Relax with Ammini's Paal Paayasam

It's not a mistake that all four - yes, only four - ingredients in Ammini's Paal Paayasam are white.


White is the color of meditation

How does this fit in with food and the satiation of discerning taste buds, one might wonder! Well, I have a theory that there there are certain foods in Indian cuisine that are deliberately slow-cooked, and it is not just for the enhanced flavor. These foods require a fair amount of interaction from the cook, unlike foods cooked in the slow-cooker. Think back to the days when families were not nuclear, when the stoves in the kitchen were lit well before dawn, in preparation for the first meal of the day. There may have been a cook, or there may have been several women who cooked together. Grandmother, mother, daughter-in-law, unmarried daughter, niece, sister-in-law and so on. Every woman needed a periodic break, pun intended, and that is how the isolation during the monthly menses can be explained away. But what about the rest of the month? I think that in order to give the women a break from the fast and exhausting pace of cooking and serving meals for a large family, they were sometimes given a chance to sit by and stir the same pot and perhaps get a chance to reflect on their own needs. Maybe find some inspiration in the continuous swirls and bubbles in the pot they sat by.

I could be totally wrong, of course. Maybe I need to call it a hypothesis, and not a theory! But I found this little piece of nirvana when I made Ammini's Paal Paayasam. I let go of time. I stirred and stirred. I enjoyed the constant motion in the food and my chosen immobility. The smell of milk as it neared boiling point has never seemed so divine. Add to it the incredible aroma of rice as it cooks. The sloshing white liquid had me enthralled. At the end of it all, I was incredibly relaxed, very rejuvenated and I also had a creamy silken delight to serve with dinner.

Of course, another reason for the all-white ingredients could a symbolic toast to purity since it is a dish offered to the Gods at the temple.

Paal paayasam is believed to be the favorite dessert of Lord Krishna. On Janmashtami, Lord Krishna's birthday, paal paayasam is offered at all Krishna temples across the country.


Perhaps this was not the right dish to make at a cook together and it would have been preferable if I had cooked it in advance, with the desserts. It took up one whole burner for the entire duration of the cook together. So I was very lucky that Lee brought her induction burner and its special pot and we were able to include it anyway. My friend Charlotte stirred away and did not complain even once. Given how active the kitchen was and how involved she was with the rest of the dishes, I don't think she quite got a piece of the meditation I was talking about earlier. But the circumstances were different so my hypothesis still holds. According to me, anyway!

Ammini's Paal Paayasam

From Ammini Ramachandran's Grains, Greens and Grated Coconutsicon.


Much is made of rice in Kerala, and in its best incarnation, it becomes amazingly delicate and creamy, nestled in a pool of slowly simmered, condensed, and sweetened milk. Traditionally, paayasam is cooked over a slow-burning wood fire for several hours, so that the milk cooks down and thickens. Once the sugar is added, the rice stops cooking, and the long, slow simmer will not make it into a soggy lump. Instead, the milk will condense and develop a reddish hue.


Ammini's recipe is a simpler and quicker version of the traditional slow-cooked version.

  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 2 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  1. Wash and rinse the rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear. Do not drain the water completely just yet.
  2. Heat the milk in a large pot or saucepan over medium heat. Do not leave it unattended as it can get scorched. I lowered the heat to medium-low and stirred every so often.

  3. When it comes to a boil - about an hour or so - drain the water from the rice and add only the rice to the pot. Lower the heat further, and cook stirring continually to prevent scorching. It will take between 15 to 20 minutes for the rice to cook. To test if the rice is ready, try to mash some rice grains with a spoon after taking them out into a katori. It is done if it is very soft to touch and gives way easily. Cook for another five to ten minutes, if necessary. Remember that the rice will stop cooking once you add sugar!
    (And, yes, I used the flash in the previous picture to capture the motion of the milk. Something I generally do not use when photographing food. Which is why the whites in this picture look so different!)
  4. Stir in the sugar, and cook for another ten to twelve minutes.
  5. Pour in the heavy cream, and bring it to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat, and simmer for twenty-five to thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the pan from the stove, and keep it covered to prevent the milk from forming a skin.
  8. Served either warm or cold but preferably along with the meal and not after the meal.


