Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Claypot Cooking: Poha Payasam with Almond Milk

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Claypot Cooking: Poha Payasam with Almond Milk

I had been looking for a decent clay pot for cooking for a long time. Last weekend, I have come across one at a local grocery shop called Apna Bazar. The clay pot is from India, very well crafted and decorated with pretty floral design. The size is good and it also has a well-fitted lid. Price $12.

I brought the clay pot home, prepped it by soaking in water and then simmering the water for few times, half an hour each time. Simmering was done on stovetop following the clay-pot cooking principles. First warm the pot on low heat and then gradually increase the heat to medium level. I never tried high heat setting fearing that it might crack. Although it was on electric stovetop, this method has worked very well. Like the iron box on steam setting, the clay pot hissed every time, but absorbed this newbie trails kindly. I felt confident enough to try out the real deal and did the opening ceremony with payasam preparation yesterday. The sweetness that comes with clay pot cooking, combined with sweetness of the payasam, it was a good experience.

The following poha payasam with almond milk is very easy to make. And I think, it has a taste that delights most everyone. If you prefer, semiya or sabudana can be substituted for poha.

Toasted Poha, Golden Raisins and Chironji Nuts

(for two to four people, for one meal)

3 cups almond milk (badam paalu)
½ cup maple syrup (or sugar to taste)

1-tablespoon ghee
2- tablespoons golden raisins
1-tablespoon chironji (Saarapappu or charoli)
1-cup poha (atukulu, rice flakes)
1 teaspoon freshly crushed cardamom

1. Place almond milk in a wide pot on stovetop. Add maple syrup. Slowly, on medium-low heat, simmer for about 20 minutes, until three cups have reduced to about two and half cups.

2. While almond milk is simmering, in a small kadai or wok, take ghee. On medium heat, warm the ghee. Add golden raisins and saute, constantly stirring. Wait until they puff up like round balloons. It’s a beautiful sight and worth the wait. With a slotted spoon, remove the balloons to a plate.
Add chironji nuts to the kadai. Toast them to pale red. Take them out and add poha. Toast for couple of minutes just until they are warm to touch. Together, they will look like shown in the photo above.

3. Add the toasted poha, golden balloons and chironji nuts to simmering almond milk. Sprinkle the crushed cardamom. Mix. Turn off the heat immediately. Cover the pot and let the poha absorb the almond milk. Poha is like cereal flakes, softens quickly.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Just before serving, drizzle a tablespoon of maple syrup. This poha paysam with almond milk is as nutritious as it is tasty and makes a comforting dessert for people who fear the hormonal effects of regular milk and soymilk.

Claypot Cooking: Poha (Atukula) Payasam with Almond Milk

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Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Almonds,Indian Sweets 101,Poha (Atukulu) (Thursday April 10, 2008 at 2:26 pm- permalink)
Comments (24)

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24 comments for Claypot Cooking: Poha Payasam with Almond Milk »

  1. Hi Indira,
    I am so jealous of you right now, ya for a clay pot can you imagine.
    I feel like making curd in it, it will tastes so sweet. Na next mission India ki vellinapudu vaka clay pot techukundamu ani anukunna. Can’t wait. naku earthen wares ante chala istamu. Nannu champesthunnaru meeru. mummy………….


    Comment by Rajani — April 10, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

  2. Rajani, please don’t be. 🙂
    I’ve been looking for this kind forever, finally found this one. The size is also quite big, we can easily make curd rice for a small birthday party. 🙂
    Tappukunda tecchukondi India nunchi. Worth the effort.

    Comment by Indira — April 10, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

  3. Oh Indira! If you had told me that you were looking for a clay pot I could have sent you one. We have some really nice shops here in our Los Angeles “Little India” and they do have similar clay pots.

    Another incentive to visit LA soon.:) I am looking for a small one with lid, for perugu/yogurt making. No luck here so far.

    Comment by Anjali Damerla — April 10, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  4. not meant to spam, but did you ever come across this? a bit pricey, but interesting

    Oh, what a beauty!
    Good one Sushma. Thanks.

    Comment by Sushma — April 10, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

  5. Hi Indira – earthenware cooking reminds me of my gran. Just a word of caution -modernday earthenware could contain heavymetals like lead and cadmium.

    Thanks for the alert Freshma.

    Comment by Freshma — April 10, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  6. Thanks for stopping by Indira. It means to me a lot.

    Of course this is such an easy payasam. Actually I bought a carton of almond milk from Trader Joe’s. I’ll try this recipe very soon. Another tip from this post, I always wonder whether clay pots work fine on electric range. You have cleared my doubt. Thank You.

    I was also apprehensive about the cooking on electric range, Madhuram. Happy that it worked.:)

    Comment by Madhuram — April 10, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

  7. You are too sweet to come up with such goodies. A payasam in an earthern pot ? The mere thought rises my spirits!

    It sure does, doesn’t it?::) Hey, you are the sweet one. 🙂

    Comment by Nirmala — April 10, 2008 @ 11:55 pm

  8. This looks lovely Indira..I have always preferred regular rice/lentil/cocnut payasams compared to aval/poha payasam in terms of substance, and I have always found Badam Kheer too overwhelming with any rice in it. This is the perfect solution! Another great idea from Mahanandi (the blog). I can only imagine how soothing yet delicious the rosematta poha, almond milk and maple syrup make this dish!

