Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Aval Payasam – Dessert of Gods! Indian Milk Pudding with Brown Rice Flakes.

At times, some people we come across at various phases in life leave a long lasting impression on us, no matter how short the span of interaction was….it could be just a one time meeting or a day’s interaction or for a season or more…..they touch our lives and leave their handprints and become part of our life and memory.

This post is about one such person and her mother who are part of my college life and still holds a special place in my heart…….because that mother once served me one of the tastiest and yet simplest payasam/milk pudding for the first time in my life…..from then onwards , that particular dessert competed for the first place in my list of favourites, along with Paalada Pradhaman and Parippu Pradhaman, though I was never fortunate to taste it one more time. Another thing that stuck with me was the grace on that mother’s face…… a beautiful woman,fair complexioned with black curly locks of hair and a small red dot on her forehead ! And then there is her daughter, my firend, Anj - a chubby bubbly girl who was/is in love with music with a serious crush on the singer, Unnikrishnan those days…..and we used every opportunity to tease her :)

Often times when CJJ and I refresh our college days and exchange stories of the bygone era, I always notice a recurring phenomenon in my thought process and that is, Anj’s mom’s Aval Payasam and one more episode often gets pulled back into my active memory shelf and each time whenever I mention that episode , I see CJJ chuckling and that’s something precious as he is someone who believes that I crack jokes only once a year and he keeps count on any addition of my yearly quota!!!

Well, the only thing I remember about that episode is a close friend of ours telling me, trying to control her laughter badly, “ you know what….our Anj got into an empty bus last evening and she tried to get the best seat and finally ended up standing till her stop !! “ Whenever I try to visualise that episode , I always burst into laughter and after more than a decade, I happened to get back in touch with Anj through one of the social networking sites and on one of the mails, I forced to narrate the story in her own words and here’s an an excerpt from the mail:

……Ah..ha S…….i still remember the day as if it were yesterday..am surprised u have forgotten….anyways…”I was the hapless victim”..so maybe that’s why I remember it more..that day we already had gone to ann’s during the lunch break..we waited in those ann’s steps for 1 hour but we didn’t get our fav’rite chocolate donuts so we(me, A and S) went back again in the evening and bought donuts from ann’s …A bought those cream puffs..which we both never liked..was tooooooooo creamy…anyway..i remember this because my hands were full…donuts plus all those M&B’s from library which I used to read like mad(esp.during Sr. B’s class…)…..when we finally reached the bus stop we were so tired we allowed atleast 5-6 buses to pass..for an empty bus..and then came our “eagle” :) :)….I was the first one to get inside the bus…I sat on one seat..then decided that was not good enough(cos it was just opp the driver.).then I got up and went to another seat..that one was the aisle seat..and I wanted a window one…I got up…and went to another seat..but somebody pushed me aside..so tried another one..again was pushed by someone..finally…I was the only one standing in the bus..everyone else got a seat x-cept me…by that time all were laughing their heads off…that was o.k…but there was this one lady who kept looking at me ..and then laughing..so hard ..she was actually crying.. and that too at regular intervals..till we reached the stop….i swear even the bus driver and’ killi’ were laughing at me…I never got inside that “eagle” bus again…and I doubt whether I’ll ever tell this story to my daughter…but u know what..those donuts got crushed…:( :(..


A week back, I was watching TV and they were airing Seinfeld’s Subway episode and to me , the scene where Kramer travels in train seemed to be the sitcom representation of this episode I was referring to . Watch the scene HERE.

Anyway, on my request Anj gave me the recipe for Aval Payasam too.This is what she mailed me:”…. Hey! Here’s the recipe u asked “ For 1/2 a litre of milk….take 1 big handful of brown aval(not white)…amma said “oru valliya pidi “aval…wash and drain the aval(this process should be really fast..aval should not be soaking wet).Now fry this in about 1 tbsp of ghee…till u get a nice smell…add this to the boiled milk…add about 1 –heaped glass of sugar (our typical steel glass)..and continue cooking in a nice thick uruli till the payasam gets condensed and becomes a rich pink colour…u have to keep stirring in between,…this payasam does not reqire any garnishings like cashew,kismis or elakka..in fact that spoils the taste..it should just have that “vattiya” taste,,and the taste of the brown aval…

