The Sensitive Kitchen

Friday, June 08, 2012

Aval Payasam (Beaten Rice Pudding)

Beaten rice is just what the name implies, rice that has been rolled flat. Look for it in Indian markets under its Hindi name of "poha."

1/8 tsp saffron threads (optional)
2 Tbsp cashew pieces
2 Tbsp golden raisins
3 Tbsp ghee
1/2 c beaten rice (aval)
2 Tbsp cashew pieces
2 c low-fat milk
1 can evaporated milk (I used fat-free)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp high-quality cardamom powder

Place saffron to soak, if using, in 2 Tbsp warmed milk.

Heat 1 Tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed pot. Roast 2 Tbsp cashews until light brown. Remove from pot; set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp ghee; roast golden raisins until puffed and beginning to brown. Remove from pot; place with roasted cashews. Add remaining 1 Tbsp ghee to pot; roast beaten rice until golden brown. Remove from heat; keep separately from raisins and cashews.

In a clean coffee grinder, grind 2 Tbsp unroasted cashews to a fine powder. Remove powder from grinder and place in the same pot you used earlier. Add beaten rice; grind to a coarse, sand-like consistency (you may need to do this in batches). Remove powder to pot with ground cashews. Add milk to pot; mix well, then bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until mixture thickens.

Add sugar and evaporated milk; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 7 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; add cardamom, saffron (if using), and roasted cashews. Serve warm or chilled.

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