Her mother in law(MIL) was coming over for lunch tomorrow. She stood in the kitchen, looking around, trying to see what faults her MIL would be able to find. Everything was dusted, clean and organized.....but that wasn't going to stop the old lady from saying something caustic. She would have to try the food route. Maybe the way to her mother in law's heart was through her stomach. What should she make??? She thought of all the sadyas that she had enjoyed and smiling, moved to pick up a little plastic packet that she'd bought on her last shopping trip. The smile became wider as she added milk and sugar to it and put it into the pressure cooker. By the time she was done with the rest of her cooking, the whole house was filled with a heady, sweet aroma. The MIL walked in, sniffing appreciatively....but trying hard not to show that she was impressed. She looked around and raised her eyebrow at the cushion that was out of place in the living room. The DIL quickly ran in to the kitchen and came back with a warm bowl of the palada pradhaman that she had made. A spoonful of that and the MIL had to really struggle to hide her delight....a few more spoonfuls and she gave up trying to pretend that she didn't like it. With a half smile in her daughter-in-law's direction, she threw the spoon aside and slurped noisily from the bowl.
What you need:
Double Horse Rice ada - a large handful
Milk - 1 litre
Sugar - 1 cup, heaped
Saffron - a few strands (optional)
Wash ada in plenty of water. Soak it for 20 minutes in hot water. Drain the water and transfer the ada to a pressure cooker. Add milk, sugar, and a cup of water. Stir well. Cook until one whistle. Reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes. Once the pressure has been released, continue to let the mixture simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced to half. This will take a little over an hour. At this stage, the payasam will acquire a slightly pinkish colour. Switch off the heat and serve hot, warm or cold.
Any brand of store bought rice ada can be used for this payasam. However, after trying out several brands, I have found that Double Horse ada is closest in taste to home made ada.
If you don't have the patience to stand and stir the payasam for an hour, reduce the amount of sugar used, add half a tin of condensed milk and then you'll find that the payasam thickens sooner.
For an excellent post on how ada can be made from scratch, please check out this post at Kailas Kitchen.
This goes to Desi Soccer Mom who is hosting the 4th edition of Chalks & Chopsticks, a monthly event started by Aqua.