Some tips:
  • Unless you are sure you like paal paayasam very sweet, add 1 cup of sugar, stir till it is dissolved and do a taste test. Add more sugar, 1/4 cup at a time until you are sure it is at the level of sweetness you like. For us, 1 cup of sugar was not quite enough and 1 and 1/2 cups were too sweet.
  • A pint of heavy cream is a little over 2 cups, so you can just go ahead and add the entire pint.
  • Why were we stirring so much? The pots we were cooking in seemed likely to scorch the milk if it was not stirred. Unless you have cooked down milk before and are sure that it will not get scorched, keep stirring the milk as you bring it to a boil.
  • Resist the urge to add cardamom powder or to sprinkle cinnamom powder. Also resist the urge to add raisins or cashew nuts. Trust me, this paal paayasam simply does not need anything besides the four pure white ingredients.
  • Paal paayasam, made the traditional way, has a gorgeous pinkish hue. The sugars caramelize as it cooks slowly for a longer period of time. As Priya of Akshayapaatram mentioned in her comments to this post, paal paayasam can be made using condensed milk instead of heavy cream and sugar. And, you can get that coveted pinkish color within a much shorter cooking time! Ammini suggests that you first cook the rice in the whole milk, then pour a can of condensed milk in a thin stream as you stir continuously. Keep stirring until the condensed milk is properly incorporated. Simmer for another fifteen minutes, and add more sugar if you like it sweeter.


I am reluctant to call this rice pudding because it is in a class of its own. No rice pudding can touch this! And that is from someone who does not care much for Indian sweets, especially our Maharashtrian version of Paal Paayasam, also called kheer. It is certainly not ye olde rice pudding, the western version for which multiple recipes abound.

The quality of ingredients always makes a great difference in the end product; the rice used for paayasam is no different. Back home, hand-pounded unakkalari, the aristocrat of rice varieties, is used for making paayasam. But like all true aristocrats, it is scarce, and I believe it is never exported abroad. It has a delicate flavor and a consistency that has just the right cling, and it cooks into a perfect paayasam. The clinging consistency of the paayasam depends on the starchiness of the rice. The rice should possess just enough starch to cling in cooking, but not too much to become gummy.

The authentic pot for cooking paayasam is the uruli, a heavy and shallow bell-metal pan with a curved interior. A heavy pot that transmits consistent, even heat is a perfect substitute. Do not use parboiled rice for paayasam; those grains always stay separate. In the absence of the real stuff, medium-grain or long-grain white rice is the preferred substitute.




We may not have wood fires in our kitchens but I would urge you to take time off from your daily chores and sit awhile by a pot of milk and stir. Put the phone off the hook, turn off your cellphone, take off that headset, turn off that computer, let the light stream into your kitchen and let go!

From Ammini Ramachandran's Grains, Greens and Grated Coconutsicon

45 comments:

shilpa said...

I'm going to try this Manisha! Although I cook often, I don’t enjoy it and I rarely get inspired to try something new. I'm going to take your suggestion and switch off from my other chores and do this.
I did not know that rice stops cooking after sugar goes in. Great tip that one!

RP said...

Great! You have started cooking from Ammini's book already. I am expecting the book too, hopefully in a couple of days. I can't wait. :)

Mandira said...

The recipe looks delicious Manisha. My MIL made Okra Kadi when she was here last year, very similar to the Okra Kichadi. It was delicious. I'm hoping she'll make it again this year :)

Jyothsna said...

I can almost smell the heavenly aroma of paal payasam gently stirred by my grandma back home....Nostalgia...

Gini said...

Manisha, Stop! Please! This is torture! The payasam looks soooo good.
I saw that milk pic in your flickr account, but didn't know you were making payasam. Payasams are my favorite but I never thought you would be dishing out paal payasam of all the things. You have totally impressed me,friend. This is a recipe I have never made as it usually a Hindu tradition to make paal payasam. Thanks so much for the recipe.
I am definitely getting this book. You have convinced me.

Nandita said...

B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! Was nodding my head at the whole meditation bit...and minimalistic is truly wonderful here...my mom/granny/aunts make pal payasam with only 3 ingredients, milk, rice and sugar and it is divine...your post makes me wanna STIR STIR AND STIR some more...you are on a Kerala roll girl :) Hugs!

Sharmi said...

Nice write up and delicious looking pics!! I love Pal payasam.
will come back for more recipes.

cheers
sharmi

Anita said...

No hugs from me..I am sulking..

Much is made of rice in K- Kashmir!

Did you not read the footnote in my last post? Kashmiri Dessert #2 was on its way! And we have but 3 and a half. Total. You totally stole my thunder...:)

[Look at me html-ing all over your comments! Sticking with bold as advised by TLO. How do I hyperlink now? :)]

Priya said...

