Kheer Komola| Bengali Orange Kheer

Kheer Komola is a beautiful sweet dish made using oranges, a specialty from the state of West Bengal. It is typically prepared in the winters, when fresh oranges flood the markets. It is also a common offering to Maa Durga during Durga Pooja in Bengal. Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for this utterly delicious Bengali-style Orange Kheer.

Durga Pooja commemorates the victory of Maa Durga over the demon king Mahishasura, with several sweet and savoury confections being prepared for the occasion. These Bhapa Aloo by Sasmita, Tomato Khejur Amshotter Chaatni, Anarosher Chaatni, Strawberry Bhapa Doi, and these Kheerer Malpua by Sujata ji are a few examples of the foods cooked in Bengali households to celebrate Durga Pooja. I am so grateful to have had a chance to participate in these celebrations at the homes of Bengali friends and also learn how to make this kheer.

Delectable Kheer Komola or Komola Lebur Payesh

What goes into Komola Kheer?

Oranges (called ‘komola lebu‘ in Bengali) and milk are not a combination you would think of normally, but those are the major ingredients of this kheer. Full-cream milk is first thickened and sweetened, then allowed to cool down, after which orange segments and juice (sometimes zest too) is added to it. The end result is this delicate, extremely delectable, rich and creamy dessert called Kheer Komola or Komola Lebur Payesh.

This kheer is usually kept very simple, with just the bare minimum of ingredients going in – oranges, milk and sugar. However, you may flavour it with cardamom powder or garnish it with some nuts if you so prefer. The Kheer Komola recipe I am sharing here is very basic, requiring just the most basic of ingredients.

How to make Kheer Komola

Making this kheer is so ridiculously simple it hardly needs a recipe. However, there are certain techniques you need to follow to get the perfect outcome, which I have discussed at detail in the course of this post.
Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 1 litre full-fat milk
  2. 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar or as needed
  3. 2 large ripe, sweet oranges
  4. Zest from 1 large orange, about 2 teaspoons (optional)
  5. About 1/4 cup orange juice

Method:

Top left and right: Step 1, Bottom left: Step 2, Bottom right: Step 3

1. Take the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan, and place it on high flame. Allow it to come to a boil. This takes 5-7 minutes.

2. Now, reduce the flame to medium. Add in the sugar. Mix well.

3. Let the milk cook on medium flame till it reduces to more than half of its original volume. This will take 15-20 minutes, by which time it will start to change colour and thicken. Stir intermittently. Scrape down the cream that forms on the sides of the pan, back down into the milk.

4. When the milk has thickened, switch off gas. Allow to cool down to room temperature.

Top left and right: Step 5, Below top right: Step 6, Bottom left: The Kheer Komola is ready to be chilled, Bottom right: Kheer Komola, chilled and ready to serve

5. When the milk has cooled to room temperature, zest a large orange and keep ready (if using). Peel the oranges and separate the segments. Remove all seeds and fibres, and retain only the orange flesh. Cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces. Also, squeeze about 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice and keep it ready.

6. When the milk mixture has completely cooled down, add the orange flesh to it, along with the zest and juice. Mix well. The Kheer Komola is ready.

7. Let it sit undisturbed for 2-3 hours, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator, for the orange to spread its flavour in the milk. Consume chilled or at room temperature, after this.

Tips & Tricks

1. Full-fat milk works best in the making of this Kheer Komola. Here, I have used full-cream milk from Nandini.

2. I have used regular refined sugar here.

3. Use oranges that are in season, for best results, fruits that are neither too sweet nor too sour. Mostly sweet oranges with a tinge of sourness work best in this Kheer Komola.

4. Use a heavy-bottomed pan to reduce the milk. Patiently wait for the milk to reduce well to almost half of its original volume. If the reduction isn’t done well, the kheer will taste more like plain milk and oranges rather than having the rich and creamy texture it should. Moreover, remember that we will be adding some orange juice to the kheer too, which will slightly dilute it. However, the kheer does thicken up more upon cooling.

5. Remember to wait till the reduced milk has completely cooled down, before adding in the orange segments, zest and segments. Otherwise, the milk might curdle.

6. I have used Valencia oranges that I had at home, to make this Komola Lebur Payesh. They were more yellow than orange in colour, but were wonderfully sweet with just a wee bit of sour – just perfect for the kheer.

7. This Kheer Komola tastes best after it has rested for a while. Let the kheer rest undisturbed for at least a couple of hours after the orange juice, zest and segments have been added in. You can do this either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. I prefer having this kheer slightly chilled.

