Paal Payasam also is known as rice pudding/kheer is a South Indian delicacy served on happy occasions. This Instant Pot version is the easiest way to make it.
What is Paal Payasam
When it comes to certain foods, I am a true blue South Indian. If in savory, Dosa is my favorite snack, then in desserts, it has to be this dish called Paal Payasam. Paal in Tamil means milk and payasam is derived from the Sanskrit word Payasa or Payasam, which ironically, also means milk. Payasam is also referred to as Kheer or Pudding. We associate the word Payasam with a milk-based pudding that is prepared during all happy and festive occasions. Paal Payasam typically has rice in it, but one can make payasam with lentils, coconut, vermicelli, or even tapioca pearls. Some even add veggies like carrots or beets in it. In a traditional South Indian meal, any kind of payasam is served first at any formal or auspicious occasion. It is also offered as a prasadam in temples.
My Love For Paal Payasam
This dessert is most in demand during weddings. Everyone waits eagerly for this to be served and some even hold friendly competitions to see how many cups of paal payasam can one drink. In fact, the wedding caterer's worth is decided based on the quality of paal payasam his team serves. Many times, a wedding is fondly remembered by the quality of desserts served. That is why I was very particular about who the caterer would be at my wedding. Even as a kid, whenever I was taken to any such social gatherings, I would or may not finish my food but would always ask for paal payasam. I am not a big fan of any other kheer but this is why I am very particular about its taste and texture. If it is not thick and creamy with the right amount of sweetness, then I will not even look at it.
My Nani (mom's mom) made the world's best Paal Payasam, even better than my mom. Whenever we would visit her down south, she would make this sweet treat for us. I wish she was around today and I could make her taste my dish. Traditionally, this paal payasam is prepared on a stove-top. But since everyone loves their Instant Pot and want more and more recipes made in it, I wanted to share with you the IP version of Paal payasam. I always follow my mom's recipe and have made this dessert many times. However, the last few times I have made it in the Instant Pot and have begun to love this version. I feel it is much quicker plus the milk boils well in it giving this payasam a natural creamy look without adding any condensed milk. Without much ado, let me share the recipe with you.
Turn on the Instant Pot in saute mode. Add ghee to the pot and fry mixed chopped nuts like cashews, almonds, and pistachios along with raisins for a minute. I use this nut chopper and it is very useful. Then add sugar, saffron, cardamom powder, and rice. Mix it all together and roast for another minute. Then add coffee creamer and milk. Stir it all together and close the Instant Pot with the lip. Select Porridge mode and cook it for 20 minutes. Position the valve in the seal position. When the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Then open the lip and give the payasam a mix. If it is too thick, add little milk and mix it all together. Cooking it in an Instant Pot gives the payasam a great texture without putting in much effort. You will not miss the condensed milk at all if made this way. Paal Payasam can be served warm or chilled. Garnish it with chopped nuts and saffron before serving.
We also shared this recipe on our first Podcast episode of Cookilicious Kitchen Stories. You can listen to it here.
Paal Payasam | Indian Rice Pudding | Kheer in an Instant Pot
- Turn on the Instant Pot in saute mode.
- Add ghee to the pot and fry mixed chopped nuts like cashews, almonds and pistachios along with raisins for a minute.
- Then add sugar, saffron, cardamon powder and rice. Mix it all together and roast for another minute.
- Then add coffee creamer and milk. Stir it all together and close the Instant Pot with the lid.
- Select Porridge mode and cook it for 20 minutes. Position the valve in seal position.
- When the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.
- Then open the lip and give the payasam a mix. If it is too thick, add little milk and mix it all together.
- Paal Payasam can be served warm or chilled. Garnish it with chopped nuts and saffron before serving.
The festive season is upon us. I love this time of the year. Everyone is in a happy mood and is in the mood to indulge. With all the Indian festivals and long weekends lined up, here are some desserts that will make you a star in front of your family and friends - Gulkand Shrikhand, Delectable 6-Ingredient Apple & Pistachio Mousse, No-Churn Rose Gulkand Ice Cream, No-Churn Nutella Kulfi, Apple Khoya Kheer, Potato & Sweet Potato Halwa, Spiced & Chilled Thandai Milkshake | Dry Fruit Milkshake, Eggless Whole Wheat Ghee Cookies, Eggless Kesar Pista Badam Biscuits | Saffron Cashew Almond Cookies, Aval Kesari | Beaten Rice Pudding, 4-Ingredient Coconut Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream, Instant Coconut Ladoos (No Condensed Milk Required), Raspberry Rose Hot Chocolate and Ferrero Rocher Cookies.