OMG Manisha....this is my most favorite sweet everrrrr and the keralites and Tams are the best cooks to make it. We are a Telugu-Tamil mix and any time I went to a Tamil function I would wait eagerly for the dessert to be served. Warm paal payasam on a fresh banana leaf...Heaven.
I made this for Ugadi y'day and was lost in the clouds for a long while ;-) I used condensed milk instead of heavy cream. And I did make the mistake of adding raisins and cashews ! :D

Deepz said...

The payasam looks yummy. Also a very good write up. Makes me want to make payasam tonite, although I promised myself that I will not make a dessert till the weekend.

Manisha said...

Shilpa, it is so hard to believe that you don't enjoy the process of cooking when you are such a great cook! Those aren't mere words as I have tasted some of the yummies you've cooked! I don't care much for the clean-up and my assistant quit a couple of years ago, given how may pots and pans there are on a daily basis - so that part of it remains a chore. But I enjoy cooking. I find it very therapeutic and relaxing.

There are several nuggets in this very simple yet extremely delicious recipe. Which is what is so fantastic about Ammini's book. There are gems like this tucked away all over book, in recipes, in Ammini's narratives...


RP, I've been cooking from Ammini's book since November as I prepared for a cook together I hosted in December last year. Ammini was very kind and gracious with recipes from her book as well as with her patient advice to this novice in the world of Kerala cuisine. There is so much learning in Ammini's book that I am sure you will bond with it right away! Like you, Ammini shares her knowledge selflessly.

Mandira, that sounds very interesting. I generally don't associate the word Kadi with anything sweet. You must get the recipe from your m-i-l!

Jyothsna, you are so lucky to have a rich cultural heritage to draw upon. I'm hoping that I, too, am creating similar memories for Medha. :-)

Gini, there are very few Indian sweets and desserts that I enjoy. I don't like kheer much, especially those pieces of malai floating about in the milk. They get stuck in my throat and make me want to throw up. Kheer in its restaurant avatar here is simply avoidable. This paal paayasam, on the other hand, is delectable and no floaters! Yes, it's rich and high in calories. But everything in moderation is just fine, right?!

There is so much about Kerala that I am learning through Ammini's book. My cousin is married to a Syrian Christian and we have very close family friends who were Malyali in Nairobi so while I was aware of the rich culture of Kerala, I just never paid attention. Ammini's vegetarian dishes are putting so much life back into the daily fare in our home. And your fish curry was another excellent example of "so much flavor, with such few ingredients."

Remember that there are no glossy pictures. The book rides totally on Ammini's skillful writing. I keep calling it the definitive "Joy of Cooking" for vegetarian food from Kerala. (JoC has no pictures; just some illustrations interspersed here and there) And, go ahead and make the paal paayasam - it is so fulfilling!


Nandita, I am so glad it struck a chord with you! I am totally on a Kerala high. So much so that I want to go there on my next visit to India, whenever that is!

Sharmi, thanks and welcome to IFR! Your mango pulihara sounds like something I may make next, especially since I have a raw mango in my fridge! Yummy!

Oh, Ms Tikoo! I need those hugs, you know. As for stealing your thunder, uh-uh! Big huge uh-uh! I am sure there is a Kashmiri Pandit spin to rice and milk. I think rice and milk is pretty universal. Kheer and paayasams, though seem to have been perfected by South Indian cuisines. Kheer in our family was not a pleasant experience. We started eating it only after my mother took careful instructions from a Tamilian neighbor. She brought the milk to boil in a pressure cooker and it always had a pinkish hue without being cooked forever. I don't think she wrote it down anywhere. I'm going to have to get it from my aunt. But in all honesty, it pales in comparison to this creamy paal paayasam!

Will send you instructions by email on how to use hyperlinks.


Priya, that is exactly how Ammini describes how paal paayasam is served and eaten: on a fresh banana leaf. There are several other paayasams in the book, some have ginger and cardamom, some are served with honey and ghee, some have nuts, some have coconut milk and so on! But not this one.

And using condensed milk instead of cream and sugar is a variation that
Ammini suggests, too. She says the paayasam gets that much wanted pinkish color. I will update my post with that additional information.

And you know what? I, too, prefer it warm! You are right, it is heaven!


Deepz, don't make this in a hurry. Make the time and enjoy the process. You are sure to enjoy the results!

I got your email - thanks for all that info! Will reply soon!

shilpa said...