8. Adjust the quantity of sugar, orange juice, zest and segments as per personal taste preferences. I have used a regular grater to get the zest. Make sure you grate only the orange skin and do not get any of the underlying white pith, as that might make the kheer bitter.

9. Like I was saying earlier, you don’t really need to use anything other than milk, sugar and oranges in this kheer. However, you may add in toasted and slivered almonds and/or cardamom powder for more flavour.

10. I have seen Bengali families skipping even the orange juice and zest altogether. In that case, only orange segments (with seeds and fibres completely removed) are added to the reduced milk. If you are skeptical of the kheer turning bitter with orange juice or zest, you may follow this method.

11. Do not use over-ripe oranges. Sometimes, they have a wine-y smell that may make the Kheer Komola less than stellar.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Badam Kheer| Badam Payasam

Badam Kheer is a delicious dessert prepared using milk and almonds. The almonds add a beautiful nutty flavour to the kheer, as well as a gorgeous, rich and creamy texture. Badam Kheer (‘Badam Payasam‘ in Tamil) is just the perfect sweet treat for the upcoming festivals like Navratri and Diwali.

In today’s post, I am going to take you all through the process of preparing Badam Kheer, the way it is made in my family.

What goes into Badam Kheer

Milk and almonds are the two primary ingredients of this kheer. Full-cream milk yields the best results, so do try to use it as opposed to skimmed versions. It is also important to use good-quality almonds like Mamra.

Milk is sweetened with sugar and thickened, then thickened further using peeled and ground almonds. A bit of saffron and cardamom powder is added in, for flavour. I love having this Badam Kheer slightly chilled, garnished with more toasted almond slivers.

Since this is a rich kheer loaded with almonds, it is advisable to consume it only occasionally on festivals or other special days.


How to make Badam Kheer

This is quite a simple thing to prepare, requiring just a few ingredients. The almonds need to be soaked for a few hours and, once that is done, the kheer comes together very easily.

Here is how to go about making Badam Kheer or Badam Payasam.

Ingredients (makes 5-6 servings):

1. 1 litre full-fat milk

2. 1/2 cup almonds + 7-8 more for garnishing

3. 2 pinches of saffron strands

4. 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar or as needed

5. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder or as per taste

Method:

1. Take the almonds in a bowl. Bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil, in a saucepan. Pour this boiling water over the almonds in the bowl. Cover the bowl. Let the almonds soak, covered, for 2-3 hours.

2. When the almonds are done soaking, drain out all the water from them. Press the soaked almonds slightly, and the peel will come off easily. Peel all the almonds in this manner.

3. Reserve 1/4 cup of milk and take the rest in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place the pan on high flame.

4. Take the almonds in a small mixer jar and add in the reserved 1/4 cup of milk. Grind together to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

5. When the milk in the pan starts bubbling, add in the saffron strands. Mix well.

6. Let the milk come to a boil, then add in the sugar. Mix well and reduce the flame down to medium.

7. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium flame or till the milk reduces a little. Scrape down the cream that forms on the sides of the pan, back into the milk. You don’t have to reduce the milk to half its original volume – just a little reduction is okay. Stir intermittently to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.

8. At this stage, add in the ground almond paste to the pan. Mix well. Continue to cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes more or till the mixture thickens further. Scrape down the cream from the sides of the pan, back into the milk. Keep stirring intermittently. Switch off gas when the mixture has thickened but it is still on the runnier side – remember that it will thicken up further in time.

9. In the meantime, chop up the almonds for garnishing into slivers. Lightly toast them in a pan, on medium flame, for about 2 minutes or till they get crisp. Take care to ensure that the almonds do not burn. Mix these toasted almond slivers into the milk mixture.

10. Mix in the cardamom powder too. Your Badam Kheer is ready. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Other kheer recipes on my blog

There are quite a few other kheer recipes on my blog, which you might want to check out – Carrot Kheer| Semiya Payasam| Nei Payasam| Sangu Pushpam Aval Payasam| Pasi Paruppu Payasam| Elaneer Payasam| Palada Pradhaman| Oat Milk Payasam

Tips & Tricks

1. For best results, use full-fat milk. I have used full-cream milk from Nandini here.

2. Do not overcook the kheer after adding in the almond paste. The milk might curdle. Cooking for 4-5 minutes on medium flame is good.

