Milk pudding (kheer / Pal Payasam)
This is an Indian dessert, traditionally prepared for auspicious Hindu festivals and placed in silver cups as an offering to God. The approach below is slightly different from the traditional method, but very effective, as the slow pressure cooking actually causes the milk to turn pinkish and tastes like condensed milk even though no condensed milk is added.


whole milk - 1/2 gallon (almost 2 liters)
rice - 1/6 cup
clarified butter (ghee) - 1 tsp
sugar - 1 1/2 cups
sliced almonds / broken cashews or pistachios - 2 tbsp
raisins - 1 tbsp
saffron - a pinch


Pulse rice in a food processor until coarsely broken. Fry nuts and raisins in ghee and keep aside. Keep 2 cups milk aside and boil the remaining milk in pressure cooker with broken rice. Pressure cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until 1 whistle. Cook on slow heat for 15 to 30 minutes until the aroma of condensed milk emanates. Turn off the heat and allow for pressure to subside on its own. Add sugar and saffron. Boil for a few more minutes with the remaining milk that was set aside until the sugar dissolves completely. Garnish with fried nuts and raisins. Serve chilled.
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