Two weeks ago we had Vishu (New year), for many Malayalees. It was also new year for many other states in India like Bohag Bihu in Assam, Vaishakhi in Punjab, Tamil New Year in Tamil Nadu, Poila Boishakh in West Bengal, and Bishuva Sankranti in Orrisa. During this day people come together to make some of the most tastiest dishes in India and gorge on them for an entire day or two.
We decided to make a sweet delicacy, something most of us are familiar with, a payasam. There are so many different versions to a payasam, we were more familiar with the Paal Payasam and hence decided to give it a go. There are very few ingredents required but it takes a lot of effort and patience to make a payasam, in the end it is worth all the effort.
- Full cream milk
- Rice (We used Basmati)
- Cardamon or Cardamon powder
- Dry fruits of your choice (We used Cashews and raisins)
Steps to follow:
Take 2 cups of rice and wash it. Then soak it in water and keep it aside for 20 minutes.
While rice is kept aside, in a deep bottomed pan put 2 cups of sugar and melt the sugar. When it is about to melt add some water, mix thoroughly and then add one cup of milk. Keep stirring or it will become a gooey lump. This caramelisation process is done to give a nice colour to the payasam.
Now to this slightly brown mixture add 1.5 litres of milk and keep stirring. After adding milk, add one cup of sugar, some cardamoms, and 2 TBSP of ghee.
Now, you must make sure you do not take your eyes off or take a break. This needs full dedication and arm strength. Keep stirring until milk thickens a little. It might take around 20-25 minutes. Do not stop stirring continuously or else milk will stick to the bottom and burn.
Then add the soaked rice. Keep stirring this mixture until the rice is cooked. It might take 15- 20 minutes. Add one more cup of sugar and keep stirring until it has a thick texture and rice is cooked.
When the rice is cooked and payasam has become thick, add two small cups of milk to balance out the texture and make it a little liquid. Stir for 2-5 minutes and then switch off the gas/stove.
Now, take a pan and add 2tbsp of ghee and let it melt, to this add your favourite dry fruits. I added cashews and raisins. Roast it on medium flame for 2-3 minutes and then put this directly onto the payasam as garnishing.
Your payasam is ready!!! Although your arms might hurt after the continuous stirring, the tasty payasam will make you forget all that pain.
Here is the overall video of our preperation,