There is a rather endearing practice common to almost all communities in India. At the first hint of anything positive and good in the horizon, any good news—a promotion at work, good grades in school, a college acceptance letter, news of a distant relative's pregnancy, the Indian cricket team scoring a win, doesn't matter what—30 minutes later there invariably will be a sweet dessert ready to share as a thanksgiving. In my house, it's a simple rice pudding known as paal payasam. Its a snap to make. Its not quite as thick as the English version, more like a thick soup. —Panfusine
Test Kitchen Notes
Creamy goodness without the cream! This recipe was so simple and better than any Indian restaurant’s (a kheer-loving friend confirmed). It took me an hour start to finish (I’m slow, though). The author, when asked, said to cook after the boil for about 10 minutes, but I did 30. Perhaps 15 or 20 minutes is enough, as it thickens as it cools; will try less time next time, as I’ll definitely make it again. I put my cardamom in a spice ball, because I don’t like biting down on even a small piece. 5 stars! —trvlnsandy
Cook the basmati rice in 1 1/2 cups of water until its completely soft. You do not need the grains to be separate here. Mash down completely with the back of a wooden spoon.
Combine the mashed rice, condensed milk and the 2% milk (you may want to whisk the cooked rice in to ensure that there are no lumps). Add the spices, bring to a gentle boil and cook down on a low heat until the consistency of a thick soup. Serve chilled or warm.