3. Use a heavy-bottomed pan for cooking the kheer.

4. Do not grind the almonds without taking the skin off. The paste does not turn out smooth in this case, and it ultimately adversely affects the texture of the kheer.

5. The almonds can be soaked for longer too, even overnight. In that case, you don’t need to add boiling water. The almonds can be soaked in regular room-temperature water.

6. Remember to stop cooking the Badam Kheer when it is still on the runnier side. It will thicken up some more with time.

7. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

8. You may reserve the water in which the almonds were soaked. It can be used in soups, gravies, etc.

9. The peeled almond skins can be reserved too. They can be used in chutneys or while grinding tomato puree for gravy-based sabzis.

10. I have used home-made cardamom powder here. You can use a store-bought one instead, too. To make home-made cardamom powder, take a handful of green cardamom pods in a small mixer and grind to a fine powder, skin and all. Keep this at room temperature in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle and use as needed. 

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Batata Poha| Aloo Poha

Batata Poha or Aloo Poha is a light and simple dish that can be rustled up in under 20 minutes. This makes it a wonderful brekkie option for busy weekdays, or to serve as a light dinner. When made right, it tastes absolutely fabulous too!

Today, I am going to share with you all the way I make Batata Poha.

What is Batata Poha?

Batata Poha aka Aloo Poha refers to flattened rice (‘aval‘ in Tamil), cooked with potatoes. This delicious confection is a favourite breakfast in several parts of India, especially up north.

Poha is cooked differently in different parts of India (this Tomato Poha on Priya Vijaykrishnan’s blog is an example). In Ahmedabad, I grew up with the Gujarati version of Aloo Poha – sweetish, mildly spicy and sour – and that’s exactly how I like it. In today’s post, I am going to be sharing the recipe for poha made in this style, garnished with chopped onions and coriander, often topped with sev and pomegranate. I have fond memories of relishing this Gujju-style poha (locally called ‘Bateta Pauwa’) at street-side breakfast joints.

What goes into this Batata Poha

The major ingredient here is flattened rice or poha, of course. I use the medium-thick variety of poha from Bhagyalakshmi brand. This is neither the paper-thin poha that is meant for frying nor the thick variety that needs to be soaked. Just washing it in running water is good.

Potatoes are another important component of this dish too, which is spiced with green chillies. A simple tempering of mustard, cumin and asafoetida goes in. Lemon juice and jaggery are used for flavouring the poha, and I have served it topped with coriander and chopped onions.

How to make Batata Poha or Aloo Poha

This is how I go about making it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

1. 2 cups flattened rice (poha), medium-thick variety

2. 2 medium-sized potatoes

3. 2 green chillies

4. 1 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon oil

5. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

6. 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

7. 2 pinches of asafoetida

8. Salt to taste

9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

11. Juice of 1 small lemon or as per taste

12. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder

13. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander

14.1 small onion, finely chopped (optional)

Method:

1. Peel the potatoes and chop into small cubes. Cut the green chillies into halves. Cut the lemon and keep it ready.

2. Take the flattened rice in a colander. Wash well under running water. Leave undisturbed for some time, for all the water to drain out.

3. In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the cubed potatoes and a little bit of salt. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute the potatoes for 3-4 minutes or till they are cooked through and start browning. Then, transfer the cooked potatoes to a plate and keep aside.

4. By this time, all the water would have drained out of the flattened rice. Fluff it up gently.

5. Now, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in the same pan we used earlier. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter.  Next, add in the asafoetida and cumin seeds. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds, taking care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn. Turn the flame down to low-medium. Add in the cooked potatoes. Mix gently.

6. Add in the drained flattened rice and the chopped green chillies. Mix well.

7. Add in salt to taste, turmeric powder and jaggery powder. Mix well.

8. Cook for about 3 minutes on low-medium flame or till all the ingredients are well incorporated together. Stir intermittently. Taste and adjust salt and/or jaggery at this stage and switch off gas.

9. Mix in the finely chopped coriander and lemon juice. Your Aloo Poha is ready. Serve it hot, garnished with finely chopped onion (if using).

Is this recipe vegan and gluten-free?

This Aloo Poha recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet.

It is not gluten-free because of the use of asafoetida. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour, to a lesser or greater extent, and are therefore best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. So, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering if you want to prepare a gluten-free version of this poha. However, if you are able to find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you could definitely go ahead and use it.

Tips & Tricks

1. I add in the green chillies only after the drained poha is added to the pan. This helps keeps the spice level moderate.