Here’s how I translated her mother’s instructions into cup and spoon measurements :

  • ½ cup brown rice flakes/Aval (chemba aval)/beaten rice
  • 1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  • 2 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup sugar or to taste
  • In a thick bottom vessel or Uruli, a wide mouthed bell metal vessel, heat milk and bring to a boil.
  • While milk is heating up, give brown rice flakes/Aval a quick rinse in cold water and dry immediately with a kitchen napkin. Heat ghee/clarified butter in a shallow pan, and fry brown rice flakes/Aval for a minute, till ghee is coated well and a nice aroma comes.
  • When milk comes to a boil, add the ghee-fried brown rice flakes/Aval and stir well in medium heat. Now, add sugar and stir well until it dissolves into the milk. At this stage, reduce heat and let it simmer for a while, about 20-30 minutes, until it thickens to the consistency of a Payasam.
Verdict: This serves two adults but if you have a spouse like mine - who does not miss any single opportunity to dissuade me from making payasam, relished major portion of it and left some, may be less than a quarter portion, feeling guilty that he should not do such a thing to me - it is better to increase the proportions and this happened not just once, but twice. I guess that says how divine tasting it is .

Now that I used the word divine tasting , let me share one more line from my friend’s mail, “…a speciality ‘nevidhyam’ for sree Krishna…amma usually makes this payasam for sree Krishna jayanthi..for the little Krishna…according to the hindu mythology is a big fan of both aval and paal payasam and with this dish he gets the best of both!!!!

I know this has been a really long post for a simple recipe but as I started pouring my thoughts on the same, I lost sense of the length of the post……

Related Posts:

Parippu Pradaman/Payasam Semiya Payasam


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  1. The payasam looks soo creamy and yummmmy. And yeah, I was ROFL when I read Anj's story. Poor her ;)

  2. hahaha...i was imagining the Kramer scene adapted to a private bus in Kerala...can be made into a funny movie scene esp with someone like Mala doing it!!;-D

    Aval payasam...well..something quite new for me...I somehow always stick to semiya or my favourite ada payasam...the pic is as usual at its appealing best!!;-)

    I often tell my german colleagues who take cold milch rice as desert in our kanteen...alpum choodaaki..korachu neyyil kashuvandi varthu..alpum milkmaid oyichu ithu kudichoodei!!! avarru enthu ariyunnu!!;-D

  3. That episode was indeed hilarious and the sitcom matches the incident so well that I burst out laughing! Trying to imagine the look on poor Anj's face with people laughing around her and crushed donuts! Had I been in that situation I would have wished to disappear into thin air :)
    The aval payasm looks so delicious! Though I have never tasted it, I guess this would taste like palpayasam right?..with slow cooking of milk. Wish I could get aval here!

  4. Haha..I cant stop laughing imagining your friend waiting for an empty bus and standing all the while..:)

    Aval payasam is something I got introduced to in the blogging world.I came across a recipe some time back and tried it out.We loved it but it was a bit too sweet for us.I used white flakes.

    Is it necessary to wash and drain the aval?Cant we just fry the aval in ghee till it turns crisp??

  5. Jus dont know but reading and visualising on Anj,it was like similar to "jomol" in Niram..we may laugh,but cant lol..love her..!!

    Hey the payasam reminds me of Ambalappuzha palpayasam coz of the texture and color..light pink..right ?

    And on the verdict,lol..how can you make two portion when you know how its goin to taste..? Cant blame CJJ anyway..but poor you..Better luck next time !!

  6. Bingo bingo!I made this payasam last Sunday as there was excess milk. I know how divine it tastes!:)

  7. I fell in love with this Aval payasam the first time I had it in my fren's place...Looks yummy n creamy

  8. I am so glad to see a new post here... :) Loved the sweet treat! :) Beautiful pic! :)

  9. Hi,

    Great post, great payasam, would definitely try.

    take care

  10. Good one ....& brought back my memories travelling once in a jam packed bus with my cousin during our summer vacation to kerala.

    Aval Payasam is something new to me and I'm going to try this out.


  11. I have a jar filled of these brown rice flakes sitting in my pantry and starring at me. Now I know what to make with it. Thanks for sharing!

