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Title: Payasam  
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Subject: Rice pudding, Sadya, List of Indian dishes, Cheerappanchira, South Indian cuisine, Boli (food), Sevai, Maalikapurathamma
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Kheer (Sanskrit: क्षीर/Ksheer) (Hindi: खीर, Punjabi: کھیر/ਖੀਰ, Khiri (ଖିରି) in Oriya, Sindhi: کھیر, Urdu: کھیر/kheer in Nepali: खिर, also known as Payasam (Tamil: பாயசம், Telugu: పాయసం Malayalam: പായസം), Payasa (Kannada: ಪಾಯಸ) or Payesh (Bengali: পায়েস), is a rice pudding, which is a traditional South Asian sweet dish. It is made by boiling rice or broken wheat with milk and sugar, and flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. It is typically served during a meal or as a dessert.

Regional variations

Kheer is prepared in festivals, temples, and all special occasions. The term Kheer (used in North India) is derived from Sanskrit words Ksheeram[1] (which means milk). Other terms like Payasa or Payasam (used in South India) or payesh (used in Bengal region) are derived from the Sanskrit word Payas which also means "milk". It is prepared using milk, rice, ghee, sugar/jaggery, Khoya. Some also add a little bit of heavy cream for a richer taste. It is often garnished using almonds, cashews, raisins and pistachios.

It is an essential dish in many Hindu feasts and celebrations. While the dish is most often made with rice, it can also be made with other ingredients such as vermicelli (seviyan, seviyaan, sayviah, or other spellings).

Rice was known to the Romans, and possibly introduced to Europe as a food crop as early as the 8th or 10th century AD,[2] and so the recipe for the popular English rice pudding is believed by some to be descended from kheer.[1] Similar rice recipes (originally called potages) go back to some of the earliest written recipes in English history.[3]

East Indian version

The Oriya version of rice kheer likely originated in the city of Puri, in Odisha about 2,000 years ago.[4] It is cooked to this day within the temple precincts there. Every single day, hundreds of temple cooks work around 752 hearths in what is supposed to be the world's largest kitchen to cook over 100 different dishes, including kheer, enough to feed at least 10,000 people.

Although white sugar is most commonly used, adding gur (jaggery) as the sweetener is an interesting variation prepared in Odisha.

In Bengal, it is called payas or payesh. A traditional Bengali meal ends with payas followed by other sweets. Payas is also regarded as an auspicious food and generally associated with annaprashana (weaning ritual of an infant) and birthday celebrations in a Bengali household. It is called Kheer in Bengali if milk is used in a significantly greater amount than rice. The people of Bangladesh prepare "payesh" with ketaki, glutinous rice, vermicelli, semolina and coconut milk and the result is a stickier and creamier dessert.

In Assam, it is called "Payoxh" and in addition to other dry fruits, cherries are added to give it a light delicate pink colour. Sometimes rice may be replaced with sago. It is one of the most significant desserts served in Assamese families and quite often a part of religious ceremonies.

In Bihar, it is called "chawal ka Kheer". A very popular dessert cooked in every auspicious occasion. It is made with rice, full cream milk, sugar, cardamom powder, lots of dry fruits and saffron. Another version of this Kheer is made with jaggery, called Rasiya. Jaggery is used instead of sugar in the process. The jaggery version looks brown in color and have mild, sweet brown taste.

In Southern India

The South Indian version, payasam or payasa (Kannada: ಪಾಯಸ, Malayalam: പായസം, pronounced [paːjasam], Tamil: பாயசம், Telugu: పాయసం) is an integral part of traditional South Indian meal. The South Indian payasam also makes extensive use of jaggery and coconut milk in place of sugar and milk.

In a South Indian meal, payasam or payasa (Kannada) is served first at any formal or auspicious occasions. Payasam is also served after rasam rice, while rice with buttermilk forms the last item of the meal.[5] Payasam also forms an integral part of the Kerala feast (sadya), where it is served and relished from the flat banana leaf instead of cups. In Malayalee or Kerala cuisine, there are several different kinds of payasam that can be prepared from a wide variety of fruits and starch bases, an example being chakkapradhaman made of jackfruit pulp, adapradhaman made of flat ground rice.

The Hyderabadi version is called Gil e firdaus, and is quite popular. It is a thick kheer made of milk and bottle gourd. Gil e firdaus, literally translated, means the clay of paradise.

Payasam is served as an offering to the Gods in South Indian Hindu temples during rituals and ceremonies.In Kerala Ambalapuzha palpayasam(Milk Kheer) is a famous payasam

Regional versions

In South Asia, Kheer is prepared and eaten on almost every festival. It is considered a holy dessert and used as a part of Bhog/Prasad. The dish is also consumed at Muslim weddings and prepared on the feasts of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. A similar dessert, variously called fir-ni, phir-ni or phir-nee, is eaten among the Muslim community of North India, and also in Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. Today, restaurants offer fir-ni in a wide range of flavors including apricot, mango, fig, saffron and custard apple.

See also

* Porridge


External links

  • Badam Kheer Recipe - Magickart
  • Rice Kheer
  • Payasam Recipes
  • The World's (allegedly) Oldest Rice Pudding (recipe)
  • Kheer Recipe
  • Kheer/ Vermicelli Pudding Recipe

Template:Pakistani dishes

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