Its been a long gap but here I am back to my favourite hobby "blogging". Everytime I look at the lovely food photos uploaded by blogger friends, I yearn to put on my food blogger cap and start cooking out dishes until I drop dead.
Not everything goes as planned, does it !! especially in life.
So much has happened in the past two years - good, bad, super-good twists and turns which constantly reminds that life is a roller coaster ride.
Spent the past two years in India, now again back in the UK, having a second child, shifting houses, school admissions, juggling work amidst looking after 2 young kids ... hhhmmm, I need a break.
Taking a turn in a new direction to step onto a new platform, I am launching my own preschool chain "LotusLeaf Preschool" in India today.
As today is Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam's birthday which has been declared as "World Student Day", I could not have asked for a more perfect day for the launch.
Every celebration calls for a sweet dish. As Navarathiri celebrations have begun, I made my favourite paal payasam. I am sure most of you are familiar with this dish.
Paal payasam is a liquidy sweet dish made of rice, jaggery and milk flavoured with cardamoms, cashews, raisins and sometimes saffron. This dish has various regional names and prepared mainly during festivals and temple offerings [prasadham].
General tip for making a good payasam , use good quality rice and full fat milk.
Raw rice : 1 cup.
Powdered jaggery : 1 cup.
Milk [full fat milk]: 6 cups.
Cardamom powder : 1/2 tsp
Cashews : a few.
Raisins : a few.
Ghee: 4 tbsp.
1. Fry the rice in 2 tbsp ghee until just warm. Pulse the rice once just to break it up. Do not grind the rice.
2.In a pressure cooker add the broken rice and milk.Cover with lid. Once the steam starts coming from the steam opening on the lid, put the whistle on.
3.Keep in low flame and cook for 20 mins or until you get the first whistle. Switch off the flame and let the steam settle.
4.Meanwhile roast the cashews and raisins in the remaining ghee and set aside.
5.Open the lid and mix the cooked contents well. Simmer in low flame.
6.Add the jaggery and cardamom powder and mix well until everything is well blended.
7. Simmer until thick. Switch off the flame and add the roasted cashews and raisins.
Serve hot or cold.
1.The measurement for jaggery varies depending on your liking for sweetness. The sweetness for the measurement given here will give you a tasty "just" sweet payasam. If you like more sweet flavour add a bit more according to our preference.
2.If you are using sugar instead of jaggery, for a perfect sweet payasam add 3/4 cup of sugar instead of 1 cup.
3.If you are using jaggery cubes instead of jaggery powder, use around 350 gms. Immerse the cubes in boiling hot water [1 cup] for 15 mins. Filter the jaggery syrup and use accordingly.