Peanut Basil Pesto| Basil Pesto With Peanuts

Today, I am going to share with you all my recipe for Peanut Basil Pesto. This is pesto with a twist, a deviation from the traditional version, but every bit just as fragrant and flavourful.

Peanut Basil Pesto or Basil Pesto With Peanuts

What is Pesto?

Pesto is a kind of sauce of Italian origin, made using basil leaves. Basil is traditionally crushed in a mortar and pestle, along with garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and a hard cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino. The result is this free-flowing coarsely crushed sauce that is invitingly fresh and fragrant and absolutely delicious. I have also read about Italian families using a sickle-shaped chopper (called a ‘mezzaluna’) to make pesto, in place of the mortar and pestle.

Over time, as pesto love began to spread far and wide, many different variations emerged. Different herbs began to replace the basil, like coriander and parsley and mint. Other ingredients started replacing the pine nuts – almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, walnuts, etc.

Pesto goes beautifully in pasta and on pizza, in sandwiches and bruschetta, in salads and noodles. I love how multi-faceted it is, in terms of the ingredients that can go into it, as well as the variety of dishes it can go into. Just a little bit of pesto can add a whole new depth of flavour to a dish!

What goes into my Peanut Basil Pesto

Making pesto is the first thing most people think of when they can lay their hands on fresh basil, and that includes me. It is not very often that I get gorgeous, sweet-smelling basil leaves here in Bangalore, though that is fast changing with the advent of players like Deep Rooted, Atom A Day Fresh and Namdhari’s (not sponsored). More often than not, I end up making pesto with the basil, experimenting with the ingredients to find the flavour combination that works the best for my family and me. This Peanut Basil Pesto is the result of one such experiment – one that turned out hugely successful, a very delicious thing that became a fast favourite with everyone at home. Also, do check out the Basil And Pumpkin Seed Pesto that I had shared a while back.

Like I was saying earlier, this Peanut Basil Pesto is a spin on the traditional version. It is made with basil leaves, but with roasted peanuts taking the place of pinenuts (which are super expensive and not very easy to find in India). I have used an Indian not-very-expensive variety of cheese here (hard Cheddar). Along with the garlic cloves and extra virgin olive oil that goes into pesto traditionally, I have also used a green chilly and some lemon juice to spruce it up. I am not claiming this is an authentic recipe for pesto, but a sort of Indianised version that works well for me. I make it in a mixer, and not in a mortar and pestle as is done traditionally.

How to make Peanut Basil Pesto

Here is how I make it. The process is rather simple and takes hardly a few minutes to complete. However, it is a flavour bomb for sure, an absolute pleasure to the senses.

Ingredients (yields about 1 cup of pesto):

1. 2 tightly packed cups fresh Italian basil leaves

2. 1 cube of cheese

3. Salt to taste

4. 1/4 cup peanuts

5. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6. 1 green chilly or as per taste

7. 5-6 cloves of garlic

8. Juice of 1/2 lemon or as needed

Method:

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom right and left: Steps 3 and 4

1. Wash the basil thoroughly under running water. Place in a colander and let all the water drain out.

2. In the meantime, dry roast the peanuts in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium flame for 5-6 minutes or till they get crisp. They will start browning by this time and some of them will start cracking. Switch off gas at this stage. Transfer the roasted peanuts to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

3. Peel the garlic cloves. Chop the green chilly roughly. Keep ready.

4. Take the washed and drained basil leaves in a mixer jar. Add in the garlic cloves and chopped green chilly. Chop the cheese cube into small pieces and add to the mixer jar too.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom right and left: Steps 7 and 8

5. Add the roasted and cooled peanuts to the mixer jar, along with salt to taste.

6. Add in a little olive oil.

7. Add in the lemon juice.

8. Grind together for a couple of seconds, then stop the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the mixer jar, add some more olive oil, mix up the ingredients, then grind again for a couple of seconds. Repeat this process, adding olive oil little by little, and slowly grinding the ingredients to a slightly coarse texture. Your Peanut Basil Pesto is ready. Fill it up in a clean, air-tight, dry bottle and use as needed.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use very fresh basil leaves, for best results. I got mine from Deep Rooted, a Bangalore-based farm that delivers very fresh produce. I absolutely love ordering from them.

