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Friday, November 5, 2004

PAL PAYASAM

PAL PAYASAM

Category : Dessert
In Kerala : Dessert cum part of the main course

Lets talk about one of Kerala’s most famous sweet dish (dessert) the traditional payasam). Which is not only served at the beginning of the meal on the plantain leaf but also in the middle of the meal in massive quantities. Before serving the thair (yogurt) normally the payasam is served. Where the food was served traditionally in weddings and occasions the server at the weddings would pour it on the banana leaf and people used to relish this delicacy by trying their best not to allow it to cascade out of the banana leaf, it would be a scoop and a lick action….first the payasam must be deftly scooped with the hand and then licked or slurped out of it….and I have seen people enjoying it so much, although I prefer mine in a kinnam (a small bowl) as I don’t like the sweet to mix with the salted remnants of the sambhar or rasam after which course the payasam is usually served. Nor do I like the sweet remnants of the payasam stuck to my elai (plantain leaf) which will spoil the taste of my thair chadam (curd rice / yogurt rice). But I know people who would swear by how it tastes when eaten right out of a banana leaf….so slurpy and so yummy, tickling and tantalizing your taste buds.
All payasams are generally made in the Urali (a traditionally used wide mouthed flat & thick bottomed pan) and they are stirred and stirred until they get a faint pink colour.

PAL PAYASAM
Ingredients:
Milk – 1 and ½ litre
Rice - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Cardamom Powder – a teaspoon
Cashewnuts - 1 tbsp broken into slivers
Raisins – 1 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Method:
Boil the one litre milk in a vessel and once boiled remove from fire.
Take the half litre milk in separate vessel. Add washed rice to the boiling milk and cook for 5 to 10 minutes stirring once in a while. If the rice gets cooked in the milk slowly, the payasam tastes better , you must cook the rice till it is soft and mashed well,
but if you want to quicken your cooking time,
Add your washed rice and half litre milk in the cooker and cook upto 2 whistles(or as per your normal rice cooking time). One this rice is cooked.
Take an Urali, add the rest of the milk i.e the boiled one litre milk and the cooked rice and milk and keep stirring constantly.
Add sugar and stir till it is dissolved. Keep stirring on a low flame till the Payasam gets a faint pink colour. Once done, remove from fire.
In a small pan. take some ghee, fry the cashewnuts, raisins and cardamom powder and pour on top of the Payasam.
Your Pal Payasam is ready.

This is a Quick recipe, as using condensed milk reduces the cooking time of the Payasam.
Ingredients
Milk -1 Litre (since we are using condensed milk, we can reduce the quantity of milk)
Condensed Milk ½ Cup
Rice -1 Cup
Sugar - 1 Cup
Cardamom Powder – a teaspoon
Cashew nuts 1 tbsp broken into slivers
Raisins – 1 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Method
Cook rice in pressure cooker till 1 whistle. In an Urali, Take the milk, add the cooked rice and sugar and stir till the sugar is dissolved. Add the condensed milk. Keep stirring on a low flame till the Paysam gets a faint pink colour. Once done remove from fire.
In a small pan take some ghee, fry the cashewnuts, raisins and cardamom powder and pour on top of the Payasam.
Your Pal Payasam is ready.

Tip : Since condensed Milk is already sweet, the sugar can be reduced to ½ a cup, as many people don’t like very sweet Payasam. Also after adding the condensed milk, if you feel more sweet is required u can always add sugar and stir till it dissolves. I always recommend the taste and cook method.

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