Ohh Manisha, I looove such long and time consuming recipes. I love to try them once in a while :). Thanks for posting this. Looks like my hubbby will love this.


You know what? I clicked the comment link of this post and was wodering when I left a comment, since I am 100% sure I am reading this post for the first time :). Then realised it is the other Shilpa :).

Shilpa/EyeOnNature said...

Uh Uh Manisha. Sorry for the confusion.This is the other Shilpa!
OK my new Id should prevent further confusion :)

Manisha said...

Shilpa, if it's any consolation to you: I know both of you and your writing styles well enough to know exactly which Shilpa posted the comment, without having to hover over the username to figure it out! So I am not confused. :D

Make this paal paayasam and tell me what you think. I am planning on making it often but giving it away each time I make it. Several of my neighbors will be very happy! And I will reap the benefits, too!

bee (jugalbandi.info) said...

you like stirring? come right over. :-D

bee (jugalbandi.info) said...

btw, not arguing with ammini here, but another reason traditonal paal payasam in kerala is pink is because of the rose matta rice or kuthari. it gives it a pinkinsh tinge and makes it creamier.

Manisha said...

Show me the way and I will be there. What will I get as fair exchange for stirring?

Bee, I don't have any experience with rose matta or kuthari rice. What about these grains lends itself to making paayasams creamy? I remember reading about rose matta rice on Indira's blog, made a mental note to try it out sometime but haven't done anything about it as yet.

My mother used 'tukda basmati' when she made kheer and it turned pink on boiling at high temperature in the pressure cooker or at least that is the reason I think it turned that color. I need to call my aunt this weekend to find out the whys of that recipe!

Ammini said...

Bee: I have mentioned in the recipe back home, hand-pounded unakkalari, the aristocrat of rice varieties, is used for making paayasam. I didn't use the word kuthari; instead used the words hand pounded. Also I wanted stress that the rice for paayasam should not be parboiled. That is why I wrote hand pounded unakkalari.

Shyam said...

Wow, Manisha, I'm not a fan of the long, slow, stir-for-hours school of cooking, but you make it sound so VERY appealing!!! :) Very nice post!

rahin said...

hey manisha , lovely post , looks delicious , looks calm :)

Manisha said...

Ammini, thank you very much for that explanation!

I now understand that kuthari and hand pounded unakkalari mean pretty much the same thing. And that the rice has "just the right cling" which "depends on the starchiness of the rice" without the end result being gummy. This is where the creaminess comes from.

To confirm whether the pinkish color comes from the rice or the caramelization of milk sugars (primarily lactose), I guess that can be determined by making paal paayasam the old-fashioned way but with long-grained white rice. :-D Any volunteers?


Shyam, it made me feel good! What can I tell you! And I made it more than once. I am now looking forward to making gajjar halwa the slow-cooked way.

Rahin, after eating it, the feeling is bliss! Or heaven, as Priya put it. :D

bee (jugalbandi.info) said...

so there are two varieties of rose matta rice? parboiled and on-parboiled? i didn't kno that. i've always seen and used the parboiled one.

manisha, the parboiled one is super starchy, like arborio.

Mandira said...

Manisha, I was comparing okra kadi to Okra kichadi... not paal payasam. :) Your thukda basmati strikes a cord. That is what my mom uses for making for making payesh too...

Shilpa/EyeOnNature said...

and my confusion bit referred to your response to the first comment on this post :)
I bought whole milk and cream today. Will get ready to stir tomorrow. I agree you make it all sound so appealing that I (the fan and quick and easy cooking) can’t wait to try it.
when you say long grain rice, do you mean basmati?

Manisha said...

Bee, from my lesson on rice yesterday, I learned that rose matta is a variety of rice. It is available in Indian stores as matta rice and apparently is sold as parboiled as well as hulled without parboiling. You may also find it in the stores as Palakkadan matta rice, which means that it was grown in the Palakkad district of Kerala.

Indira has a section on parboiled rose matta rice with beautiful pictures of the rice grain, uncooked as well as cooked.


Mandira, so you did! Sorry about that! I do need to get my eyes tested! Tukda basmati was what we ate on a regular basis - and whole grain fragrant basmati was for pulaos and biryanis. It's only since we moved here that we eat whole grain basmati on a regular basis. And that is not very healthy. I am trying to change that but no-one besides me cared much for long grained brown rice. "You have to chew it too much!" was the main complaint.

Shilpa, ok, took me a while but I figured that one out! :D I used basmati but if you read Ammini's suggestion, she says any long grain rice will do. Let me know how you liked the paal paayasam.