2. Use good-quality extra virgin olive oil and cheese for a great-tasting pesto. Use a hard variety of cheese, like Parmesan, otherwise the pesto will turn out lumpy. I have used Borges Extra Virgin Olive Oil and hard Cheddar cheese from Dlecta, here. I have used a small cube of cheese here, which I cut out of the large block I bought.

3. Be careful while adding in the salt. Remember that there is some salt content in the cheese as well.

4. Make sure the peanuts are roasted well before using them in the pesto. Take care to ensure that they do not burn.

5. The roasted peanuts should be completely cool before using them in making the pesto.

6. Adjust the quantity of green chillies and lemon juice as per personal taste preferences.

7. Store this Peanut Basil Pesto in a refrigerator, and remove using a clean and dry spoon only. You can use the pesto as needed in noodles, sandwiches, salads, bruschetta, pasta and the likes. When refrigerated and used hygienically, the pesto is best used within 3-4 days of making.

8. You can keep the Peanut Basil Pesto as coarse or smooth as you prefer. I keep it just slightly coarse.

9. Grind the pesto in intervals, as stated above, rather than at one go. This will result in a free-flowing pesto that is not lumpy.

10. With the pesto being exposed to air, it can turn a darker green in colour from the bright shade it is when freshly ground. This is perfectly normal, and the pesto can still be safely consumed, without any loss in fragrance or taste – unless there is noticeable odour to it, which means it has gone off and shouldn’t be consumed any more.

11. The above Peanut Basil Pesto recipe is completely vegetarian, but not vegetarian (plant-based) due to the use of cheese. I have not tried out a vegan version of this pesto, and I’m not sure how it works.

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

Aloo Methi| Punjabi Potato & Fenugreek Curry

You guys probably already know of my love for winter produce, especially fresh methi or fenugreek greens. The gorgeous methi available this time of the year gives me a high – yes, I’m that kind of crazy. 😀 Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for one of my most favourite things to use fenugreek in, Aloo Methi.

Aloo Methi Ki Sabzi

What is Aloo Methi?

Aloo Methi, also called Aloo Methi Ki Sabzi, is a dry curry made using potatoes and fenugreek greens. It is quite a popular winter specialty in North India, especially Punjab and Delhi.

I have had the pleasure of trying out this curry several times, on trips to Delhi, and I find it absolutely lovely. The bitterness of fenugreek is beautifully offset by the potatoes, and the end result is this delicious confection that wins hearts.

Aloo Methi makes for a great accomplishment to rotis and parathas, while I also love it as a side to rice and Gujarati Dal.

A closer look at my version of Aloo Methi

There are a few different versions to the curry, and this is mine.

This is a rather simple dish to prepare, but one that needs care and caution and patience. Many use pressure-cooked potatoes to make this curry, but I find starting with uncooked potatoes gives it better texture. Using uncooked potatoes reduces the risk of the Aloo Methi turning into a gloopy mess.

In many families, the fenugreek leaves and potatoes are cooked together. The greens are added in when the potatoes are almost cooked. However, I prefer cooking the two separately – this makes sure both the potatoes and fenugreek are done just right, neither undercooked nor overdone. The time taken for cooking does increase when you use raw potatoes, though.

You can use any oil of your preference to make the Aloo Methi. Mustard oil is often used, which gives the curry a pungent smell and beautiful flavour. However, regular refined oil works just as well. I have used Idhayam Mantra groundnut oil here, which I think went very well.

I relatively lesser oil. There’s just enough oil used here to cook the potatoes through without sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Some use kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) to make this curry. However, I prefer using only fresh fenugreek in season. The fresher the greens, the better the curry tastes.

In many Punjabi families, I understand Aloo Methi is a very simple affair with only the most basic of spices being used. I, however, love to add in a bit of garam masala, some jaggery and amchoor (dried mango powder). I feel these additions take the taste of the Aloo Methi to a whole new level.

