There was time when the word payasam meant Paal Payasam, Nei Payasam or Semiya Payasam. One would’ve never imagined preparing a payasam out of carrots, bottle gourd, apples etc. At such a time, there was this person (who is no more now) whom I look up to. She was my mother’s Athai (Aunt), who lived in Mumbai. She was an expert cook, who at the age of 70 had the passion to learn and try out new things.
I remember a dinner she had hosted on behalf of my grandfather, for a newly married couple. I was one of the lucky ones who got to taste all the goodies that she had prepared. The menu consisted of a soup, Masala Dosa with 3 varieties of Chutenys, Vada, Vegetable pulao and this classic Carrot Kheer.
That was the first time (I was about 15 yrs old) I tasted a payasam other than the 3 mentioned above. I really fell for it. I asked my mom to immediately make note of the recipe and to this date we, me and my mom follow the same recipe.
What you’ll need
1. Milk – 2.5 cups
2. Carrots – 3
3. Sugar – ½ cup
4. Cashew nuts – 4 + few more
5. Raisins – few
6. Cardamom Powder – a pinch
7. Ghee – 1 tsp
1. Soak about 4 whole cashew nuts in hot water.
2. Wash, peel and slice carrots into thin slices. Pressure cook these carrot slices with ½ cup of milk.
3. Once the pressure releases, grind the carrots with the cashew nuts into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
4. Boil the milk in a heavy bottom vessel, keep stirring in between so that the milk does not overflow. Let the milk boil in low flame for about 10 minutes or till it is reduced a little.
5. Now add the carrot paste to the milk and stir well. Let this simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes. Keep stirring in between.
6. Now add the sugar and stir well. Simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes.
7. Remove from heat.
8. In a small frying pan, heat ghee, fry the cashewnuts and raisins and add it to the payasam. Also add the cardamom powder and mix well.
Yummy carrot kheer is ready. Serve it hot or cold.