Inji Pennu said...

You get unakkalari in U.S
Look at this post of
mine. I make palpayasam with that.

The way you described making of the paysam, I felt I was there stirring the milk. :)

pelicano said...

Manisha-

This is so very lovely....so very white, so very pure...

How about just topped with a single crescent-shaped piece of fresh ripe mango? no?

ok....how about garnished with the dew that in the morning settles on the petals of fragrant white roses?

I must have this book...

BTW, I visited a Thai store recently that sold rose matta rice....it was extremely expensive! So, I put it off for a bit.....

Manisha said...

Inji, thank you so much for that! I will look for that rice on my next trip to the Indian store! That was you with me? When I was stirring? :-D

Pel, from the food styling point of view, yes! But not otherwise! Dew from the petals of white roses...you are a poet, aren't you?! Gosh that was beautiful!

The book is definitely very precious. It has a wonderfully simple recipe for suran (telinga potatoes) that I am very eager to try next. I really like that I haven't had to look for special ingredients in whatever I have cooked so far. And the list of ingredients in most recipes is also not overwhelming.

I will check out rose matta rice here, too.

pelicano said...

Oh...I forgot to tell you I really love your photos on this one...especially the one with the three little bowls... :-D

Mallugirl said...

wonderful explanation with photos too!!i have to get this book now.

Richa said...

it is so very true that paal payasam does not need any flavoring of elaichi/cinnamon. one of my friends(keralite) made it for us when we visited her in phoenix and it was truly divine!
thanks

musical said...

Palpayasa: OMG! another divine dessert. You ladies are hell ebnt on converting me :).

Shilpa/EyeOnNature said...

Lunch today was swiss chard with masoor, baked tilapia (using your rainbow trout recipe) and… and…
the grand finale, paal payasam!
I was very patient with the payasam and it turned out creamy and perfect.Half cup of sugar was just right sweetness for me.
I bought one gallon of milk and one quart of heavy cream (read the recipe carefully only after buying them) Now I'm thinking of giving Anita's kheer a shot later this week.
Right now, in my house, Manisha's Indian Food Rocks rocks! Lol!

Ranjani said...

the paal payasam served at weddings is the most yummiest (is that even a word?)..its been long since i tried it ..will try this next week , maybe.

Manisha said...

Pel, you're the best! Thank you so much! The pictures were kind of jinxed. The first time I had great daylight but the camera was on some wrong settings and I didn't notice till we'd wiped the bowls clean. The next time, it was overcast. Sigh. It's not easy...But I'm so glad you liked them!

Mallugirl, now that's a decision you won't regret! I'm hoping you will tell us the regional differences between vegetarian cuisine in the Malabar area where you come from and the Palakkad region where Ammini comes from.

Richa, a hearty welcome to a voice of reason! Divine, yes! That is the word. I see you have the aebleskiver pan that I dream of every night. Must buy it soon!

Musical, no! no! I am not the one trying to convert anyone to anything. ;-) This paal paayasam, though? Try it. At least once.

Shilpa, gosh! I don't know what to say! I am so glad you liked everything. And, whoa! you guys eat even less sugar than we do! Isn't it amazingly creamy and silken? BTW, who's Anita? ;-)

Did you use tilapia fillets? I haven't cooked tilapia like that and it's pretty healthy when cooked that way, don't you think?


Ranjani, welcome! Making superlative even more super is no problem in my eyes, when it comes to paal paayasam! Just don't tell Anita!

Shilpa/EyeOnNature said...

Yes, I used tilapia filets. They break and fall apart easily on the tava but it was perfect in the oven.Healthy and delicious.Loved it.
I was a bit surprised about the sugar in the payasa too. I kept looking at the half cup measure to make sure that is what I used. I found it difficult to believe that it was right for us.
I went from two and half teaspoons of sugar in a small cup (not the amrica cup but indian teacup) of tea to a little less than a teaspoon in a span of six months… I gradually reduced my white sugar intake, a little at a time, week by week and the experiment seems to have worked. Now I can’t handle too sweet stuff. Slightly more sugar in something and I feel it is “matta god” like they say in Marathi!

Anita said...

Shilpa, you go girl and make that kheer...you don't have to take sides, I promise. I've called a truce.

On sugar in tea, over the past few years I have come from 1 t in the Indian cup to 1/3t in the Umreeki cup! It is so less that I think I might as well not add any. It is so easy to over-sweeten when there is hardly any to begin with!

