For the longest time now I have been wanting to experiment using agave nectar entirely in Indian sweets but did not get around to it. Additionally this past few weeks I have been craving some kind of milk based sweet, every time I visit a friend's blog I seem to see some kind of milk based sweet which did not help matters either :-) Anyway the opportunity to do both presented itself when out of the loads of oranges I buy regularly in this season I landed up with a batch that seemed a little tangy. Normally on the rare occasions that I find myself with slightly tangy oranges I just toss the oranges in fruit salad with a host of other fruits.
But this time since I had been wanting to make payasam too, it got me wondering how payasam would taste if I used these oranges in it. Since there is no better way to know than to really try it, I decided to go ahead and see how this works out. At the end of the experiment, after thoroughly enjoying some of this payasam (tasting yummy stuff is one of the fringe benefits of cooking isn't it? ), I concluded that this was a successful experiment, the payasam turned out to be light, mildly sweet and fruity and the orange added an exotic touch to it.The saffron and oranges complemented each other and lent a pretty color to the payasam and from the reactions I received I would say this sweet is here to stay in my kitchen. :-)
Ingredients and method to make the orange payasam
3 1/2 cups milk ( I used 2 % but you can use whole milk)
few strands of saffron
pulp from 3 little oranges (approximately scant 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup agave nectar ( or substitute with 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar according to taste)
3 tsp sugar (optional) (omit if using sugar instead of agave nectar)
Remove the outer skin of the orange, then remove and discard the inner thin skin and the seeds and just save and keep aside the pulpy part of the orange.
You know the drill, as with any other milk based payasam, the first step is to place the milk in a heavy bottomed large pan and heat on a medium to medium high heat. When the milk comes to near boil,add saffron strands to the milk and turn down the heat to medium to medium low and let it simmer for some time.
When the milk is on a low simmer add agave nectar (or sugar if you are using that ) and let it melt and mix with the milk.
When the milk is halved ( took me about 30 mins) and is looking creamy in both color and texture, remove from heat and keep aside.
Let it cool THOROUGHLY before adding the orange pulp to it. Do keep in mind, if orange pulp is added to milk before it cools completely the milk will curdle.
Chill this in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve cold.
Serves approximately 3
If using very sweet oranges in this payasam, reduce the sweetness a little if you like mild sweets.
This is my entry into the Sweet celebrations event being hosted by Aparna
This is also my entry into the Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipe Carnival being hosted by Mansi.