The moment I hear the name "payasam", I fantasize drinking it to my heart in a plate using my hands .. sounds weird?!?! But, this is how I like to drink payasam .. I don't want any cups/spoons .. I enjoy slurping it away directly from the plate.. or to be more precise, from banana leaf .. I particularly enjoy this recipe of paal payasam for its thicker consistency & for its warm, welcoming orangish hue.
I feel that payasam and brahmin house-holds are inseparable.. There used to be some kind of functions/festivals around every corner and we are so used to preparing some kind of sweet for every occasion. Payasam is the most preferred of all for it is very quick & easy to prepare.
Especially during special occasions, when food is served on banana leaf, you need to know the knack to drink payasam directly from the leaf, without letting it run out of the sides and at the same time, tactfully slurp it up before the payasam runs down through your palm and reaches your elbow.
Argghhh, How much I miss all those fun - SIGHHHH !!! How do you like your payasam to be served?
Milk - 2 cups (I used 2% milkfat)
Sugar - 2-3 tbsp
Sweetened & condensed milk - 2 tbsp
Cashews - few
Raisins - few
Saffron strands - 3-5 nos
Ghee - for roasting the garnishes
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Heat ghee in a pan, roast cashews until brown and keep it aside. In the same pan fry raisins until plump and keep them aside.
Soak saffron in a couple of teaspoons of warm milk and keep it aside.
Wash raw rice and pressure cook it with 1 cup of milk for upto 2 (or) 3 whistles.
Now, heat a pan on low - medium, transfer cooked rice into it, add rest of the milk and bring it to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, add condensed milk, cardamom powder, cashews, raisins & saffron and let them boil until payasam reaches desired consistency. Adjust more milk/sugar to suit your taste & thickness.
Serve hot & enjoy!