Life has been very busy and gushing on at full speed. Things have been hectic both in personal life and at work. There has hardly been time to stand and stare, or cook and eat peacefully, of late. But I was adamant not to let Navratri go by just like that – without anything special. At least on the last day, I was determined to cook something different from the usual, something sweet that would remind me of home. And, in the midst of a lot of commotion, I did manage to make some aval payasam or poha kheer, thanks to the detailed instructions given by Amma over a long phone call. This was my first tryst with making payasam – I am very skeptical of making sweets at home – and it turned out superb! Both the OH and I loved the payasam, and slurped it down happily.
Here is the recipe that I followed:
Ingredients (for 2 people)
1/2 litre full-fat milk
About 1/2 cup sugar
A pinch of kesar (saffron)
1/2 teaspoon elaichi (cardamom) powder
1/2 cup poha (aval)
About 4 tablespoons of ghee
4-5 almonds (chopped into small pieces)
1. Heat the ghee in a deep-bottomed pan, and add the poha. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, or till it emanates a delightful fragrance.
2. Add the milk to the pan and stir well. Reduce the flame, keep heating the milk, stirring at intervals, for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the sugar and chopped almonds to the milk, and cook till it thickens to the desired consistency.
4. Mix the kesar in a little hot milk and add to the pan, just before taking it off the heat. Add the elaichi powder too.
5. Take the kheer out of the pan into bowls. Serve hot or chilled, as desired.
PS: You might want to add to or reduce the quantity of sugar as per your taste. 1/2 cup of sugar is what I added, and it was perfect for us.