    Aren't these social networking sites good? I found one of my close friends from school after 22 years and she is in the US too. You friends story is hilarious.

  12. Poor Anj :)
    Btw aval payasam is a totally new dish.. What all to try from your gems yaar.. I'll become one barrel!!

  13. Poor Anj :)
    Btw aval payasam is a totally new dish.. What all to try from your gems yaar.. I'll become one barrel!!

  14. rp introd me to aval payasam. now u!! enjoyed the story and the clip..so similar.

  15. Hi mish,
    I was googling for kinnathppam recipe and one link was to ur site,and you wanted to know the kalathappam and kinnathappam recipe.I am from Kannur so kalthappam is one of our teatime snack back in india.I made it today after a long time and came out so well so I thought of sharing it with you as you want to know the recipe.Well about kinnathappam is normally made in large quantities and its a long process ,I remember once that was made in our home in big Uruli with 2-3 people continuosly stirring it for hours.
    my kalathappam came out good for the first in US.I tried soaking grinding basmati and other rices but didnt came out well.
    I used Nirapara Aripodi this time
    here it is goes:
    nirapara aripodi 2-3cups
    Vellam/Jaggery - as per sweetness
    cooked rice - 1 cup
    cardomon -6-7
    thenga kothu -11/2 cup
    small onion - 1/2 cup
    cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
    baking poweder - 1tsp
    ghee /cocnut oil- as per req

    Make a batter with rice powder ,melt the jaggery mix it well then grind the mix with cumin seeds ,cardomom , baking powder and cooked rice.the consistency of the battery kind of loose not so thick.
    then leave the mix for 2-3 hours room temp.
    Now heat the entire batter continously stirring ,be careful at this time,u shud keep stirring all part as it get cooked else.heat it for 2-3 mints
    heat coconut oil or ghee in the pressure cooker roast thengakotthu and onions add some cardomom powder also.once it started turning brownish remove it from the cooker.then add some more ghee or cocnut oil again spread it little on the sides of the cooker since appam puffs out ,so it will stick on the sides.now pour the mix in the cooker then scatter the fried thngakotthu and onion.keep the stove on high then close the lid without Whistle .cook for 3 mints on high flame now fully lower the stove cook it in low flame for 10 mints
    turn off the stove.leave it for 30 mints and open the cooker.carefully remove it from the sides first then it will easily come out if u put the cooker upside down slightly on a plate.

    This is not a comment Shn.

  16. Revathy has left a new comment on your post "Aval Payasam – Dessert of Gods! Indian Milk Puddin...":

    Hi mish,
    I was googling for kinnathppam recipe and one link was to ur site,and you wanted to know the kalathappam and kinnathappam recipe.I am from Kannur so kalthappam is one of our teatime snack back in india.I made it today after a long time and came out so well so I thought of sharing it with you as you want to know the recipe.Well about kinnathappam is normally made ......

    This is not a comment Shn.

    Publish this comment.

    Reject this comment.

    Moderate comments for this blog.

    Posted by Revathy to Mishmash ! at July 29, 2009 7:06 PM

  17. Faiza,Glad to know you enjoyed the post....a warm welcome to this blog :)

    Mathew, LOL....that's so true...infact we tell the same thing when we see them eating those batter dipped fish fry....athil kurachu mulakum , injeem , veluthulleem , curry veppilem okke ettu nalla varuthu kazhichu nokku....athinte ruchi ariyathathinte kuzhappama ethokke ennu :D and yeah, I can imahine maala doing it :)

    Pooja, poor thing, she had to be in that situation....though we all laughed that time a lot...yes, it tastes like palpayaasam, paalada pradhaman et al...that slow cooked colour will be there...if u have uruli, try it in that...it would be even better.Usually indian stores carry aval.

    Divya, well...very good question....but i dont know the answer :P You must be krnowing by now that i blindly follow recipes and dont ask questions ;)) Am guessing, the rinsing will help to plump up the aval and turn it very soft while cooking....just my wild guess ok..hope someone reading this will clear out ur doubt !

    Ann, I havent tasted ambalapuzha payasam till now, wish i will get lucky one day ! so cant comment on the texture part...colour yes, u get that slow cooked colour with a pinkish touch, especially since we re using chemba aval.

