Payesh/Payasam/Rice and milk pudding

I think every community in India has their own payesh recipe. The recipe below is roughly a Bengali recipe. I didn’t follow anybody’s recipe but followed the basic cooking procedure of a Bengali payesh. I do not have a sweet tooth, so the sweetness is moderate. You can adjust it to your taste.

Ingredients:

Whole milk: 1/2 Gallon/8 cups

Evaporated milk: 1.5 cups

Atap or any short grain rice: a little less than 1/2 cup

Sugar: 1 cup (Less or more according to your taste)

Green cardamom: 3 nos.

Bay leaf: 1 no.

Cashews: around 15 nos.

Raisin: 10-15 nos.

Ghee/clarified butter: 1 tsp

A pinch of salt

How to cook:

  • Wash the rice and drain all the water. The rice should be dry.
  • Soak the cashews and raisins in water for 15-20 mns. and then chop the cashews.
  • Mix the milk with the evaporated milk and start boiling it on mdeium flame. Be very careful, otherwise it might either stick to the bottom of the pan or spil over. You have to bring the volume to 2/3 of the original volume. You can totally omit the evaporated milk. I add it to save time. You can use regualr whole milk and bring the volume down.
  • Heat up the ghee and add the bay leaf and cardamoms to it. Saute them for a minute or so and then add the rice. Saute for 2-3 mns. and then add them to the boiling milk.
  • Add sugar and a pinch of salt.
  • Let the rice cook.
  • Once the rice is cooked, add the chopped cashews and the raisins. Cook the rice and milk to your desired consistency. I like a little bit of liquid in it (not a lot) but some people like it really thick. Again, go for your instinct.
  • Chill before you serve.

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