How to make Aloo Methi

Here is how I go about it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 7-8 medium-sized potatoes
  2. A small bunch of fenugreek greens aka methi, about 1-1/2 cups when finely chopped
  3. 2 tablespoons + 1/2 tablespoon oil
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
  5. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  6. 2-3 dry red chillies
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. Red chilli powder to taste
  10. 1 teaspoon garam masala or to taste
  11. 1 teaspoon amchoor powder
  12. 1 teaspoon jaggery powder

Method:

1. Wash the potatoes and the fenugreek leaves thoroughly, to remove any traces of dirt from them. Place the leaves in a colander and let all the water drain away.

2. Chop up the fenugreek leaves finely. Keep aside. I had 1-1/2 cups of the greens when finely chopped.

3. Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. Keep aside.

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

4. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the chopped fenugreek leaves. Turn the flame down to medium, and add in a bit of salt.

5. Saute the fenugreek leaves on low-medium flame for 3-4 minutes. When they shrink in volume and are completely cooked, switch off gas. Transfer the cooked fenugreek leaves to a plate and keep aside.

6. Now, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Add in the cumin seeds, asafoetida and dry red chillies. Allow these ingredients to stay in for a couple of seconds.

7. Reduce the flame to low and add in the chopped potatoes. Mix well.

Top left and right: Steps 4 and 5, Above leftmost bottom: The methi leaves are cooked and ready, Leftmost bottom: Step 6, Bottom right: Step 7

8. Cook the potatoes on low flame for about a minute.

9. Add in salt to taste and the turmeric powder. Mix well. Let the potatoes cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes or till they start getting tender. Stir intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.

10. At this stage, add in the red chilli powder. Mix well. Allow the potatoes to cook for 5-7 minutes more or till they are almost done. Stir intermittently.

Top left and right: Steps 8 and 9, Bottom left: Step 10, Bottom right: The potatoes are almost done

11. Now, add in the jaggery powder and garam masala. Mix well.

12. Add in the amchoor powder and the cooked fenugreek leaves. Mix well.

13. Cook on low flame for 3-4 minutes more for everything to get well integrated together. Stir intermittently. Your Aloo Methi is done!

Top: Step 11, Bottom left and right: Steps 12 and 13

Tips & Tricks

1. Do not use too much fenugreek, as it might make the curry bitter. The above quantities work just perfectly for us.

2. As stated in the post, you can use any oil of your preference to make the Aloo Methi.

3. Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed pan to make the curry, in order to prevent burning. Cook on low flame to ensure that the potatoes are evenly done.

4. The bit of jaggery added to this curry adds in a whole lot of taste to it. It does not make the curry overly sweet, but balances out the other flavours beautifully. I would not recommend skipping it.

5. You may use chana masala in place of the garam masala used here, or a mix of both. Adjust the quantity as per personal taste preferences.

6. Adjust the quantity of red chilli powder and amchoor powder as per personal taste preferences.

7. Be careful while adding the salt. Remember that we are salting the fenugreek leaves and potatoes separately.

8. Do not add in any water while cooking the potatoes. Cook uncovered.

9. You may chop the potatoes as large or small as you prefer. I like chopping them into small cubes for this curry.

10. This is a completely vegetarian preparation, one that is vegan as well. It is suitable to those following a plant-based diet. This is a no-onion, no-garlic recipe too.

11. To make this recipe gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour to a lesser or greater extent and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely use it.

12. I have used home-made garam masala and store-bought amchoor powder in this curry, both of which are vegan and gluten-free. However, if you are using store-bought spice powders, please do check the ingredient list to make sure they suit your dietary requirements.

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

Indian Style Burger| Burger With Sweet Potato Patty

I was thrilled to find purple sweet potatoes at Namdhari’s Fresh, the other day. Burgers with sweet potato patties had long been on the cards, so that is exactly what I used them in. I made some Indian-style burgers, and the spices balanced the sweetness of the sweet potatoes perfectly. The end result was super delish, and went on to become a huge hit with everyone at home. In today’s post, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for these burgers.

Indian-style burger or burger with sweet potato patty

A closer look at my Indian-style burger

I would say these burgers are midway between a healthy meal and a sinful indulgence. I used regular store-bought burger buns because that’s what I could find. The patty is made from scratch and is cooked on a pan, definitely way better than the deep-fried versions we usually encounter in burgers. Most of the accompaniments to the burger are home-made and healthy, a few aren’t. The tomato ketchup I have used here, for instance, is home-made, while the mayonnaise is store-bought.

