Pal Payasam
(rice-milk pudding)

Onam is over, we are getting out of a bout of nostalgia, which periodically surfaces every year during the season. We will be sitting down with our good friends for a proper Onam sadya sans Melamine this weekend. There will be “true” banana leaves, and probably a repeat of the curries we made last weekend. Payasam, which is an essential dessert topping the sadya grandeur is going to be my all time favorite, rice -pal ( milk) payasam. You could make payasams in a jiffy, or devote half a day from your life for the preparation. In the Sri Krishna temple situated in Ambalappuzha ( Kerala) where the far-famed Ambalppuzha pal payasam is made, the process of making this offering reportedly starts in the wee hours of the morning, and ends closer to noon. Onam is the only time of the year when I make pal payasam in the right way, forbearingly lingering around the stove, stirring away my impatience. There are only a couple of ingredients, but please do not forget to stock up some perseverance, you might require it in this recipe!

Long method

Milk – 8 cups
Water – 6 cups
Rice – 1 1/4 cups
Sugar – 2 cups
Cardamom, crushed – 2 pods

Mix water and milk, cook in medium heat with occasional stirring till the volume reduces to half. Wash and drain rice, add it to the cooked milk, cook under medium heat till rice is done. Add sugar, cook for 20 more minutes with frequent stirring. Add crushed cardamom. Remove from stove. Optionally, cashew nuts toasted in ghee can be added.

* I use the red rice from south India which imparts a shade of pink to the dessert, but any other not so sticky rice will do fine.

Quick method

Cook rice in 2 1/2 cups water + 1 cup evaporated milk + 1 cup milk , till rice is done ( Pressure cook if you are in a hurry) Add sugar cook for 5-10 more minutes with constant stirring. Add ½ cup evaporated milk, mix well, cook for 5 more minutes. Add cardamom. You are done!!!

Saritha –   – (5:48 PM)  

Midukki,kollamallo,ithanu real pal paysam color. Pramadmayirikkunnu..
I love your blog, who don't !

maneka nirmal  – (6:01 PM)  

hey archana..
the photo is sooooo onam adichupolichu??? hey there is another recipe fo the palpayasam that u don't have to use the brown rice to get that pink color..i'll post that recipe once i make it..

priya  – (8:16 PM)  

Just awesome archana. My favorite one too.

Deepa –   – (8:45 PM)  

Hi Archana,

Your blog is more than excellent no words to say.

Every recipe is mouthwatering.Presentation is very good.looks like you are having a resturant or something.

Thanks for blogging.

gattina  – (1:40 AM)  

even I don't know about your culture, but as long as come to your blog, your beautiful writing, photo and recipe never fail to touch my heart!

shaheen  – (4:59 AM)  

what a yummy looking payasam

sudhav  – (6:32 AM)  

Archana, looks like i have missed your lovely ona sadya..its ok..i can still come over na? the paysam looks so yummy..thanks for sharing dear...

Orchidea  – (9:01 AM)  

Nice... I have tried something very similar when I was in South America... really good!

Priya  – (11:09 AM)  

WOW...the payasam looks sooo delicious. raice-pal my most favourite surely is the King of payasam's and cooked the long way it tastes heavenly. I get away with the short method most of the times though, and add some condensed milk if available :-)

Meena Kandlakuti  – (11:55 AM)  


though its know dish it looks great in the picture..i feel like having right now that complete bowl:-))thanks for sharing

Krithika  – (2:15 PM)  

What a co-incidence ! Just finished making this as we are celebrating our twins birthday today. I love this payasam. I used saffron instead of cardamom. Your pic looks so good.

Anonymous –   – (3:43 PM)  

Love your recipe, what could be more simpler yet delicious!! Thanks!!

Foodie's Hope  – (3:45 PM)  

Hey , That was me posted a comment just now!! Not anonymous!!

KeralaGirl –   – (7:10 PM)  

Palpayasam kemamayittundu....u have got the exact colour...Btw I just baked ur butter cake. Got the recipe from SudhaV's blog. It turned out great as expected. But still scared of decorating the cake :-)) Anyway thanks for the recipe

Priya Bhaskaran  – (9:34 PM)  

ouuuuu.... eniki venam aa payasam.... I am also going to have a another Onasadya soon!!!! There is a Malayalee association here..who conducts all functions with Sadhya--- anagana nammal oke jeevichu povunuuu:)

Menu Today  – (3:36 AM)  

Hi Archana,
I ALWAYS prepare pal payasam in pressure cooker. The pic of your payasam is too good. Thanks for sharing. See my version here.

