Monday, January 12, 2015

Paal payasam ~ Chawal ka kheer ~ Indian milk pudding

Happy New Year to all my readers, hope you all had a wonderful start to the year with friends and family. My apologies for not wishing you all earlier.  The last few weeks have been so strange and busy that I haven't even been able to find a little time to peek into this space, let alone complete this post. I travelled to India in early December to spend a few weeks with my family.  It was to be a routine trip, or at least as routine as an international trip can get these days with all the weather disruptions, flight delays etc.

While there we learnt that my mother in law needed surgery and I extended my trip to help out with the surgery and the post surgery part of things. My mother in law is recovering now and is doing much better, and I hope to return back home soon and resume my routine and posts.  In the meanwhile I had this post for paal payasam in my drafts and since it's a sweet and such a delicious one at that, thought it might be a good idea to post this now, to start of the year on a sweet note. Paal payasam is the South Indian version of chawal ka kheer/ Indian milk pudding. Earlier I had posted a slow cooker version of this payasam/ kheer, this stove top version is  the way my mother in law makes this kheer. It turns out consistently delicious and it's easy to make for a get together or a potluck party.

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make paal payasam
8 cups whole milk ( doodh/ paal)
3/4 cup sugar ( or to taste, see notes) (shakkar / sakkarai)
1/4 cup basmati rice ( chawal/ arisi)
2 tsp clarified butter ( ghee/ nei)
1/4 tsp cardamom seed powder  (approx 4 to 5 green cardamoms) (elaichi/ elakkai)

Lightly roast basmati rice in 2 tsp of ghee until it turns creamy brown. Remove, place in mixer and give it a turn / pulse until the grains break into halves.

Place milk in a heavy bottomed pan and place on medium heat. Add roasted and broken rice grains and simmer, stirring frequently until the milk is reduced to half and the rice is cooked and soft. When you step away from the milk even for a couple of mins the milk has a tendency to boil over. R's grandmother shared this tip that I always use to make this payasam and things like therattipaal. When the milk is simmering add a small, clean stainless steel cup/ katori/ kinnam into the milk. This prevents milk from spilling over.  Even when I do this though, I never stay away from the payasam/kheer for longer than a couple of minutes, so do keep your eye on the kheer and stir frequently.

Add sugar to the milk and simmer for some more time, until the sugar dissolves. Add cardamom seed powder/ elaichi and simmer for just a few more minutes.

Remove from heat and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. 

Serves approx 5 to 6. 

Notes :
This recipe can be halved if necessary. 

With this quantity of sugar the payasam is mildly sweet, if you like your payasam/ kheer to have a more pronounced sweetness, increase the quantity of sugar as per taste.

If you are looking for Payasam/ Kheer recipes, here are a few more

Oats Poha Kheer ~ Oats Aval payasam ~ Beaten rice flakes pudding

Gajar kaju kheer ~ Carrot cashew payasam

Badam Kheer ~ Payasam ~ Indian almond pudding
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