In the ‘Tips & Tricks’ section below, I have suggested healthier alternatives for the various ingredients used in the burger – do go through it.

The beautiful purple sweet potatoes I used!

How I made these burgers with sweet potato patty

Here is how I made them. This is a fairly simple recipe, with not too many complications involved.

Look at that brilliant purple!

Ingredients (makes 6 burgers):

For the patties:

  1. 1 medium-sized purple sweet potato
  2. A small piece of cabbage
  3. 1 medium-sized carrot
  4. 1/4 cup sweet corn kernels
  5. 1/2 of a small yellow capsicum
  6. 1/2 of a small red capsicum
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. Red chilli powder to taste
  10. 1 teaspoon garam masala or to taste
  11. 2-3 tablespoons bread crumbs or as needed
  12. A few teaspoons of oil, as needed to pan-fry the patties

For the pickled onions:

  1. 1 medium-sized onion
  2. 2 pinches of salt
  3. Juice of 1/2 lemon

Other ingredients:

  1. 6 burger buns
  2. 1 medium-sized ‘seedless’ cucumber
  3. 1 medium-sized tomato
  4. Lettuce leaves, as needed
  5. Pickled red paprika slices, as needed
  6. Tomato ketchup, as needed
  7. Tandoori mayonnaise, as needed

Method:

1. Wash the sweet potato thoroughly, to remove any dirt from it. Cut into large pieces and place in a wide vessel. Add in enough water to cover the sweet potato completely.

2. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker and put the whistle on. Allow 3 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. In the meantime, we will pickle the onion. Peel the onion and chop length-wise. Add in 2 pinches of salt and the juice of half a lemon. Mix well. Let this sit undisturbed till it is time to assemble the burgers. This will help the flavours to meld together.

4. We will now chop the vegetables required for the patties. Peel the carrot and chop finely. Chop the cabbage, red capsicum and yellow capsicum finely too. Measure out the sweet corn kernels. Take all these veggies in a wide vessel, and place in a pressure cooker. Keep some water in the bottom of the pressure cooker, but do not add any to the veggies. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Steps 3 and 4

5. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked sweet potato out. Drain out all the water and reserve for later use. Let the sweet potato cool down enough to handle. Similarly, get the cooked vegetables out too, and let them cool down fully.

6. When the sweet potato has completely cooled down, peel the pieces. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mash well.

7. To the mashed sweet potato, add salt and red chilli powder to taste, garam masala and turmeric powder.

8. Add in the cooked vegetables too.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom left and right: Steps 7 and 8

9. Add the bread crumbs to the mixing bowl too. Mix everything thoroughly until well combined. You should get a mixture that is not sticky, which you are able to shape into patties.

10. Now, drizzle some oil on a grill pan, then get it nice and hot. Shape 3-4 patties out of the sweet potato mixture and place on the pan. Turn the flame down to medium. Drizzle some oil around the patties. Cook the patties on both sides for about 2 minutes or till they get slightly crisp. Remove them onto a plate. Prepare all the patties in a similar manner.

11. While the patties cook, we will get the accompaniments for the burger ready. Chop the cucumber and tomato into thin rounds. Keep the red paprika handy.

Top left and right: Step 9, Bottom left and right: Step 10 and 11

12. When you are ready to serve the burgers, slice each bun into half. Toast the buns and re-heat the patties on a hot pan.

13. Then place a couple of lettuce leaves on the bottom part of the bun. Place one patty on top of this. Place some of the pickled onions and chopped cucumber and tomato on the patty. Drizzle tomato ketchup and mayonnaise. Keep a few red paprika slices over this. Now close the bun and hold it together using a toothpick. Serve the Indian Style Burger immediately. Assemble all the burgers in the same way, and serve hot.

Top left and right, bottom left and right: Step 13

Tips & Tricks

1. Chana masala can be used in the patties instead of the garam masala you have used here. I have used home-made garam masala.

2. I have used capsicum in two different colours, in the patties. If you don’t have coloured capsicum, you can use the regular green one instead.