Rashmi –   – (3:42 AM)  

hey archana...seems like you took quite some trouble making the payasam...heres an easier method 2 go abt it...the pressure cooker ambalapuzha palpayasam...same quantities of rice, milk, sugar etc.i cut down on the water...its ok even if u dnt add it at all...jst saute some cashews n dry grapes in a tsp of ghee in a pressure cooker...saute the rice in the same...add cardamom, milk n sugar n stir till the sugar dissolves...put
the pressure cooker top(not the weight knob)...wait till steam starts coming...put the knob...reduce the flame to very very low...if the flames high then u will get all the payasam out with the pressure...keep the cooker untouched for 20-25 mins...dnt even dare move it...turn off the flame...leave it till all the pressure is out by it, stir well...add a teaspoon of homemade unsalted butter if available...mmmmmmmm...its so yummy...the pink tinge comes automatically...whethr it is rice, ada or semiya u hav used!!!

Anonymous –   – (3:45 AM)  

oops...that was a long comment...anyways this is the measurement i take for the payasam...(my moms recipe)...1/2 cup rice...2 litres milk...1 and 1/4 cup sugar...2 cardamoms...cashews n dry grapes...

Rashmi –   – (3:46 AM)  

sorry the last anonymous comment was from me...sorry!!!

Anonymous –   – (5:53 PM)  

Which camera do you usee? The pictures are always fantastic.

വിശാല മനസ്കന്‍  – (7:59 PM)  

എന്നെയങ്ങ് കൊല്ല്!

ഖേയിലി ഖേയിലി ഖൂബെ!

saritha –   – (10:11 PM)  

I get a caramelised pink like color when i use the pressure cooker, but red rice gives the exact pink color of ambalppuzha pal paysam. I had that payasam so many times it is very pink.

veggiedelight  – (10:08 AM)  

Thatz an amazing picture..tempts me a lot. Sure the taste beats all the pain involved.Thnx for sharing

Nabeela  – (11:36 PM)  

that payasam looks soooo good...sluuurrrp!

mandira  – (8:47 AM)  

Hi Archana - the pal payasam looks absolutely delicious. I love payasam! Hope you had a wonderful time with your friends.

sudha  – (11:32 AM)  

My favorite sweet is payasam and on i prepare this on every occasion. As usual your photo is irrestible.

mandira  – (7:50 PM)  

Archana - have tagged you for a meme. Looking forward to your responses.

archana  – (10:51 PM)  

Thank you, welcome to Spicyana.

Thank you friend. Yes, cheriya thothil.. I hope you will share your pal payasam secrets with us.

Thank you, it is my favorite too.

Welcome to this blog, thank you so much for these kind words.

Thank you so much friend.

Thank you

You can come over anytime you want dear, i sure will make a sadya for you anytime when you are here.

Thank you. Was that somehting called "arroz con leche" ?

I agree 100%,nothing beats the long method. I don't make it that often too, Onam is the only time of the year when i take out my patience.Evaported milk and condensed milk are conceptually same if you take out the sugar, so probabaly we have similar recipes.

Thank you.

Belated happy birthday to your little boys ! Saffron will be nice too. Thank you.

Thank you

I am so glad that the cake worked well for you. I am sure that you will be amazed to see your skills once you start decorating your cakes. Go ahead, jump right in..

sari , OK, muzhuvanum eduthoolu. Our second sadya was just like the first one, except that a friend made a superb chakka pradahman to go along with it. Onam evideyairunnalum nattilanennu thonnum.......

Menu today
Thank you for letting me know,i would love to try the recipe with the spices that you have used. Thank you.

Thank you so much for writing in detail,your method sounds so similar to the cooker payasam recipe my mother uses.Sauteing the rice and adding plain butter are new to me, but i make ada palpaysam using a similar method. Have noted suggestions,thank you.

I use a Sony Cybershot DSC-P92. I can't really do many things i want to do with this camera, but still i love it. Thank you.

Thnak you.
Athentha bhasha, Arabic ano?

I have had Ambalappuzha palpaysam many times ( I am from Alpy). That payasam sure has a deeper shade of pink.

I am so happy that you guys liked it. Thank you.

Will play, thank you.

shammi  – (2:48 PM)  

Wow, I think I'm good for the quick version of pal payasam :) I admire your patience... but it's not all that surprising in someone who takes the time to make such beautiful icing flowers and cakes and takes such ravishing photos!

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Priya  – (9:45 PM)  

Hi Archana, I just stumbled upon your blogs today....and I simply could'nt resist the inclination to goes..wonderful fotografs and mouthwatering recipes, seemingly easy and have this air of encouragement about them...great work dude! :)

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tulips  – (11:40 AM)  

hii archana...
i tried ur awesme palpayasam yestrdy for make out really a beginner in cookg ... ur recipe really helpd me ...thankuu

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remya  – (3:39 PM)  

Payasam is really very tasty.i tried it for hubby liked very much.nice pics...Just cool archana...keep it up

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Sona  – (9:13 AM)  

Hi Archana i am new to your blog loved your recipes.. Today will try this palpayasa. Husband loves this.

Anonymous –   – (6:36 AM)  

I thought Ambalapuzha paal payasam had "Pazham" in it. Does anyone know that recipe??????

nanma  – (11:10 AM)  

can u please tel me where to get red rice. i am in toronto

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