    Me too, aa. I rarely prepare atukulu/poha payasam, and I tried this mainly because I have that good looking, nutty, matta poha.:)

    Comment by aa — April 11, 2008 @ 1:11 am

  9. Oooh it has been my major desire to source the authentic vessels for each dish and use them – like, kal chatti for the vathal kuzhambu type preparations, clay pot to make curd, store water etc. i have made a start with this by using my gran’s lead vessel to make the most heavenly smelling rasam – just like it has been done in my family for generations.

    there is something extra extra special cooking things in the special vessels, isn’t there? i think the satisfaction we get out of it adds a distinct flavour to the dish!

    Congrats on the gran’s lead vessel, desigirl. I know how precious those are.
    Yep, the earth and fire together make cooking magic.

    Comment by desigirl — April 11, 2008 @ 1:15 am

  10. indira, that is one pretty clay pot. i had bought one from Malayali shop in nearby town. have cooked thai curries in it and felt the coconut milk based curries tasted much better when cooked in it. but it has no lid and bit too big. and it also has convex shaped bottom. planning to buy small ones when i visit india next time, just to make curds in it… heaven:)
    and thanks for posting the recipe for making almond milk from scratch.

    I can’t wait to cook the coconut based currries in clay pot, Sia.
    Small ones are perfect to make curd. Heaven is right, particularly during short but hot summer months.:)

    Comment by sia — April 11, 2008 @ 1:18 am

  11. Hi Indira, I thought seasoning of clay pot involved lot more process like placing the pot in water for few hours, then heating it with water, then with rice gruel (kanji) until the inner layer turns smooth and the mud smell is gone. I remember Paati of has put a writeup on her blog regarding this.

    I tried the link you have posted but couldn’t find the post you have mentioned. Could you please post the article link. Thanks Ravi.

    Comment by Ravi — April 11, 2008 @ 5:54 am

  12. I used to buy curd made in claypots(they would give a decent size one) for RSn20 from sriraj lassi bar in bangalore. The curd was worth it… biryani also tastes amazing in the clay port.The clay pot is worth every penny and more Indira garu!!

    I totally forgot about biryanis. Yum!:)
    Thanks for reminding me Dee.

    Comment by Dee — April 11, 2008 @ 9:28 am

  13. Indira, I really enjoyed reading your description of clay pot cooking. It is not something I have ever done, but I am completely intrigued now and very inspired to try it out. The payasam looks exquisite.

    I have eaten many meals that were cooked in clay pot back at home when I was child, but this is the first time I am cooking in a clay pot. I feel like that I’ve achieved something very big.:)
    Thanks Vaishali.

    Comment by Vaishali — April 11, 2008 @ 9:54 am

  14. That is a lovely pot! I carried one back with me from Kerala two years ago, and amazingly enough, I got it back intact. It is very “rough & ready” – no pretty designs and no lid. Still I love it for cooking fish curry. I’d love to have another one of a different size, and maybe someday I will find another one…

    Dear Diane: Wow!
    I don’t know why, but I haven’t paid attention to clay pot cooking goodness until now. From my next trip, I am going to bring the real deal. The one I have, I’m not 100% sure that it’s from India, even though the shop owners insisted on it.

    Comment by Diane — April 11, 2008 @ 1:18 pm

  15. Wow that pot is so cute. Clay pots are commonly used for fish curries in S India.

    Comment by M Yass — April 11, 2008 @ 2:33 pm


    Comment by njha — April 11, 2008 @ 10:18 pm

  17. Reminds me of my attempt to bring a claypot from India.I landed at Melbourne, literally clutching my pot and just outside the airport dropped it.My heart broke along with the pot,till I found one here recently!Will try your payasam in it,but can the same pot be used for different stuff?

    Comment by poornima — April 16, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  18. Wow! Another real claypot cooking by people of this generation! (I saw the first one at Gini’s blog for fish curry) Just Awesome! Enjoy that, Indira! Hope you find a nice small one for making curd.

    I know my gran’s curries are awesome – for many reasons – one of them being the clay pot. I didnt know they could be used on normal electric range. Thanks! I’ll give it a try too.

    Sushma, that’s one heck of a rice cooker! Thanks for sharing that. I’ve got ridden of all my nonstick stuff, but still the rice cooker still remains nonstick. That’s an awesome rice cooker that you shared. Maybe I’ll start saving some money towards that, eh! 🙂

    Comment by Kay — April 18, 2008 @ 1:21 pm

  19. Wow…. amazing idea. I am sure the payasam tastes as yummy as the picture. Hats off to you for trying out the claypot cooking here.
    Just wondering…. does it have a flat base so that heat distribution is even ?
    Hope to see more claypot recipes suited for the electric stoves 🙂

    Comment by Dhanya — May 6, 2008 @ 6:26 am

  20. Hi guys just wanted to know, the clay pots as shown in the pics. where can i get them from?

    Comment by Fakhruddin — August 28, 2009 @ 6:25 am

  21. Hi, where i can get clay pots for cooking purpose in bangalore?

    Comment by sasikumar — April 9, 2013 @ 2:39 am

  22. Hi, where i can get clay pots for cooking purpose in USA

    Comment by anna — July 18, 2013 @ 9:39 am

  23. hi indira nice to know your recipe and you know what i sell these terracotta kadai,dish cum kadai, terracotta tea cups, agarbati stands, curd making dishes of all sizes aswell if some one is interesed you can contact email me at shylu.rayapuram@gmail and i will send pics

    Comment by kranthi rekha — October 28, 2015 @ 8:05 am

  24. very nice and healthy dish.preparing in clay pot may be benefit of getting delicious taste.

    Comment by sridevi reddipalli — July 26, 2016 @ 7:19 am

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