My mom’s specialty was payasams. Her pal payasam tastes absolutely divine. My older brother has inherited her skills. His payasam is actually a notch better than my mother’s!
My strategy for making payasam is simple. Just call my mom or my brother for the proportions. And they will guide you through the whole process. Easy, right?
Every single time I call her, after amma tells me how to make payasam her way, she always mentions about this shortcut pressure cooker recipe. This method saves a lot of stirring time and still gives you the same results – the perfect pink, thick payasam. It was her cousin’s way of doing it, something she never tried herself.
Somehow we all trusted mom’s tried and tested traditional method and never bothered trying any other way.
This time when I wanted to make payasam, I thought I will give a try to her oft mentioned, but never tried recipe, a chance. I am glad I did. Like she said – same creamy payasam and a lot less effort. I know she would have been happy :-)!
The payasam measurements are a rough translation of 1 litre whole milk + 1 cup sugar + a (closed fist) handful of washed raw rice pressure cooked with a pinch of cardamom. Whole milk makes a difference in getting the perfect consistency. If it’s skim or 2% milk you are using, then a bit of butter will help in getting the consistency right.
Recipe source: My family
Theme : 3 ingredient recipe
- 1 liter whole milk (4 cups)
- 1.5 tbsp raw rice, washed (a closed fist handful of rice)
- 1 cup sugar (reduce a bit if you prefer)
- Pinch cardamom powder, optional
- 3-4 tbsp butter, optional
- We are using pressure cooker method. Use the biggest cooker you have. So take a clean cooker and add the milk, washed rice and the sugar in it. You can add a pinch of cardamom powder also. Use a 5 liter cooker even if you are making only one liter of milk. With a clean spatula, mix everything well so that the sugar doesn’t cover the rice completely.
- Pressure cook until the 1st whistle comes. After that, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let the payasam cook for 45 minutes.
- Switch off after 45 minutes and don’t disturb the cooker until the pressure drops completely.
- Open the cooker after that and your payasam is ready!
- If the payasam is still on the watery side, you can add 2-3 tbsp butter/ghee and bring it to a boil. Boil it without the cooker lid for about 15 minutes or until your preferred consistency is reached, stirring now and then.
- Use the biggest cooker you have. Don’t fill more than half the cooker or else milk will come out of the whistle making it messy to clean up.
- The recipe scales well.
- If you are not using whole milk, you might want to add butter or ghee to make the payasam thicker.
- Make sure the cooker and the lid is really clean, else the milk might curdle.
- You can add a pinch of cardamom powder or one crushed cardamom to the payasam at the beginning. I opted out of this one.
- A handful of fried cashews in ghee is a great addition to this payasam. Again, this is optional.
- Sweetness can be adjusted to your personal preference.
- Adding plain butter or even ghee to the payasam makes it yummier. Again, optional.