Not a day passes in our house when we do not use an Amul product, the brainchild of Dr. Verghese Kurien, ‘ Father of the White Revolution’ in India. Recently I was lucky to chance upon his autobiography “I Too Had A Dream“, and was filled with wonder at his energy, foresight and commitment. He is the beacon that lights up the world of millions of exploited and vulnerable rural dairy farmers of India. His journey from a dairy engineer in a government creamery, to being the ‘Father of the White Revolution’ which made India a surplus nation in milk, is the lore heroes are made of.
In Dr. Kurien’s words, “…true development is the development of women and men. This idea took such a hold on me that I remained in the small sleepy town of Anand for over fifty years as an employee of farmers. ……….When the tools of development are placed in the hands of our rural people and when their energy and wisdom is linked with the skill of committed professionals, there is nothing they cannot achieve. ” He is the living embodiment of what is the very essence of life – that helping others change their life for the better is the only thing of lasting value or meaning.
When I started cooking it was savories all the way. Desserts spelled Doom. Memories of the rich, creamy, sweet Payasam made in my hometown, vigorously stirred in huge urulis ( traditional Kerala vessel ), a whole morning by an expert cook, made it seem a daunting task. I am glad that my cousin’s timely pressure cook payasam recipe and her words, ” It tastes just like the famous Ambalapuzha paal payasam” came at the right time.
Paal Payasam – Ari Payasam
- Milk – 1 litre
- Red Kuthiya Ari / Unakkalari – 1/4 cup or Basmathi rice – 1/4 cup
- Sugar – 1/2 – 3/4 cup ( depending on the sweetness required )
- Cardamom – 1 pod
Method of Preparation
- Wash rice,soak in water for 30 minutes, drain and set aside.
- Pour milk followed by rice, sugar and crushed cardamom seeds into a big pressure cooker. Stir well and cook on medium flame.
- When steam flows out, place weight and bring the flame down to low.
- Let it cook for 25 minutes in low flame.
- Off the stove and allow the cooker to cool down by itself.
- Transfer the contents, the color of which would be light pink, to a serving bowl.
- Serve hot or chilled.
Please note – The milk level should not exceed more than half the capacity of the pressure cooker.
The consistency of the payasam is rich, creamy and flowing. If it is too thick, add milk.
This payasam can be made with condensed milk too. For 1 tin of Amul Mithai Mate, add 2 tins of water and mix well. Sugar need not be added. Proceed as above.
Quick Snack – Paneer Bhurji
While most of us love paneer, cooking it can sometimes be a daunting task. My daughter-in-law cooks an easy ‘Paneer Burji’ which I will share with you.
Saute 1 onion finely chopped, 1 tsp each of finely chopped ginger and garlic, 1 cut green chilli in 1 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add 1/2 a capsicum finely chopped and 1 small carrot grated to it followed by 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1/4 tsp chilli powder. Crumble 200 gms of paneer and add it to this mixture. Saute for 5 mins or till dry. Add salt to taste and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot Paneer Burji with chappatis, rice or bread.