I suddenly felt like making a dessert this afternoon. I also fancied something that is healthy, easy-to-make, tasty and rather unusual! Hence, I set out to make ‘millet payasam’. I had foxtail millet (தினை) in my pantry and decided to use it for making the dessert. This locally cultivated millet is known to Tamils since ‘sangam period’ (சங்க காலம்) and is rich in minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. ‘Foxtail millet payasam’ recipe works well for me. Why don’t you give it a try?
Ingredients: (Serves four)
Foxtail millet rice (தினை அரிசி) – ¼ teacup or 50ml measure
Milk – 1¼ teacup or 250ml measure
Sugar – ¼ teacups or 50ml measure
Ghee – 2 teaspoons
Raisins – 1 tablespoon
Cashew nuts – 1 tablespoon
Cardamom – 3 no
Camphor laurel (பச்சை கற்பூரம்) – a pinch (optional)
Method: Heat 1 teaspoon of ghee in a kadai, add foxtail millet rice and fry on medium flame till it starts turning light brown in color (Fig.1).
Remove from fire and transfer to a cooker separator vessel. Add ¾ teacup or 150ml of water to the fried millet rice and pressure cook for 5 minutes or 5 whistles. Once the pressure subsides, remove from the cooker and keep aside.
Boil milk in a vessel and allow it to cool. Remove cardamom seeds and powder them finely. Mix the cooked millet rice with milk in the kadai very well without lumps. Bring it to boil on medium flame. Now add sugar, cardamom powder and camphor laurel. Mix well and simmer for 2 minutes. Switch off the stove.Heat the remaining ghee in a spice pan, add cashew nuts and raisins. Fry till the raisins turn light brown in color and add to the payasam. Your ‘Foxtail Millet Payasam’ is ready! Serve hot as a dessert or as part of regular meal.
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