Ari Paal Payasam or Easy Milk and Rice Indian Pudding is a popular recipe of Kerala traditionally made with raw red rice or matta raw rice (broken) which is cooked in milk and sugar.
Ari Paal Payasam or Easy Milk and Rice Indian Pudding is a traditional dessert recipe for an Onam Sadhya in Kerala,where it is served and relished from the flat banana leaf instead of cups.
Nivedyam/Naivedyam are the offerings made to God. Often for making these Naivedyam, hand pounded short grain rice, called as Unakkalari, is used for preparing temple offerings as it has a very sophisticated flavor and a consistency that cooks to the right creamy texture. Hence the temple paal payasam will have a pink hue and is served with no cardamom powder, cashews and raisin.
However, as I love spices and almost all my dishes including desserts will have atleast one spice in it, I have given this simple delicious rice pudding a small twist by adding dried bay leaf. Bay leaf has a sweet, spicy scent, reminiscent of nutmeg which when simmered along with milk and rice, gives the rice a slightly woodsy, herbal fragrance.
If you can get hold of fresh bay leaf, you will get more excellent result, however I have used dried bay leaf in this recipe and the pudding came out just as delicious. To use the bay leaf in this recipe, you must put bay’s association for tempering meats or savory vegetarian items out of your mind ðŸ™‚ You will be surprised that bay leaf has a long history of being used to flavor sweet custards or rice pudding before vanilla became popular. Finally, I like to garnish my milk and rice pudding with the nuts warmed in ghee as they give a very nice taste to the Ari Paal Payasam but this is optional.