The Sensitive Kitchen

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Easy Paal Payasam for a Crowd

I developed this recipe as a substitute for the tedious stirring and long slow cooking intended to reduce milk in volume for payasam. I decided to start with a leg up by using some evaporated milk. This recipe is easy to have running in the background while you are at home doing other things. Serves 16.

2 cans evaporated milk (can be low-fat)
5 cans low-fat milk (fill the cans with milk to rinse them out)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c uncooked white rice
8 cardamom pods
1/3 c milk
15 (approx) saffron threads
2 Tbsp ghee
1/3 c golden raisins
1/3 c cashew pieces

Pour milk and evaporated milk into a 6-quart slow cooker. Add sugar, rice and cardamom. Stir well. Set slow cooker to HIGH for 6 hours and leave uncovered. Stir every 20 to 30 minutes the first hour, every 15 minutes the next 4 hours, and every 5 to 10 minutes the last hour. If the milk develops a skin, simply stir it back in.

When you have only a half-hour to go, bring the 1/3 c milk to a simmer. Add saffron threads and let stand for 20 minutes. While this is standing, heat ghee over medium-high heat. Saute raisins until puffed and beginning to brown. Remove and follow with cashews.

When payasam is ready to serve, stir in the saffron milk, raisins and cashews. The finished product will be thick and slightly golden. Thin if desired with additional milk, and serve in small (1/3 to 1/2 cup) portions.

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