This is a simple South Indian milk-based dessert made with aval (rice flakes) and jaggery.
It is served mainly during the festival season or as part of a celebration feast.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: Ghee: 1 tsp Cashew nuts: A few Aval: 1/3 cup Milk: 3 cups Jaggery: ¾ cup Water: 2 tbsp Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp
Method: 1) Heat ghee in a pan and add the cashew nuts. Roast till they become golden brown. Keep them aside. 2) In the same pan add the aval and roast for two minutes. Take it out and pulse it in a blender. 3) Add the pulsed aval to the pan. 4) Add three cups of milk. I added raw full-cream milk. Mix it well and let it cook for 10-12 minutes over a medium flame. Stir well. The aval will get cooked fast. 5) Once the milk shrinks by three-quarters, switch off the flame. Keep it aside. 6) Put the jaggery in a saucepan and add 2 tbsp of water. Mix well. Let this melt completely. Switch off the flame. Keep it aside. 7) Allow the milk and jaggery syrup to cool down. 8) Add the jaggery syrup to the milk mixture. If the jaggery has dust particles, filter them. Then add it to the milk. 9) Add the cardamom powder. Mix well. Garnish with roasted cashew nuts. 10) Aval payasam is ready.
Notes: a) Never add the jaggery syrup to the payasam when the milk is hot. There is a high chance of the milk curdling. b) The consistency of the payasam will be the same even after three hours. c) You can also make aval payasam with sugar. Add sugar instead of jaggery syrup.
Jeyashri Suresh runs the vegetarian food website www.jeyashriskitchen.com