3. In the patties, I have used purple sweet potato (which are high in anthocyanins and various other nutrients) that I picked up at Namdhari’s Fresh. You can use regular sweet potato instead, too. I’m guessing beetroot would work as a good substitute here, as well.

4. Good-quality, crisp lettuce works wonders for a burger. I got mine from Orinko Farms.

5. You can steam the vegetables instead of pressure cooking them as I have done here. Remember that the vegetables should not be overcooked – they should retain a bit of a crunch.

6. I have used regular store-bought burger buns here. You may use whole wheat buns to make the burgers healthier.

7. To make the bread crumbs, I simply pulsed a couple of slices of bread in a mixer. You can use store-bought bread crumbs instead, too.

8. Adjust the quantity of bread crumbs as per need. Use enough to bind the cooked sweet potatoes and the vegetables to a non-sticky texture that you can form patties out of.

9. I have pan-fried the patties in a grill pan, so they had a slightly crisp exterior and a soft interior. They worked just perfectly for us. However, if you want crispier patties, you may coat them with bread crumbs and deep-fry them.

10. Instead of the bread crumbs I have used here, you may use roasted gram flour (besan) or corn flour for binding the patties.

11. I have used Tandoori Mayonnaise from Del Monte, here. Instead, you could use a mix of hung curd + home-made red chilli sauce to make it healthier.

12. I have used home-made tomato ketchup here.

13. I have used store-bought pickled red paprika slices here. You can use pickled jalapeno slices instead, too. You may avoid these when making the burgers for small kids.

14. Do not discard the water the sweet potato was cooked in. It is full of nutrients. You can reserve this water and use it in soups, gravies and the likes.

15. You can keep the patties and other accompaniments ready in advance. You can heat up the patties and assemble the burgers just before serving.

16. I have not used any cheese in these burgers, but you may, if you prefer.

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

Fruit & Nut Chocolate Modak

Looking for an easy modak recipe to make for Ganesh Chaturthi tomorrow? Try out these Fruit & Nut Chocolate Modak!

Fruit & Nut Chocolate Modak. In the background is the clay Ganesha that the bub made in her school sessions.

A bit more about these modaks

These Chocolate Fruit & Nut Modak are no-cook, except for a little roasting. They are super easy to make, if you have all the ingredients at hand, and can be put together in a matter of minutes…. And they are very, very delicious!

I have used cashewnuts and almonds to make these, along with some raisins and dry coconut powder. The Indian Natives’ Absolute Dark cocoa powder that I had written about here is what gives these modaks a gorgeous taste and that deep brown colour.

How to make Fruit & Nut Chocolate Modak

Here is the detailed recipe.

Ingredients (makes about 20 small pieces):

  1. 1/4 cup raisins
  2. 1/4 cup dry coconut powder
  3. 1/4 cup almonds
  4. 1/4 cup cashewnuts
  5. 3 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  6. 2 tablespoons powdered sugar or to taste
  7. 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk or as needed

Method:

1. Roast the cashewnuts and almonds on medium flame till they get crisp. Ensure that they do not burn. Transfer the roasted nuts to a plate and allow them to cool down fully.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add in the raisins, dry coconut powder, cocoa powder and the powdered sugar.
3. When the roasted nuts have completely cooled down, grind them a little coarsely, in a small mixer jar. Add this to the mixing bowl too.
4. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl well. Adding condensed milk little by little, make a dough that has a malleable consistency. I needed about 2 tablespoons of condensed milk.
5. Shape modaks out of the dough, as big or small as you need. I made about 20 small modaks. They can be served immediately.

Can these Fruit & Nut Chocolate Modaks be made vegan?

The above recipe is completely vegetarian and gluten-free. However, it is not vegan because of the use of condensed milk. To make these modaks vegan, swap the condensed milk with plant-based milk. You might have to increase the quantity of sugar you use, in that case.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of sugar as per personal taste preferences.

2. Use as much condensed milk as needed to get the mixture to a malleable consistency.

3. I have used dark cocoa powder which has a strong chocolate-ey aroma and flavour. You can use any cocoa powder of your preference.

