Paal payasam is an easy midweek treat, and a delicious way to end your meal. There’s a multitude of ways to make rice pudding, but you can’t beat this South Indian version requiring only three ingredients – rice, milk and sugar. Garnish with pistachios and glaced cherries for a stunning pop of color.
I’ve always loved the idea of all-season desserts that can be enjoyed throughout the year. This paal payasam falls into that category. So, no matter the weather, I make this very often in my house.
As I said, there are so many ways to make great tasting rice pudding. And you might have a favorite recipe up your sleeve. But I really wanted to share this recipe with you as this requires only minimal ingredients-rice,sugar,milk – and is unbelievably tasty.
Paal payasam, as it’s called in South India, is usually prepared on special occasions like festivals and birthdays. But do you need a reason to celebrate your favorite dessert? I must say, “no”.
The traditional version of this payasam or pudding recipe uses crushed red rice which takes a very long time to cook. So I decided to go with long grain rice that’s easily available and cooks much faster. However, if you want to use red rice, cook it in a pressure cooker prior to adding to payasam. Choose long grain, short grain, basmati or raw rice to make this paal payasam. If you want to use basmati rice, pulse it lightly in the grinder.
I love the creamy texture of this pudding. In fact, rice pudding won’t be perfect without all of its creaminess. And the secret ingredient here is full fat milk. Don’t use skim or reduced fat milk. Full fat is the way to go.
Now you might be wondering if it’s possible to create awesome flavor with just rice, milk and sugar. Enter ghee or clarified butter. The one ingredient that makes this paal payasam so flavourful. Fry the rice in ghee. Don’t skip this step.
I must admit, this is one addicting dessert, and it’s really great for those on gluten free diet.
- ¼ cup rice (long grain, short grain, raw rice or basmati rice) (I used long grain rice)
- 4 cups full fat milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp ghee or clarified butter
- Rinse rice under cold running water. Spread it on a paper towel. Leave it to dry. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tsp ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add rice, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add milk. Bring to the boil. Add sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes or until rice is well-cooked. The payasam will get a creamy texture when the milk reduces to half of its volume. This will take around 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Garnish paal payasam with nuts, raisins and cherries, if you like. Serve hot or cold.
- If you want to use red rice in this recipe, cook it in a pressure cooker. After one whistle, reduce the heat to low and cook for 7 minutes. Make sure you have enough water in the pressure cooker.
- You can substitute sugar with jaggery if you like.
Like this paal payasam or South Indian rice pudding? Then join Nish Kitchen on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram to receive the latest updates. Also, check out:
- Aval Payasam / Poha Kheer / Rice Flakes Pudding
- Oats Payasam / Oats Kheer / Oats Pudding