2. Make sure you don’t overcook the potatoes. They should be cooked through but not mushy. Cook them on medium flame without adding any water.

3. Adjust the quantity of jaggery, green chillies and lemon juice as per personal taste preferences. The above quantities work perfectly for us.

4. Sugar can be used in place of the jaggery. I would not recommend skipping the sweetener completely, but you can definitely do so if you do not prefer it.

5. Do not overcook the poha. After the poha is added to the pan, mix it with the potatoes and other ingredients and cook for just about 3 minutes. Overcooking will render the Aloo Poha hard and chewy.

6. I prefer cooking the potatoes separately first, and then adding them to the poha later, the way I have done here. This way, the tempering stays fresh and doesn’t get too burnt. Alternatively, you can do the tempering first, add in the chopped potatoes, let them cook, then add in the poha to the pan.

7. Curry leaves and finely chopped ginger can be used in the tempering too, as can peanuts. I don’t use them because we do not prefer them in this dish.

8. Pomegranate arils, finely chopped tomato and fine sev can also be used to garnish the Aloo Poha. I have not used them, here.

9. Skip the onion if you aim to prepare a no-onion no-garlic version of the poha.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

Instant Rava Dhokla| Sooji Dhokla

Instant Rava Dhokla refers to a sort of savoury snack cake from the state of Gujarat. Made using rava aka sooji, the dhokla can be put together in minutes, without any prior preparation. The dish is cooked by steaming and requires minimal oil. Today, I am sharing the recipe for Instant Rava Dhokla (also called Sooji Dhokla), the way I learnt it from a Gujarati family friend years ago.

A closer look at Instant Rava Dhokla

Dhokla, the popular Gujarati snack, has many different versions. I have, on my blog, the recipes for Khatta Dhokla, Safed Dhokla (Idada), Mug Na Dhokla and Khatta Dhokla (method 2). Some of these require fermentation, while some are the ‘instant’ variety. The Rava Dhokla recipe I am sharing today belongs to the latter category, wherein the batter does not need fermentation. This is, therefore, a wonderful breakfast or snack option when you need to put together something delicious in a jiffy. And, yes, these Instant Rava Dhokla are absolutely delish!

These dhokla are made using fine rava, soured with curd, a hint of citric acid and a dash of lemon juice (if needed). Eno Fruit Salt, a popular Indian antacid, is what is commonly used to make these dhokla soft and fluffy. Do read my earlier blog post on Instant Khaman, where I have written about the use of citric acid and Eno in the making of Gujarati dishes.

Like all the other dhokla recipes mentioned above, this Instant Rava Dhokla is also cooked by steaming. I use a pressure cooker for the steaming, but you may use an idli steamer instead too. Speaking of steamed foods, I absolutely loved my fellow food blogger Preethi’s recipe for Kothimbir Vadi – can’t wait to try it out!

Please do note that these Instant Rava Dhokla are NOT vegan (plant-based) and gluten-free. They are completely vegetarian and free of onion and garlic.

How to make Instant Rava Dhokla

Here is how we make them.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

1. 1 cup fine rava

2. Salt to taste, about 1-1/4 teaspoons

3. About 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar

4. 2 generous pinches of citric acid

5. Juice from a small wedge of lemon, 2-3 teaspoons (optional)

6. A small piece of ginger

7. 1 green chilli or as per taste

8. 1/2 cup thick curd

9. 3/4 cup water + more as needed

10. 1 tablespoon oil + some more for greasing the steaming vessel

11. 1 sachet of regular Eno fruit salt, about 1-1/2 teaspoons

For the tempering and garnishing:

1. 1 tablespoon oil

2. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

3. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

4. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

Method:

1. Dry roast the rava for about 2 minutes in a heavy-bottomed pan. Take care to ensure that it does not burn. When done, transfer to a mixing bowl and allow it to cool down completely. Skip this step, if you are using store-bought pre-roasted rava.

2. When the roasted rava has completely cooled down, add salt, sugar and citric acid. I have used powdered sugar here.

3. Peel the ginger and chop roughly. Chop the green chilli roughly too. Grind the chopped ginger and chilli coarsely in a small mixer jar, using very little water. Add the ground paste to the mixing bowl.

