Ambalapuzha Krishna temple is a sacred place for Kerala Hindus. The payasam served there cannot be beat for its creamy and sweet texture. I am recreating a payasam recipe(a rice and milk dessert)that is served as the renowned prasadam at one of the most sacred Krishna temples in the state of Kerala.
There are many who pay a heavy price for the authentic payasam from this temple to be mailed overseas on this auspicious day called Vishu. The nostalgic memories of this payasam brought me to make a version of this dessert with basmati rice and fresh dates only to tranform this year's Vishu into a bright New Year for my family. If you have the original 'Nellu kuthiya Ari' that would be ideal but I settled for the Basmati from my pantry. Last year here's how I celebrated my one hundreth post Vishu 2011.
Happy New Year to all Malayalees!!
Ambalapuzha Palpayasam with Dates
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup sugar
20 fresh dates chopped
3 cups whole milk
1 Tblspn each raisins and cashewnuts
1 Tblspn Ghee
1/2 to 1 tspn Cardamom powder
1. In a pressure cooker add the washed rice, sugar, dates and 2 cups milk.
(Do not add water to avoid a watery payasam).
2. Cook the rice until very soft. Turn off cool, and remove the lid.
3. Place a small saucepan over the fire, and add ghee followed by raisins.
4. When the raisins plump up remove from ghee. Add cashews and roast until brown.
5. Remove from fire.
6. Take the rice mixture in the pressure cooker and stir well. Smoothen or blend part of
the dates into the milk to thicken. add more milk if necessary or cook down to thicken
the payasam. When the consistency is thick and creamy add the nuts, raisins and cardamom
powder along with the ghee in the saucepan. Serve warm or cold.