(Yes! I can link!)

Shilpa/EyeOnNature said...

Your kheer is definitely on for this weekend. I’m also thinking of picking some more dishes from your blog and making a complete meal. Just like I did with Manisha’s recipes yesterday.The mutsch is cooing to me.
Other than Kehwa, I don’t think I’ve eaten Kashmiri food before, so it will be a novel experience. I can cook all this and we can discuss my results using your dear OLO’s comment space! (I’m just kidding, Manisha!)
So there is scope to reduce more sugar in my tea, looks like!

Manisha said...

Shilpa, tilapia is not native to the US. It was brought here from Africa and is farm-raised. When I first ate tilapia here, I was convinced it could not be the same flavorful fish we used to eat in Kenya! But it's cheap, doesn't fall apart, has next to no mercury as it is farm-raised, is rich in omega-3 and presents a viable option to cod or wild salmon, even though it is not as flavorful. I use tilapia for most of my fish curries.

I tried standing at the seafood counter at the Asian market recently and I just couldn't go through with the process. So like, Pel and Anita, I too would be a vegetarian if I had to kill my own meat or fish. So instead I bought some frozen blue mackerel, not knowing what I am going to do with them!

I gave up sugar in my tea a long time ago. My palate hated adjusting to the difference in the sweetness of sugar between the US and India. One day I forgot to put sugar in our tea. We drank it, liked it and never went back. I hung on to sugar in my coffee till about a year ago. No more. I'm free!


Truce, it is! ;-)

Anita, my parents taught me well! They said if you hang out with people smarter than yourself, you will always do well. Now you know why I am a regular fixture on your blog! :-D

You guys are always welcome to use my space. Just no inane shopping stuff, no clothes and no shoes, except if it is about hiking boots or snowshoes. :-D

Shilpa, you have the makings of an event there. I made this, this and this from this blog for one meal. At least 3 dishes. Go on then, start it! Except that I won't be able to participate. My 3 dishes are usually: rice or roti, dal or meat curry or a bhaji and a quick salad.

Anjali said...

Manisha how are you? I'm here after long.

I had seen these pictures on the flickr stream and knew this post would be interesting. I don't care much for kheers but now I crave to cook it for the fun you mentioned but only once Dad is here with me again.

Anita said...

Very clever - so, now, who is the smarter one again?

Manisha said...

Anjali, I read you were on vacation. Good! I hope you're rested and rejuvenated. If not, you can always make paal paayasam. :-D

Anita, you are always way way way ahead of me!

But it's a great way of paying oneself a compliment! ;-)

Sreeja said...

I always make pal paayasam by boiling rice, sugar and milk together. To get the pink hue, first pressure cook milk in low flame the with sugar for around 30 minutes after the first whistle. After this I add rice/vermicilli and more sugar if needed. The pressure cooked milk condenses a lot and turns a deep rich pink colour. So if you wish you can add a little more milk. Rice **always** gets cooked despite the addition of sugar. I think the secret to best payasam is not to add water at all. many people i know first cook the rice/vermicilli in water then add milk and sugar which gives a totally different taste.

My mom makes this in uruli with long hours of stirring and her ari payasam is the BEST I have ever eaten including ambalappuzha payasam.

When the milk condenses, the usual taste/smell of milk goes away and as you say, it tastes good even without elaichi. I love to eat the solidified milk left at the uruli edges. that tastes even more divine than the payasam.

Manisha said...

Sreeja, welcome! And thank you so much for your detailed comment. You may have just told me how my mother used to make kheer in the pressure cooker! I have a lot of questions for you. But before that I need to add that that there were two times that I made paal paayasam according to Ammini's recipe when I did add the sugar before the rice was fully cooked and the rice did not cook beyond that point. I simmered and stirred for almost an hour each time. So I am a bit flummoxed.

Do you cook the rice along with the other ingredients, under pressure? Or without the lid? Could it be that the sugar is already caramelized that it does not interfere with the cooking of the rice?

What are the ingredients in ambalappuzha paayasam? I hope you'll come back to tell me more!

Pritya said...

Dear Manisha,
The paal payasam looks most appetizing! Ammini's recipes are the latest craze in my kitchen. One question though - Is there any way to avoid having to remain by the stove to keep stirring the pot? Also, what do you think would happen if we used partially cooked rice instead of cooking the rice in the milk? Can you please tell me why this is done? Someone told me that cooking the rice in the milk enhances the flavour and the taste of the payasam. Please clarify.