Bisi Bisi gasa gase paysa/ hot drink from poppy seeds

The authentic karnataka restaurant in Bangalore,MTR/Maiyyas, serves this hot-gasa-gase-payasa in a silver cup. Wiki too says about this poppy drink -  "In Karnataka cuisine, Gasagase Payasa (Kannada: ಗಸಗಸೆ ಪಾಯಸ) is very popular in southern part of the South Indian state of Karnataka. It is a liquid dessert made out of white poppy seeds, jaggery, coconut and milk."
Until recently they had only one outlet and that was on lalbagh road. A very old building where lunch is served in batches based on FIFO basis. The couple of times I ate there with my friends, I had had this poppy drink in silverware so after marriage when I took my hubby and inlaws to the place, I had raised their expectation about food, poppy drink in silverware, I was eagerly waiting for the silvercup and to my disappointment it was grape juice in a steep cup. VR made great fun of me that day and said that I had imagined all the silverware stuff. However I learned later that the silver cups are served only in the first batch and the later batches get only steel cup! When MTR opened Maiyya's in Jayanagar, I was surprised and overwhelmed to see them serve  gasa-gase-payasa in silvercup for all and at all times. My mom  makes this gasa-gase-payasa which was an absolute tasty drink that induced sleep. I do not understand the concept of 'heat' in the body, which she referred a lot. If you have boils on forehead, irregular headaches, 'moving' back pain(like now if the back pain is on the left of your waist, tomorrow it could be on top right shoulder), 'gas'-issues then she would say "Heat jalla"   "Tampu Korka" <  To make cool > ! And the whole menu for a week is changed. Garam masala items is reduced, red chilly based gravies are cut off, fries off, Tamboli and kadi is seen more often. More importantly Ukda-tandla paej  and gasa-gase-payasa are the star attractions. I am yet to understand this 'heat' and 'cold' concept but I know why we feel drowsy after having this drink. After all it is a derivative of opium.  After today's lunch I drugged myself and VR. :)

Hot poppy drink for a good siesta on a cold afternoon
Poppy seeds: 3 table spoons
Cloves - 2
Cardomom powder-  a pinch OR 1/4 tea spoon
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk - 2 cups
grated coconut - 2 tea spoons
water - 1/2 cup +
can make 2-3 cups

For this preparation we need to dry roast the ingredients. Heat a pan , add cloves and poppy seeds. keep stirring until the poppy seeds starts to splutter. cover the pan.  Add grated coconut and fry for another 2  minutes. now let the mixture cool down and then grind to a smooth paste.
Mix the ground paste with milk,water and sugar and dilute it to a drinking consistency and heat the whole potion to desirable temperature for drinking.


I did not dilute the drink a lot and so you can see the dense pulp settled at the bottom. It is fun to bite on the titbits of this seed while drinking
  • Make sure not to heat the potion for long(should not be boiled) as the coconut will curdle the milk.  It should be just hot enough to drink. You can even drink it cold but  traditionally it  is served hot. 
  • Use a pan with a lid. Poppy seeds splutter out a lot.
  • Instead of coconut you can add nuts too. Since I did not have coconut here I toasted hazel nut, cashew nut and almond (1 each) in the above recipe.

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