I’m here today with the recipe for Carrot Payasam or kheer, a sweet treat that’s right in time for the upcoming Pongal festival. The gorgeous long, red ‘Delhi’ carrots are available in plenty these days, sweet and succulent, and they are just perfect for this payasam. The carrots lend a beautiful orange-red hue to the payasam, not to forget a lovely flavour. Indeed, this is a delicious dessert that one cannot help but love. It is a favourite at our place, too!
A bit more about this Carrot Payasam
The recipe I’m sharing here is from my mom. Amma makes Carrot Payasam beautifully, and this is the way she makes it (well, mostly!).
This is a very easy kheer to prepare, requiring only a few basic ingredients. It can be put together in a matter of minutes, something even a beginner to Indian sweet dishes can master without sweat.
The red ‘Delhi’ carrots you get in the winters are quite sweet, so you can get away with using (relatively) lesser sugar in the payasam. Those are the carrots we prefer using in this dish, but if you can’t find them, the orange ‘Ooty’ carrots work very well too.
It’s raining #SankrantiSpecial dishes at the Foodie Monday Blog Hop
This recipe is brought to you in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.
The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday.
Pongal (also called Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan) is just around the corner, so the group members decided to showcase festival-special recipes this week. I have already shared many of the traditional dishes that are prepared for the Pongal festival, earlier – Semiya Payasam, Aval Payasam, Sakkarai Pongal, Ven Pongal, Ezhu Thaan Kootu and Masala Vadai – as well as variations on the classics like Banana Sweet Pongal, Broken Wheat Pongal and Proso Millet Sweet Pongal. I have also written about Undhiyu, a must-have in Gujarat on Uttarayan day. So, for the theme, I decided on this family favourite recipe of Carrot Payasam.
Recipe for Carrot Payasam
Here is how I make it.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
- 1 medium-sized Delhi carrot
- 500 ml full-fat milk
- 1/4 cup sugar or as per taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ghee
- 4-5 cashewnuts
- 4-5 almonds
1. Peel the carrot and cut off the top. Cut into large cubes and place in a wide vessel.
2. Add about 1 tablespoon of water to the carrot pieces. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 4 whistles on high flame or till the carrot is well cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.
3. Meanwhile, take the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan and place on high flame. Allow to cook till the milk comes to a boil.
4. At this stage, reduce flame to medium. Add in the sugar, and mix well. Continue to cook on medium flame for 7-8 more minutes or till it starts thickening, then switch off gas.
5. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked carrot pieces out. Transfer the cooked carrot to a small mixer jar, along with the water it was cooked in. Grind everything together to a smooth puree.
6. Add the carrot puree to the milk in the pan, mix well, and place it back on medium flame. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or till the mixture thickens to the desired consistency. Switch off gas at this stage.
7. Meanwhile, chop up the almonds and cashewnuts roughly.
8. Heat the ghee in a small pan, then reduce flame to medium and add in the chopped almonds and cashewnuts. Allow the nuts to turn brown, taking care not to burn them. Now, add the nuts and the ghee to the carrot-milk mixture.
9. Add in the cardamom powder too. Mix well. Your Carrot Payasam is ready. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled.
Tips & Tricks
1. If you are using the orange ‘Ooty’ carrots in the above recipe, you would 2 small, fat ones.
2. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use depending on personal taste preferences. It would also depend upon how sweet the carrot is.
3. Make sure the carrot is fully cooked before adding it to the milk.
4. Make sure you cook the carrot using very little water, so it does not make the payasam watery.
5. Use a heavy-bottomed pan to cook the Carrot Payasam, for best results.
6. You may even grate the carrot and cook it. Add the cooked grated carrot to the milk, instead of pureeing it. We prefer the method above, though.
7. For best results, use full-cream milk. I used Nandini full-fat milk.
8. We prefer using sugar to make this Carrot Payasam, rather than jaggery. The salt content in jaggery sometimes makes the milk split.
9. If the Carrot Payasam gets too thick, you can dilute it using some boiled milk.
10. My mom keeps this payasam really simple, and avoids the fried cashewnuts and almonds. I usually do that too, but prefer adding the nuts on special occasions. Either way, the Carrot Payasam tastes great.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!