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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Paal Payasam ~ South Indian Milk Pudding

The past month for us marked two birthdays, visits from extended family members and a bout of illness that affected every one at home. After that unplanned month break, I am back in business with a traditional sweet dish from the southern parts of India. Payasam, the south Indian term and kheer, the north Indian name basically refer to the same dish - an eggless sweetened milk pudding cooked on stove top adding either a grain or lentil or vegetable and so on. Milk is the star ingredient in today's payasam where only a tiny quantity of rice is added, similar to the case of a kheer preparation. Usually milk and water are cooked until the quantity is reduced to half here, allowing a slow caramelization that lends the payasam a light cream colored hue. 

To be honest, I have never seen my mother or grand mothers preparing this since this seems to be a typical preparation from Tamil nadu and Kerala. Our go to dish when it comes to traditional payasams in Andhra happens to be paramannam. I am not sure how many modern kitchens still prepare it but it also happens to be a rice based payasam. 
I just went through recipes from online when I tried it for the first time, that were basically the same. One either cooks in a pot that happens to be the traditional aka tedious process or use a pressure cooker which cuts down the cooking time considerably. The short cut method however doesn't compromise in the taste department and so I usually go with it.
4 cups milk / 1 litre milk
1 tsp. ghee
2 to 3 Tbsp. rice
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar (or according to taste)
2 cardamom pods
1 tbsp. cashews 

* Heat the ghee in a small saute pan and fry the cashews if using, to golden brown. Transfer the cashews onto a plate with a slotted spoon. 
* Add rice to the same ghee and fry rice for a couple of minutes on a slow flame. Next pulse the rice a couple of times just to break the grains. There is no need to coarsely grind the rice. 
* Grease inside bottom of the cooker with little ghee and add the broken rice grains and milk to it. Drop a small spoon into the milk to prevent the milk from spilling over while pressure cooked. 
(I usually drop a spoon even when I am boiling the milk in a pot or leave a ladle in the pan to avoid the milk from boiling over.)
* Cook the milk on lowest setting of heat for one whistle. When the pressure subsides, remove the lid and continue to cook on low flame until the milk turns thick and creamy or until the milk coats the back of the ladle.
* Next add the sugar and ground cardamom seeds and continue to cook until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the stove and add the toasted cashews. 
* Serve warm or cold.
This goes to Blogging marathon # 89, under the 'Indian Sweets - Payasams' theme. Check out the page here to read what other marathoners are cooking.



Varadas Kitchen said...

I had never heard of kheer cooked in the pressure cooker. I always went with the stove top tedious method. Learnt something new today. Now all those posts on Instant Pot kheer make sense. I have to try it.

Srivalli said...

The payasam looks so thick and creamy Suma. When you say paramannam, are you referring to the Bellam annam or is it different? What we call paramannam is same as bellam annam and the consistency is thick. I read about another Iyangar version where thick pudding is made with rice. Interesting to read and hope everything is fine at your end now!

Gayathri Kumar said...

My mom never made payasam with rice. She always used vermicelli and sabudana and I tasted this only after blogging. The paal payasam looks so good and I would love to try some..

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

I am big fan of paal payasam and I can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Love how creamy your payasam looks. Beautiful recipe and very well captured!

Renu Agrawal Dongre said...

The payasam is so thick and so creamy...Perfect texture, perfect consistency...drooling here...

Priya Suresh said...

Absolutely delicious, i can drink this paal payasam anytime of the say. How prefect and irresistible its looks.

Nalini's Kitchen said...

This paal payasam is one such classical dish and looks so creamy.

vaishali sabnani said...

We call it chawal ki kheer , I really don’t know if there’s any difference , but even I make the kheer ( at times ) in a pressure cooker . A lovely traditional dessert which never fails to impress the family and guests .

Harini R said...

I am the only one who is a fan of paal payasam at home. I would love to grab the cup off my screen. Looks so creamy and delicious.

Suja Ram said...

Paal payasam is an all-time fav of mine and yours is making me crave for some right now!

Chef Mireille said...

everyones fave - I made the same for the theme

Sharmila Kingsly said...

This is one evergreen kheer And i always make this for my sudden sweet craving..

Padmajha PJ said...

I remember mom making this when I was a kid.She used t put in a small katori to prevent the milk from spilling over.Your payasam looks so creamy and inviting Suma.

Sowmya :) said...

This is my favourite payasam and I make it whenever I can....now you are tempting me to make it again. Looks so delicious!