4. Add the thick curd and the water to the mixing bowl. Mix well.

5. Keep the batter aside, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Allow it time to rest.

6. After 15-20 minutes, we will start steaming the dhokla. Take about 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker bottom and place it on high flame. Place a trivet inside the cooker bottom. Grease a wide vessel with a little oil and place it on the trivet, inside the cooker. Let the water in the bottom of the cooker start boiling and the greased vessel get heated up.

7. In the meantime, check on the batter we prepared earlier. It would have become quite thick. Add in about 1/4 cup water or as needed to bring the batter to a consistency that is neither watery nor too thick. Adjust salt as needed and mix well.

8. When the water in the cooker bottom starts boiling, add the Eno fruit salt to the batter. Mix well, using your hands, in one direction only. Make sure the Eno is well incorporated into the batter. Pour the batter immediately into the heated greased vessel.

9. Close the pressure cooker at this stage. Now, cook on high flame for 18-20 minutes without putting the whistle on. Once this is done, wait for 5-7 minutes before opening the pressure cooker. Insert a skewer into the centre to check whether the dhokla is done or not. If uncooked, cook for a few more minutes. If cooked through, remove the dhokla and proceed to the next step.

10. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small tempering pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Now add in the sesame seeds, and allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Then, switch off gas and pour this tempering evenly all over the dhokla. Garnish with the finely chopped coriander. The Instant Rava Dhokla is now ready – serve immediately or when warm or at room temperature.

How to serve these Instant Rava Dhokla

These dhokla are quite flavourful, and do not really require any accompaniment. However, if you want to, they go beautifully with a Gujarati-style Kadhi Chutney. This Hari Chutney also pairs well with the dhokla.


Tips & Tricks

1. Use the fine variety of rava, also called Bombay rava or local rava. The thicker variety (Bansi rava) is not very well suited to making this dhokla.

2. Adjust the quantity of green chilli, salt and sugar as per personal taste preferences.

3. Make sure you use regular-flavoured Eno Fruit Salt. Other flavours like lemon and orange are not recommended. For best results, use a fresh packet of Eno that hasn’t been lying around for too long.

4. Sour curd works best in the making of this Instant Rava Dhokla. Add the lemon only if your curd is not sour enough. If the curd is sour, you may skip the lemon.

5. Adjust the quantity of water you use depending upon the consistency of the batter you require. After soaking for 15-20 minutes, the rava will absorb all the water and become quite thick. Adjust water to bring the batter to a cake batter-like consistency. For the perfect dhokla, the consistency of the batter must be neither too thick nor too watery. Also adjust the salt at this stage.

6. Do not let the batter sit after adding the Eno fruit salt. Add the Eno just before steaming the dhokla. Remember to mix the batter well after adding the Eno, preferably using your hands, in one direction only.

7. Before beginning the steaming process, make sure to bring the water in the pressure cooker or steamer to a boil and that the greased vessel is also heated up. Only then add the batter to the greased vessel.

8. The steaming of this Instant Rava Dhokla takes 18-20 minutes, depending upon the consistency of the batter. The dhokla is ready when a toothpick inserted into the centre of it comes out clean. Check done-ness after 5-7 minutes of switching off the gas.

9. I have used only mustard seeds and sesame in the tempering, plus coriander for garnishing. You may add some curry leaves, green chillies and/or asafoetida to the tempering too. Fresh grated coconut can also be used in the garnishing.

10. Skip the sugar if you do not prefer using it. I prefer adding it – the little amount of sugar does not make the dhokla overly sweet, but rounds off the other flavours beautifully.

11. I have used roasted rava from the Double Horse brand. If you are using unroasted rava, do dry roast it for a couple of minutes before proceeding to make the Instant Rava Dhokla. Many make the dhokla without roasting the rava, but I personally feel the roasting enhances the texture and taste of the dish. I would definitely recommend roasting.

12. The combination of Eno fruit salt and citric acid (along with sour curd and lemon juice, if using) causes the batter to bubble and foam. This is what helps make the dhokla soft and spongy. I have heard of people using baking soda as a substitute for Eno, but I have never tried that. I find Eno works beautifully.

13. You may skip using ginger and green chillies in the batter, if you do not prefer them. My family likes them, so I prefer adding them in.

14. If you so prefer, you may skip adding oil into the batter and also reduce the amount of oil used in the tempering. Personally, though, I would recommend not doing so – the oil keeps the dhokla from becoming too dry and helps keep it soft.

