7 Mar 2011

Pal payasam - Indian rice pudding

I am being quite a lazy girl now a days. I love reading and writing, and of late I am doing neither of it. In these "no posting on the blog" days, I have learnt quite some things, like I can now independently do a water colour painting (I will be showing off, some of my paintings soon......**giggles**) trying hard to learn Beethoven's very popular piano piece Moonlight sonata (movement 1).

I am making more of traditional home cooking than before, but I still try out new recipes to learn different techniques, combinations. Lots of experimenting in kitchen to go on. I do not know how much my husband realises but, he does play a major role. Yes, he is the guinea pig and he has a set a very sensitive taste buds which sense even the minutest ingredient (sometimes, I think they are on a break or strike rather so they refuse to detect the obvious flavours....quite a paradox huh ! The most puzzling mystery !!), also I very much appreciate the patience with which he asks me to make some changes in the dish that I have prepared when I plan to make it the next time. Most of the time, he actually tells me the particular ingredients that I must add to enhance the flavour.

My hubby dear does treat me with restaurant food (both of us do not have an inclination to eat out regularly), sometimes just to take a break from the regular cooking. Well there are somethings I just love preparing, like some traditional sweets / desserts from back home. Most preferred by me are the simple ones, not needing too much of ghee (clarified butter). This is just one of them and need I say mom used to prepare this especially for me :D (well you can see me grinning .....). This is more like riz au lait, but a little thinner in consistency and with all the Indian flavours.

I had prepared this dish and even took the photos to post in on the blog, and I have been postponing it again and again. Finally, coming out of the laziness I decided to post it and voila !

Here is the recipe to make some pal payasam to relish on a chilly winter or really will make just as wonderful a dessert in any other season.

You will need,

Milk - 3 cups + 1/4 cup (whole or skimmed milk can be used, I used 2.5% fat milk)
Almonds & Cashews - 10 each (soaked overnight)
Basmati rice - 1 tbsp (soaked for 1 hour)
Pistachios, minced - 10
Almonds, sliced - 1/4 cup
Raw cane sugar - 3/4 cup (The amount can be adjusted according to the preference of sweetness, I made the payasam just sweet enough. Also raw cane sugar is healthier so I used it instead of the regular crystallied white sugar. Using raw cane sugar gave the payasam a light brown shade.)
Green cardamom pods, powdered - 4

1. Make a smooth paste out of the soaked almonds, cashews and 1/4 cup milk. Keep aside.

2. In a deep (deep enough so that the milk does not over flow when it starts boiling) bottomed thick pan heat the milk, keep stirring it when it is heating. Once the milk starts boiling, continue boiling the milk for 15 mins stirring in continuosly so that the milk does not stick to the botom of the pan and burn.

3. At the end of the first 15 mins, add the basmati rice and sugar. Keep cooking the milk with the rice and sugar for 15 more mins, while stirring it continuously.

4. At the end of the second 15 mins, add in the prepared paste and sliced almonds and keep cooking the payasam for 15 more mins. At the end of 45 minutes, test the rice it must be cooked and the pal payasam will be thickening.

5. At this stage, mix in the powdered cardamom into the payasam. Take of the heat. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold sprinkled with the minced pistachios.

Thanks for visiting my blog :)


  1. So comforting and delicious! A refined pudding.



  2. Thanks Rosa, it is a special dish at home :)


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