Paal payasam (Indian pudding) to celebrate Rahman’s Oscar


10 min


15 min
JAI HO! (meaninglet there be victoryin Hindi) — This famous track in Slumdog Millionaire begins with the lovely sound of guitar, grows into an opera with a Bollywood touch and ends with the notes of Violins.The more I listen to it , the more I feel proud about Rahman.Indian music maestro A.R.Rahman became the first Indian to bag two Oscars for his mind blowing work in “Slumdog Millionaire“. He received the much-awaited Oscar on the night of the 81st Academy Awards.

He ended the acceptance speech by saying “Yella pugazhum Eraivanuke” (meaning “All praise for the Lord” in Tamil). Congrats to Rasool Pookutty as well. Its a proud moment for every Indian and especially for Chennaites!

My humble city – Chennai was so colorful with fireworks last evening. There were proud smiles every where and Rahman’s famous tracks was heard in every tea stall/auto/bus stand. There was a celebration time in Chennai.

I kept watching Rahman Oscar acceptance speech in every news channel possible and it was indeed an emotional moment for me.I wanted to celebrate this in my own style.

For the Tamilian in me : What more than a simple bowl of warm Paal Payasam will convey my happiness?

The post for today is Paal Payasam, condensed sweetened milk dessert cooked with little dash of Indian rice. Its a famous Tamil delicacy. Paal means milk in Tamil and Payasam means pudding inTamil. This recipe was taught to my mom by her sister S and its our all time favorite one for festivals and birthday celebrations.

This dessert is one of the favorite of Lord Krishna and is cooked during Janmashtami (Lord Krishna’s Birthday). It is deliberately slow-cooked and involves constant stirring. The mild aroma of the cardamoms are beautifully infused into incredible rice cooked in milk.The smell of the boiling milk adds a divine smell to the kitchen air. At the end of it, I am sure its worth the wait and the silken creamy milk pudding is sure to rekindle the hidden Tamilian taste bud of yours.Slurp!


  • 2 tsp long Indian rice (No basmati rice)
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2-3 cardamon pods
  • 8-10 saffron strands
  • 10-12 roasted unsalted cashwenuts


Heat the milk in a large cooking vessel and bring it to a boil. Add in the rice. Once boiled lower the flame and cook for 1 hour with constant stirring. Spoon out few rice grains and mash it with curved end of the spoon or finger. The rice should get mashed by this time and thats the right texture we want.

Now add in the sugar and cardamon and cook on a low flame for 15-20min.Garnish with saffron strands and roasted cashewnuts. Serve warm. Enjoy!

or you can follow this easy method:

Clean a cooking pan and set the lid with gasket and whistle. Clean the rice in running water.Drain the water and keep the rice aside.Pour in the whole milk along with the rice, sugar, cardamon and cook for 10-12 whistles.Switch off the flame and let it cool. Transfer it to a clean vessel. Add saffron strands and roasted cashews. Serve warm.


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  1. Yup Vij..celebs everywhere..:)Dont miss Rasool..:P
    I am awed at that set of bowl,thali n spoon,more than at pudding..they are just amazing da..I bet they are traditional ones passed on..:)
    Palpayasam is like Amritu for me..The temple at Ambalapuzha in kerala(krishna temple) is famous just cos of the palpayasam made there and is said to be the tastiest ever..:)

  2. this is a moment of celebration of a lifetime for everyone i think..i was planning to prepare this same dessert the serving bowl plate and spoon..

  3. watched live telecast of Rahman ….rasool…….proud moments….lovely music..lovely moment..lovely payasam…..

  4. Really a celebration time. Payasam is the perfect way to celebrate the occassion. Love the antique presentation.

  5. the oscar achievements defenitely call for a celebration and what better than paal payasam..wish i were in chennai at this time!! love the silver bowl and plate..i managed to get some this time when i went to india! 🙂

  6. This is among my favorite payasams and my dad makes an awesome version. Looks perfect Vij.

  7. Thats for sure a special celebration vij.Palpayasam is splendid and i miss some badly.

  8. Nice way of celebrating..It really makes us proud..Love the speech of both of them..Lovely payasam

  9. Let is wish the “Madras Mozart” many more …. Proud to hear Tamilian won dual Oscar at the time! Beautiful payasam!

  10. Very happy for Rahman…he truly deserves it..Lovely payasam…serving plate bowl and spoon looks cute.

  11. Yes!! its really a great moment, we are proud to be Indians na:)..paal payasam looks gorgeous n simply delicious:)

  12. Nothing can beat the paal payasam for any great celebration. I like the way have presented it.

  13. lovely presentation of this yummy looking paal paayaaasam; got a nice set of interesting authentic recipes;
    and i’m pinching you (kreech kreeech! (don’t mind it:D)i love kannathil muthamittal and anbe sivam too! (saw in your profile:):):)

  14. It was a thrilling moment at the oscars befor the results were announced and we all jumped in joy when ARR got 2 of them. Lovely! Just like the paal payasam you made..

  15. what’s the difference with rice kheer i wonder? looks so creamy. i can do this with evaporated milk, can’t i?

  16. wow!! What a celebration..! Also the bowl and spoon presentation is lovely.!:)

  17. Thats a cool presentation! Love the set in which u have served,so authentic:)
    I love the paal payasam!!

  18. Hi Vij
    Really its celebration time and i love the way you have made payasam…..we call it kheer and liked your way of doing it as well…cheers to the glory long over-due.

  19. Vij, your rice pudding looks amazing. There is nothing better than warm rice pudding. I also love the bowl and the spoon is very cute!

  20. Such a lovely dish for a must celebrate occaion.Loved the presentation.

  21. We too saw the event live and went crazy when AR Rehman accepted the is indeed a proud moment…

  22. I personally love this payasam and yours looks very tempting too..
    Loved the set of silverware you’ve used. They’re very pretty:)

  23. Love it, gorgeous way to present them in silver. Aaah that was sweet moment right…he spoke in tamil, calm and composed…wow really humble. Hey thats nice to compliment pookutty too…

  24. Oh my! The spoon looks so cute:) I used to love paal payasam too. That is the thing I miss most in my vegan avtar:)

  25. Looks delicious! I now make payasam with soy or almond milk, and it tastes great!

  26. Paal Payasam in silver platter; Perfect way to celebrate ARR’s/our victory.

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