15. This Sooji Dhokla is best served immediately after preparing, but it keeps soft for at least a day. So, if you are pressed for time, you can definitely make it ahead of serving.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Palada Pradhaman| Palada Payasam

Palada Pradhaman is a type of kheer made using bits of dried rice pasta (called ‘ada’ in Malayalam). Also called Palada Payasam, this is a milk-based delicacy that is quite common in Kerala. It is, in fact, a popular part of the sadya or banana-leaf spread served during Onam. My mom-in-law hails from Kerala, and she often prepares this kheer for other festive occasions like Diwali, Vishu, Janmashtami, Tamil New Year and Ganesh Chaturthi. It is a delicious sweet treat, and I am sharing our family recipe for the same, just in time for the upcoming festivals.

What exactly is ‘ada‘?

Like I was saying earlier, ‘ada‘ refers to rice pasta. In Malayali families, ada is traditionally made from scratch by making a thin rice batter and then steaming it in a banana leaf. This freshly made ada is then used to make payasam. However, considering this is a bit of a time-consuming process, many Kerala-based brands now offer ready-to-use dried ada packets. These dried ada can also be used to make payasam the same way as the fresh one is.

Here, I have used ready-to-use dried ada from the Double Horse brand (the package calls it ‘rice pasta bits’). Some day, I will try to share the recipe for rice ada made from scratch, the traditional way. For now, let me share with you all how to make payasam using a store-bought version.

What goes into Palada Pradhaman?

Apart from the store-bought rice ada, milk and sugar are the two most important components of this payasam. Many families keep this payasam really simple, sans dried fruit and nuts or ghee, but my recipe uses all of these. I have used a small amount of ghee and some cashewnuts to make this dessert even more flavourful. I have also used a bit of cardamom powder and rose essence, for that extra zing.

Palada Pradhaman is different from Ada Pradhaman, another festive delicacy from Kerala. Both desserts use rice pasta aka ada, but the other ingredients used and style of preparation are different for both. While Palada Pradhaman is made using milk and sugar, Ada Pradhaman uses jaggery and a generous amount of coconut. Taste-wise, the two are completely different.

How we make Palada Pradhaman

Here is how we go about it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

1. 1 litre full-fat milk

2. 2 tablespoons ghee

3. 12 cashewnuts

4. 1/4 cup ready-to-use rice ada

5. 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar or to taste

6. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

7. 4-5 drops of rose essence (optional)

Method:

1. Chop the cashewnuts roughly. Keep ready.

2. Heat the ghee in a large heavy-bottomed pan. Turn the flame down to medium and add in the chopped cashewnuts. Fry them till golden-brown, taking care not to burn them. Transfer the fried cashewnuts to a plate and keep aside.

3. Now, still keeping the flame at medium, add the rice ada to the pan. Fry them in the residual ghee till they slightly puff up. Take care not to burn them.

4. Now, add in the milk. Mix well. Increase the flame to high.

5. Let the milk come to a boil on high flame. This should take 6-7 minutes.

6. Again, reduce the flame down to medium. Add in the sugar. Mix well.

7. Cook on medium flame for 10-12 minutes or till the milk thickens and reduces to almost half of its original volume. Switch off gas at this stage.

8. Mix in the cardamom powder.

9. Mix in the rose essence, if using.

10. Add in the fried cashewnuts. Mix well. Your Palada Pradhaman is ready. You can serve it hot, warm, at room temperature or after chilling it for a couple of hours.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use full-fat milk for best results. I have used full-cream milk from Nandini here.

2. Adjust the quantity of sugar as per personal taste preferences. I have used regular refined sugar here.

3. Keep the consistency of the payasam as thick or runny as you prefer. Remember that it thickens up further upon cooling.

4. Use a heavy-bottomed pan for making the Palada Pradhaman. Make sure the rice ada and cashewnuts do not burn.

5. You may add in some more ghee if required. For best results, use good-quality, fragrant ghee.

6. The rose essence is purely optional. However, I like adding it in as it adds a beautiful touch to the payasam.

7. Allow the Palada Pradhaman to cool down completely before you refrigerate it (if you decide to serve it chilled).

8. You may use some chopped almonds and raisins along with the cashewnuts.

9. Make sure the milk is at room temperature when you add it to the pan.

Other payasam recipes on the blog

I have quite a few recipes for payasam (kheer) on my blog, which you might want to check out.

Do see my posts on Semiya Payasam|Vegan Oat Milk Payasam| Carrot Payasam| Butterfly Pea Kheer With Beaten Rice| Nei Payasam| Pasi Paruppu Payasam| Elaneer Payasam

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!