Recipe for quick and easy cashew nut payasam
Payasam, a pudding made by reducing milk with the addition of grains (rice / wheat), lentils (chana dal), processed grains (semia / beaten rice) or nuts (almonds / cashews) or even vegetables (carrot / pumpkin), is a very popular sweet dish in Indian kitchens. On most auspicious days, there will be one payasam or the other prepared in my grandmother’s kitchen, even if it is the utterly simple mix of melted jaggery, cooked rice and some milk, with a sprinkle of cardamom powder.
My mom makes the regular Paal Payasam- which is the gold standard made by reducing milk until it is a pale pink in colour with some added rice grains or Semiya Payasam- made with vermicelli and milk. Most payasams or kheers have a long cooking time as the milk needs to be kept on a slow simmer until it is reasonably thick, acquiring a mildly caramelised rich taste.
Check out some other quick Indian dessert recipes for festivals:
Easy Kesar Burfi with milk powder
My cashew nut payasam recipe is a quicker version and uses cashewnuts instead of the traditional rice or vermicilli.
Cashew Nut Payasam
- 4 cups toned milk you could use whole milk too
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cashew nuts
- Few strands saffron
- 1 tbsp raisins
- To make cashew nut payasam, start by preparing cashew paste. Soak the cashews in water overnight / for few hours. Drain and grind with 1/2 cup of milk into a very fine paste. To shorten the prep time, you could also soak them in water and microwave on HIGH for 3 min. Let them remain in that hot water for 5-10 more minutes. Once cooled, drain and grind nuts with milk as explained above.
- Boil the milk on the side in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Once it has come to a boil, add sugar and raisins and let it simmer on a low flame for 8-10 minutes. Add the cashew paste and half the saffron strands. Make sure you keep stirring so that the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- The cashew paste will thicken the milk such that it will lightly coat the back of the ladle. It's time to remove it from the flame.
- Garnish with 2-3 strands of saffron and you can either chill it or serve it warm.