Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Palpayasam and Boli

Recipe No: 238
This is a very easy Pressure Cooker version of Palpayasam, with dominating Milk flavor. The emphasis should be on the color and consistency of the Milk portion that is slightly pink, which is attained when Milk is reduced slowly. There is no Ghee or fried fruits or Nuts in this version, but still extremely tasty. Traditionally during Sadhya this is served over Boli.
Ingredients                                         Serves 8
  • White Rice……...1/3 Cup (Pachari/ White long grain Rice)
  • Sugar…………….1 Cup
  • Milk……………...1 Liter (4 ½ Cups)
  • Cardamom…….6 whole pods cracked open (No need to powder)
Method of Preparation
  1. Put all the ingredients together in a clean pressure cooker; stir well (yes, it is important to stir or the bottom of the Cooker will be a mess when you open.) and put on medium high heat.
  2. Just before the first whistle (at the time when pressure starts to escape slightly with a small noise) lower the temperature to the possible minimum and cook for 45 minutes.
  3. After 45 minutes, off the pressure cooker and let it stay closed for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Open it and serve the Palpayasam hot, warm or cold.
  • One very important thing to be mentioned here is the cleanliness of the Pressure Cooker, especially if you use the same cooker to cook everything. Slightest presence of Salt or other debris from the last cooking will curdle the Milk. So the safest way  is to use the cooker to make Rice before making Palpayasam, which will clean the cooker. If you don’t use Rice that has to be cooked in a cooker, please cook Rice without putting the weight or at least boil some Water to get the cooker clean.
  • The thickness of the Milk deserves mentioning. In US the Milk is thicker than in India. So I used 500 ml regular Milk and 500 ml. low fat/2% Milk. If you don’t have 2% Milk take out ½ cup Milk form the quantity mentioned and add Water (1/2 cup) instead.
  • If your Pressure cooker is new with its maximum power, do open the Pressure cooker as soon as the pressure is gone. By this time if the Milk is still very runny do boil it to reduce the liquid portion. Otherwise the Rice will be overcooked to a mushy consistency.
  • If in case  the consistency of the Milk is a bit loose when you open the cooker, do let it boil some more to attain the consistency you need, stirring constantly. (Don’t let the skin form on top.)  But take into consideration that the Palpayasam will thicken as it sits.
  • Don't let the pressure cooker whistle if possible; but by chance if it does once or twice that will not be a problem.
  • Do try to use fresh Milk as possible to reduce the chances of curdling.
  • Light Pink color is a characteristic of this Palpayasam and even though the pictures are not so good, do take a look at the Payasam plated on a white plate to see the color difference.
  • My favorite way to serve this is with Boli .

    Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
    serve it to your family with love...

      This recipe is a modified version of what Dr. Lekshmi Nair presented in her show ‘Magic Oven’. As the amount given there was too much, I reduced it a lot and converted it into standard cup measurements. Here are the amounts and please follow the link to know the method of Preparation.

      Ingredients                                    Makes 12-15
      For the filling
      • Channa Dal…………………......1 Cup
      • Sugar………………………….......3/4 Cup
      • Nutmeg Powder………...........1/8 Teaspoon
      • Cardamom Powder…….........1/4 Teaspoon
      • Yellow Food Color……….......a pinch or a few drops
      For Making Bolis
      • All Purpose Flour/ Maida….3/4 Cup
      • Yellow Food Color…………….a pinch or a few drops
      • Oil……………………………………3 Tablespoons
      • Salt a pinch
      • Water as needed
      • Ghee as needed
      • Rice Flour as needed
      Method of Preparation
      To make the Filling
      1. Wash Channa Dal and cook it with 3 cups of Water in a pressure cooker. (Cook on high till one whistle; then lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes and then crank up the heat till one whistle.)
      2. Once the pressure is gone, drain the excess Water in the Dal thoroughly.
      3. Cook the Dal together with the Sugar and Yellow food color on medium heat till the melted Sugar (the Sugar will melt when it hits the heat) is all dried up.
      4. Add Nutmeg Powder and Cardamom Powder; mix well and switch off the heat.
      5. Let it cool down completely before grinding it thoroughly without any pieces in a food processor. Keep it aside till ready to be used.
      To make the dough for the covering
      1. Mix together Flour, Salt and Yellow Food Color and make a soft dough using enough Water. (The dough should be really soft; softer than a Poori dough)
      2. Keep it in a bowl and cover it with Oil (3 Tablespoons will be enough). The dough should be covered completely with the Oil. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
      To make the Bolis
      1. Divide the filling into 12-15 equally sized balls. (Lemon sized)
      2. Take a small portion (the size of a marble) of the dough; flatten it in your palm; place a Dal filling in the middle and cover it with the dough.
      3. Flatten the balls and keep it aside on Rice flour and repeat with all the other portions.
      4. Roll out each Dal filled dough into 7 inch circles with the help of Rice flour to avoid sticking.
      5. Heat a thawa/ flat pan on medium heat and cook the Boli on both sides till it starts to change the color here and there. Do brush a small amount of Ghee on both sides while cooking.
      6. Serve with Palpayasam.
      • While Pressure cooking Dal it not be mashed as it absorbs more Water when mashed. Water content is an enemy in this dish.
      • The prepared dough should be covered in Oil. This together with the resting time gives elasticity to the dough which is very essential.
      • The original recipe calls for Nallenna/ Sesame Oil to soak the dough in, but I used Vegetable Oil which didn't make much difference from the original.
      • This Boli is only very lightly sweetened and when it combines with sweet Palpayasam, both of them  compliments each other.
      • The Bolis will stay good at room temperature for 2-4 days.

      Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
      serve it to your family with love…


      sojo said...

      Asha... this is too much!!! a delicious dish a day!!! what is ur husband's naal? punyam cheyytha janmam!!!! ur kids will be so proud of u when they grow up!! (they are too small now to brag abt mamma..maybe!!!)

      My Kitchen Antics said...

      its such an awesome combo....

      Lifewithspices said...


      Amazing poli n payasam... perfectly made...

      Priya Suresh said...

      Feel like grabbing that wonderful platter, boli and payasam makes me drool..

      Vimitha Durai said...

      Ohhhhhhhhh yummmmmmmmmy combination...

      Padhu Sankar said...

      Omg! Poli and payasam together taste divine .I am craving for it now .

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