This is definitely one of my all-time quick payasams (payasam is creamy sweet porridge in the Tamil language). It is a go-to comfort food for me. It is very tasty, easy to make and needs very few ingredients. It is also versatile and you can add lots of dried fruits and nuts as well to make it a very nutritious food.
Bulgur wheat is a quick-cooking whole wheat grain which has been parboiled. It is nutritious and has a very pleasant nut-like flavour. This grain can be used as a substitute for rice, couscous or quinoa. Most middle eastern recipes use this wheat. One famous recipe is tabbouleh.
The recipe below serves 3 people or 4 small eaters.
I have given 2 methods of cooking, one on a normal stove and another for a faster method – the microwave. Both methods are very tasty. Try both methods and let me know which method you prefer!
½ cup bulgur wheat
1 cup milk
1 cup water
½ cup brown sugar
3 cardomom pods or ¼ tsp cardamom powder
Pinch of salt
12 raw cashew nuts
1 tsp butter
Warm a pan, add the bulgur wheat, toast for 2 minutes.
Add water, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the sugar and milk and simmer for 3 minutes.
Stir in the cardamom. Remove from stove.
In a small pan, add the butter and brown the cashew nuts. Pour this into the pan of payasam.
Microwave (done in less than 5 minutes!):
Place all ingredients in a microwave safe pot. Cook on HIGH for 3 minutes.
Remove, leave it covered.
In another small bowl, put the butter and cashew nuts, cook on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds.
Add to the pot of payasam.
This payasam can be served hot or cold.
Instead of cashew nuts, almonds, raisins, dried apricots can be used.
You may reduce the sugar if using dried fruits.
You may substitute sugar with honey or maple syrup.
You may use skim milk or low fat milk.
You may use clarified butter (ghee) instead of butter for a lovely nutty flavour.
If using cardamom pods, crush it, remove the seeds and powder it (or just put the cardomoms whole).
If payasam becomes too thick, especially when it is cooling, just add hot or cold milk or even water to dilute to your preferred consistency.