Nutrition and DietHow to make Payasam, Indian rice pudding

How to make Payasam, Indian rice pudding

With the name of Payasam, Payasa, Payesh or Kheer we find a wonderful rice pudding with pistachios, cashews, raisins and cardamom, typical of India. Discover how to make it at home with this recipe.

If we are talking about a dessert that generally has a soft texture, a pleasant flavor and is very aromatic, which also stands out for being a traditional delicacy characteristic of Spanish gastronomy, it is quite likely that rice pudding will become one of the dishes that comes to mind. to the head.

Indeed, it is a traditional Spanish dessert, in which a series of basic ingredients are used for its preparation: rice, milk and sugar. Then the most common thing is to flavor it with other equally natural ingredients, such as cinnamon and lemon peel.

Believe it or not, rice pudding is a dessert that probably arrived in Europe at the time of the Crusades, entering through the eastern part of the Mediterranean, where trade between the Persians, Venetians and Genoese meant that initially the sweetener used for its elaboration was the honey.

However, it was not until much later that honey was finally replaced by sugar, whose development came in the early 19th century after the presence of sucrose in beets, was discovered.

As far as Spain is concerned, it originally began to be made in Andalusia, where it was common to flavor rice pudding with cinnamon, lemon or orange peel, until it spread little by little and reached Asturias, where it also became a tremendously delicious dessert. Typical.

However, did you know that there is also a very similar typical dessert in India? In those parts it is known by the name of payasam (and also by other names, such as payasapayesh or kheer), and it has become a traditional sweet dish characteristic of South Asia.

Evidently, it is a dessert that bears similarities to the Spanish rice pudding, since in its preparation rice is used -or broken wheat-, milk and sugar, all while the cooking is boiling.  But there is a difference: it is common for the preparation to be flavored with cardamom, saffron or raisins, and almonds, cashews or pistachios are also added.

How to make your own Payasam:

Its preparation is extremely simple and straightforward. And the result is simply wonderful. In addition, it has the added advantage that if you wish you can add sugar or not.

Main ingredients:

  • 180g of white rice
  • 1 liter of whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 1 handful of pistachios
  • 120 grams white sugar (optional)

Payasam preparation:

  1. First, put the whole milk in a saucepan over the heat and when it starts to boil, add the white rice all at once.
  2. Now lower the heat and let it cook for 45 to 50 minutes. It is important that you stir from time to time so that the rice does not stick to the bottom.
  3. Add the sugar and stir again until dissolved. Turn off the heat and remove from the saucepan.
  4. While the preparation is still hot, add the cardamom, the raisins and the pistachios, and stir again.
  5. Ready!.

In Asia it is common to be served at dinner, or simply as a dessert at lunch.

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