Paal Payasam is an essential dessert for special occasions – particularly Onam in Kerala. It is a traditional sweet porridge prepared out of payasam rice or pink rice, sugar or jaggery and milk. An Onam Sadhya is incomplete without this dish.
1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (Pink Rice)
1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
1. Soak rice in water one hour before making the payasam.
2. Add the soaked rice, raw unboiled milk and sugar twice that of rice into pressure cooker and cook on slow fire.
3. Once the steam rises, place weight and let it cook for half an hour.
4. Transfer the payasam to a serving bowl, sprinkle over elaichi powder and mix.
5. In a fry-pan heat ghee and roast cashew in it.
6. Spread the roasted cashew over the payasam to garnish and serve.
Traditionally, this payasam is made by cooking rice in milk along with jaggery or sugar without the addition of water in a brass, copper or earthen utensil over coal or wood fire. The rice is allowed to cook in the raw un-boiled milk over low heat until all the flavor of milk has been absorbed by it. The important aspects are the quality of rice, the quantity of sugar or jaggery and milk. The rice must essentially be the raw red rice which is not polished as most of the taste of the payasam depends on it. Usually the quantity of sugar or jaggery must be double the quantity of rice. Raw or un-boiled milk is responsible for giving a rich feel and taste for the payasam. The modern version of this payasam is a quicker one making use of the same ingredients aided by modern kitchen equipment. The utensil is replaced by pressure cooker and the fire by cooking gas or electric heat source. Using the following recipe one can make the mouth-watering payasam retaining the traditional ingredients and making use of modern day methods.
South Indian Rice Pudding
If you don’t have the time or inclination to make this delicious Kerala dessert in the traditional way but still want to treat your family to their favorite payasam on festive days try this recipe. Instead of slow cooking the rice in the milk on a low flame, while constantly stirring, try this modern version, a quicker and less time consuming way, using the same ingredients as in the traditional recipe but using modern kitchen equipment such as a pressure cooker. While the traditional recipe has you slavin