    My experiments, :) I hope to see your version too.hope u will blog that soon.

    Prathibha,me too :))

    Ria, thanks a bunch :)

    Rekha, am sure u will love it...do let me know your feedback...:)

    Reena, hope u let me know how it turned out for u...i hope u enjoy it :)

    My comfort.., 22 yrs....wow!!! can only imagine how happy u guys must have been and how closer u re now..:) try , am sure u will enjoy the taste .

    Dhanya, u wont....provided u make this when u have some company....that way u get only small share and dont end up feasting on the full batch :D that's what we do....i make desserts and stuff when we have some guests...:P btw, pls make ur blog public , if possible...atleast continue writing, pls!

    Mallugirl, oh yes, I remember RP's post very well.....infact her post reminded me of the taste of this payasam so much that I wanted to try her version immdtly but u know me, it is still there in my bookmarks ;))

    Revathy, if you re reading this, pls mail me at shncjj@gmail.com. Thanks A LOT for thinking of me, and taking the time to share the recipe.....I wish I could thank you in person...anyway, I will try it out at the earliest and I hope I can contact you with the feedback, so pls drop a line to me , on the id given. Thanks again! :) published part of your comment, only to let this message reach u and wanted to express my thanks too.


  18. I am from Kannur as well and I must say kinnathappam & kalathappam is a very yumm snack! Revathy, thanks for sharing the recipe with Shn!

    Shn, please try it out soon and post it! It's usually made in Hindu homes here...so we don't have a recipe for it :)

  19. Made it n it was awesome..Im having the chilled version of it which is even more awesome..Thanx for such a simple recipe which taste out of the world

  20. Aval payasam story are good. Yes college days are too much fun. I miss them.

  21. Yeh done :) I didn't know it was not public. Donno how it happened :(

  22. Its so nice to see your blog getting updated with new and unusual recipes once again. Your poor friend...Kramer looked hilarious enough, but on a Kerala bus of all places, would be enough to make one want to curl up and die

    I hope you start updating your blog regularly once again. Shall let you know on Monday, how the aval payasam turned out.

  23. U r back so am I. I feel so happy for you. So this is famous Aval payaasam I have been hearing abt

  24. Nice read :) Somehow payasam (any kind)is yet to fascinate me...

  25. Kalva, thank you :)

    Ria, u from Kannur ? my aunt is also from there...infact i have been there a couple times mainly to visit parassinikkadavu :)

    Jina, u were FAST :) Let me see if i can reserve some for chilling next time..:)

    Swathi, me too !

    Dhanya, how did that happen!!! thanks anyway :)

    Archana, thank you....:) yeah I hope I can be regular from now on....so did you try aval payasam? waiting for your feedback...

    Pooja, :) will talk on the phone :)

    Rachel,really??? yeah ...I understand :)


  26. The aval payasam turned out to be awesome. I called up my mom and passed on the recipe to her too. The best part is that its such a simple, no fuss recipe.
    Thanks again and keep up the good work

  27. How true!..Aval and Pal payasam being Little Krishna's fav..a Divine combination called Aval Payasam!!

    Let me see if I can make this divine payasam for neivedyam, this Gokulashtami...

  28. Just three more days for the festival, Shn..and getting ready with the ingredients.

    I could get only the Double Horse Brand red rice aval here..too thin/flat/flaky variety..would that do?..and how abt the addition of half a tin of Milk Maid(condensed milk)and elakka?...will they suppress that natural flavour of aval??

  29. What a sweet post!You really provide great entertainment and lovely recipes.Thanks!

  30. Tried out a few hours back for Krishna Jayanthi..

    Came out extremely well..!!

    Will be making quite often..

  31. Made this one for onasadhya. Dad had got aval frm an organic shop and had got the one in the old style, kuthiyeduthathu, not the machine beaten one. It was an absolute hit!! But the only prob was my mom who is on the verge on being diabetic was a li'l sad that she couldnt have it as much as she wanted! ;)


  32. I just couldnt stop laughing reading your post.. new here..I regret no dropping by earlier...
    Aval payasam very new for me.. i have some aval sitting but its white..anyway will try with it..
    I have a list of things that i want to try.. i will tell u how everything goes!


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