4. Increase or decrease the amount of cocoa powder you use, as per personal taste preferences.

5. Ghee or warm milk can be used in place of the condensed milk (not vegan).

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

Oat Milk Payasam| Vegan Kheer With Oat Milk

Oat Milk Payasam is an entirely vegan preparation, a sweet treat perfectly suited to those leading a plant-based lifestyle. It is a kheer made using vegan oat milk as opposed to the dairy milk used in a regular payasam. In case you are wondering, this Oat Milk Payasam tastes absolutely delicious, creamy and perfect!

A bit about the oat milk I used in this payasam

There are several types of plant-based milk – like cashew milk, almond milk and soya milk, to name a few. Oat milk refers to milk derived from oats and, therefore, plant-based. This was my first time using a vegan milk – mylk, rather – and I quite liked it.

Urban Platter has recently launched OatWow, a range of oat milk, in various flavours. The brand sent a few flavours of the milk for me to try out – Classic, Vanilla and Rich Cocoa. The Classic is what I have used here. It has a mildly sweet, oat-y flavour to it, which I loved. The milk looks thin at first glance, but thickens up nicely on heating, thus making it a great choice for things like pasta sauce, custard and payasam. They are priced at INR 300 per litre (expensive, if you ask me), and are available for sale on Amazon and the Urban Platter website.

What goes into this vegan kheer?

There’s the oat milk, of course. I have used flattened rice aka beaten rice or aval too, along with regular refined sugar. I have also used some raisins, cashewnuts and almonds to make the kheer richer.

I wanted to make the kheer completely vegan and, hence, have used coconut oil to fry the nuts instead of the usual ghee. I love the aroma that the coconut oil imparted to the kheer!

Please note that not all oat milk is certified gluten-free. The label on this one suggests there might be ‘traces of naturally occurring gluten found in oats’.

A-Z Recipe Challenge

This recipe is brought to you in association with the A-Z Recipe Challenge. This Challenge was initiated by Vidya, food blogger at Masalachilli, and Jolly, author of the recipe blog Homemade Recipes.

For the challenge, the members share recipes prepared using key ingredients in alphabetical order, one alphabet and one ingredient per month. The alphabet for this month is O, and I chose to cook with ‘oat milk’ for the same.

Check out the Oats Dosa that Vidya made for the challenge. Also, while on the subject of kheer, check out the beautiful Mango Kheer that Jolly has made using full-fat milk.

How to make Oat Milk Payasam

Here’s how I went about it.
Ingredients (serves 5-6):

  1. 1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  2. 1/4 cup beaten rice (aval or poha)
  3. 1 litre oat milk, unsweetened and unflavoured
  4. 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. 8-10 cashewnuts
  6. 8-10 almonds
  7. 8-10 raisins
  8. 2 pinches of cardamom powder

Method:

1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the beaten rice. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame for a minute or so, or till the beaten rice gets crisp. Ensure that it doesn’t burn.

2. Now, add the oat milk to the pan. Mix well. Increase the heat to high.

3. Allow the milk to come to a boil, then reduce flame to medium. Add in the sugar at this stage and mix well.

4. Continue to cook on medium flame for 10-12 minutes or till the mixture starts thickening. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas when the mixture has considerably thickened, but is still quite runny. It thickens further in some time.

5. Mix in the cardamom powder.

6. Now, chop up the cashewnuts and almonds roughly. In a small pan, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Reduce heat to medium, and add in the raisins and the chopped cashewnuts and almonds. Fry till the raisins plump up and the nuts start browning. Take care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn. Pour this over the milk mixture. Your Oat Milk Payasam is ready – serve it hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Tips & Tricks

1. Almond milk, cashew milk, soya milk are some other varieties of plant-based milk that can be used in place of the oat milk I have used here. However, I have never tried those, and am in no position to comment on them.

2. Increase or decrease the amount of sugar you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

3. Jaggery or cane sugar or a similar vegan sweetener can be used in this payasam. I have used regular white sugar here.

4. Make sure the nuts and raisins do not burn while frying them.

5. Stop cooking the payasam when it has thickened considerably, but is still quite runny. It thickens up quite a bit more with time.

6. Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed pan to cook this Oat Milk Payasam.

7. Vanilla or rose essence can be used to flavour the payasam, instead of the cardamom powder I have used here.

8. My opinions about the products are completely honest, based upon my personal experience with them. The views expressed herein are not influenced by anything or anyone.

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