility of sugarcane juice in Indian cuisine is remarkable
As summer arrives in India, sugarcane (also known as ganna) becomes an even more vital crop. In addition to sipping sugarcane juice (ganne ka ras) out of tall glasses, people use it to make a wide variety of tasty treats. You can't have a conversation about this category of food without including Rasawal. This dessert, sometimes called "Ganne Ras Ki Chawal," is a type of rice pudding.
Rasawal is a highlight among the various seasonal dishes that have been lost to time. There are claims that it is an old Lucknowi recipe. Rice and sugarcane juice are the primary ingredients in this kheer. Rasawal is associated with several interesting anecdotes. According to one account, it was a must-have during Holi celebrations and one of Lucknow's most beloved treats of both Hindus and Muslims.
Like its royal-sounding name, the process of getting ready for it was just as grand as the ceremony itself. The women of the community would gather to make the sweet kheer by stirring sugarcane juice and rice together in a big pot.
For reasons already stated, sugarcane holds much religious and cultural significance in the Indian subcontinent. Pongal celebrations in South India, especially Tamil Nadu, are incomplete without sugarcane. Similarly, sugarcane juice is celebrated for its sweetness and significance in Punjab during the festival of Baisakhi. As a result, many celebratory dishes use this sugary nectar.
Rasawal is also referred to by numerous monikers, including Rasiya, and Rasiyao. It is quite an astonishment to learn that the same native dessert can take on so many forms across the country. The Awadhi rendition doesn't rush, as in this region, people gradually simmer their rasawal and serve it with a unique malai they call Baalai. It is unfortunate that Rasawal is losing its glory in our contemporary life. Since, the process is time consuming, not many prefer to prepare it. Even the recipe to a large extent needs a constant observation.
Pour in a small bowl, garnish with shredded coconut and fresh malai or cream and serve!