Thirukannamadhu is what we Iyengars(Tamil Vaishnava Brahmins) refer to Paal Payasam as and is also called as Ksheera Annam , when literally translated it means “Milk Rice” . Its the most easiest sweet dish that is goofed up by many. The most common mistakes that people make while preparing this is , either they under cook the rice or burn the milk. The traditional methodology is very tedious and requires 1 hr and 45 minutes to prepare.
Thanks to Induction stove and condensed milk , we make this delectable sweet dish in 35 minutes.
The original recipe consists of Milk , rice and Kalkandu(sugar candy) , sugar was considered as unhealthy and unholy then , because in order to refine sugar the manufacturers would add sulphur to it thus making it very unhealthy. Even today sugar is considered as unhealthy and we are constantly advised to avoid it at all costs. Yet Using a kalkandu and making this sweet is quiet a task because the moment its added in the boiling milk , it will lean the consistency of the milk and thus increase the cooking time. Payasam should be of semi-gravy consistency , i.e , it should not be too runny yet it shouldn’t be too thick. A typical payasam has to be creamy and should almost feel like a pudding when you eat it.
Paal Payasam is one of those simple “3 ingredient milk pudding” , that requires dedication , concentration and a little workout for your triceps . One needs to keep stirring this while it is boiling to avoid the milk to burn. Don’t worry , you will soon replenish all the lost calories in making it when you sit down to enjoy this delectable dish.
The method I’m going to write about is a quick version without the compromise on taste and consistency of the payasam.
- Take a cup of raw rice (Paal payasam tastes best when you use raw rice , basmathi rice is not advice-able for this dish) (1 cup = 300 grams) , put this in a blender jar and grind it to a coarse powder. In my processor there is something called as “Pulse Mode” , I pressed it twice and it broke the rice into small pieces , this should not be too smooth like flour.
- Take a heavy bottomed vessel , add the broken rice and water. Allow this to cook on medium heat for about 7-10 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Keep stirring this.
- Once the rice is cooked , add milk. Let the milk and rice boil together on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. Keep stirring do not shift your concentration to something else. Once the milk is added one needs to pay attention only to this sweet. The risk of burning the dish is very high at this stage.
- Now add condensed milk and stir this continuously , condensed milk will thicken the payasam and also make it creamy in consistency.
- Now add the sugar (You can alter the qty of sugar according to your taste , since we add condensed milk , and as it is milk is also sweet , you can add sugar wisely) and stir.
- Once you get a creamy consistency , add few saffron strands to the payasam and take it off the heat.
- Take a tadka pan , on medium heat , add a 1/4 tsp of ghee and roast the cashewnuts to golden brown.(Do not burn the cashews) Add the roasted cashews to the payasam and serve it warm.(Psst!! this tastes even better when you serve it chilled)