Kheer and Payasa
This is one recipe that I wanted to blog about for years, but somehow never got down to it. Kheer or Payasa/Payasam as it is called in the South of India is a rice pudding from the cuisine of the Indian Subcontinent, made by boiling rice, broken wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli with milk and sugar; it is flavoured with cardamom and other spices, raisins, saffron, cashews, pistachios or almonds.
This is a versatile preparation and can be made in a myriad of ways. Most households have their own recipe and it is a very popular dessert as it is so easy to make and the ingredients required would be available anytime in all kitchens. As children we especially loved going for weddings knowing that we could eat unlimited amounts of this mouth watering concoction.
1/8 cup basmathi rice, washed and drained; 1 cup water; 2 cups low fat milk; ½ cup milk powder; 2 tbsp. chopped nuts; 2 tbsp. almond meal; 2 tbsp. raisins; 2 cloves and a 1 inch stick of cinnamon; sugar to taste; a pinch of salt and a few strands of saffron dissolved in 2 tbsp. warm water;; a few drops of rose essence- optional.
Pressure cook the rice in 1 cup water for 3 minutes. Cool and open the cooker and transfer the contents to a large nonstick pan. Mix the milk and milk powder together and add with the rest of the ingredients except the saffron to the rice. Bring to the boil and lower flame, stirring now and then to prevent sticking at the bottom. When the mixture is thick enough add the saffron mixed with water and remove from heat. Serve hot or cold garnished with nuts.