Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ambalapuzha Pal Payasam(Sweet Rice Pudding)

Well,what to say... The story is quite long when it comes to pal payasam. Raised in Coimbatore,we used to go to Guruvayur often.Generally we start early in the morning and return  home before evening.Once we decided by afternoon that we will go to Guruvayur and started in the afternoon and we had a nice dharshan in the evening and after the dharshan there was was a big queue separately and when asked , the people in the queue told us it is for prasadam(not the one where we pay and get in counters,this is free).So even we joined the queue and the wait in the queue was worth a million as they gave us the most divine and delicious Ambalapuzha Pal Payasam.It had a light pink tint and absolutely awesome.From that moment,pal payasam become my favorite payasam.The ones made at home by mom was good but never we were able to get a pink tint or that texture served at the temple.
After marriage when I was in London,I used to buy whole milk and tried out pal payasam and within 20 mins in pressure cooker I used to get the perfect pink tint pal payasam.But after coming to India I never  got that pink tint even when tried with full cream milk available in our supermarkets.
For once I gave up making pal payasam at home.After an year or so , I tried pal payasam but this time I didn't use full cream milk and used the 3% fat milk(blue aavin).I kept my fingers crossed and prayed god that it should come out well with that pink tint and creamy texture as that of the temple one.I used my 6 liter anodized cooker and to my surprise the outcome was superb.I think it is due to the fact that I made sure that the cooker didn't whistle throughout the process(my cooker's original whistle was lost and I replaced it with another one ,because of which it didn't whistle anyway).   
So I wanted to share my recipe.It is simple in ingredients but the cooking time is more in order to get that perfect texture.As we are not sweet toothed , I have added less sugar. If you want more you can add it.It will be an ideal prasadam for Krishna Jayanthi.

Cooking time :45 mins to 1 hour


Raw rice-1/4 cup
Milk-1 liter 
Sugar-1/3 cup( increase if you want it very sweet)


1.In a pressure cooker,heat water upto half it's quantity and wash it well with that  boiling water and throw the water away. This step ensures that the cooker is clean and does not allow milk to curdle. 
2.Now add the milk,washed raw rice and sugar to the cooker and allow the milk to boil.
3.Once it starts to boil, simmer the flame and close the cooker with its lid and put the whistle.
4. It has to be on sim flame for almost an hour and through out this time make sure the cooker don't whistle.If it is about to whistle switch off the flame and after5 mins again switch it on and let it be on sim flame.
5After about 45 mins to 1 hour , switch off the flame. But do not open the cooker. Let it rest like that for another 20 to 30 mins ,after which a delicious Ambalapuzha pal payasam is ready to serve.

1.If you want, you can add cardamom powder and temper with ghee fried cashews and raisins but the original recipe does not call for it .
2.After the milk boils,the entire process has to be carried on with a low flame.
3.After done do not open the cooker after 20 - 30 mins to get the perfect pal payasam texture.
4.Never fill the pressure cooker more than half of its quantity.My 6 liter pressure cooker was ideal for 1 litre of milk.So,if you have a 3 liter cooker,halve the measurements.The time taken for cooking will also be less.
4.Finally a bit of patience is required otherwise the pal payasam will not get the right texture though it may still taste good.

To know why it is known as Ambalapuzha Pal Payasam in kerela ,Click this link to know the legend: Legend Of Ambalapuzha Pal Payasam