Payasam is a very popular dish in every region of India. The name changes from region to region and is generally known as Kheer in the northern region and as Payasam in the Southern region. It is made in different ways. Some uses Lentil and some uses Rice; some uses Sugar and some uses Jaggery. It is also made with Vermicelli. And lot many ingredients get added depending on how rich one wants to make it – Cashew Nuts, Raisins, dried fruits, Saffron etc. It is believed that the history of this Payasam is more than 2000 years old. It is also believed that it originated in the temple town of Puri in Odisha in India. In fact, it has become such a popular dish that it is a main dish during Ramadan of Muslims. In south as well in other regions, it is offered as a prasad in the temples. It is also an offering to the God during the festivals at home. Some uses Milk and some uses Coconut Milk. No feast is complete without a Payasam in the Hindu festivities. We can keep writing about Payasam. Here we are going to see how to make a simple Payasam – tasty and flavorful.
Rice (preferably Basmati Rice) – 1/3 cup
Milk – 4 cups
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Green Cardamom Powder – ¼ tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Broken Cashew Nuts – 2 tbsp
Raisin / Kishmish – 2 tbsp
Heat a tsp of Ghee in a pressure cooker. Wash the rice and roast it in this Ghee for 2 minutes in low medium flame. (This step is optional, but it does enhance the flavor of the final Paal Payasam).
Add milk carefully. Since the cooker will be hot, the milk may splutter. Cook the rice with the closed lid and valve in the pressure cooker for 5 to 6 whistles in low to medium flame. Allow it to cool and allow the pressure to drop on its own.
In the meanwhile, heat 2 tsp of Ghee. Roast the Cashews in it in low flame till it changes its color lightly. Add the Raisins and allow them to puff up.
Open the lid of the pressure cooker (pressure might have dropped by now). Add Cardamom Powder and Sugar. Stir cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the roasted Cashew and Raisins. Mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl.
You can serve this dish hot or cold or chilled.
You can use any variety of Rice for this dish, but Basmati will give a good flavor and taste.
If you find the Payasam too thick, add some boiled milk and loosen the consistency. Generally this Payasam tends to turn thick as it cools down.
Cook in low flame as the milk may tend to burn at the bottom of the cooker which may spoil the taste.
You can adjust the quantity of Sugar (to little more than 1/3 cup) if you want it to be further sweeter.