Paysam, a thick, sweet and decadent dessert drink that has South India written all over it. These custard like concoctions are an integral part of any festival, celebration and feast.
There are a plethora of combinations and each family has it's own history of payasam inventions. At the heart of a good payasam are three key ingredients: milk (any kind you like), some sweetness (anything un-refined), and plenty of spices, flavour and toppings (cardamom, saffron, nuts, dried fruits, quinoa, millet....)
We love payasams full stop. They're comforting, delicious and cosy, and embody celebrations and happy days. Somedays we just crave a quick fix, and don't want all the hassle of the payasam project. So we've taken the same tasty ingredients, flavours and principles and created our super-quick, modern version - the carrot, cardamom almond milk latte.
This golden drink is a dream both hot or cold. Whole puréed carrots add colour and natural sweetness, the ground almonds add body and the cardamom and crimson threads of saffron give it a real festive feel.
To give it the characteristic latte froth, blitz well in the blender and then whisk vigorously over a medium heat.
Next time, why not not swap your usual latte for this healthy and South India inspired payasam?
N & N
Time: 20 mins
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 cups almond milk
- 4 tbsps ground almonds
- 4 tbsps agave nectar
- Pinch of saffron
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 tbsps water
- Chop up the carrots and place in a bowl. Add 2 tbsps water and cover with a plate. Cook in the microwave for 7 mins or until soft.
- Purée in a blender, add the almond milk, cardamom, ground almonds and saffron and blitz until frothy.
- If serving cold, pour into a cup and sip. If serving hot, pour into a saucepan and whisk over a medium heat until warm and frothy.
Ladle into cups and enjoy.
3 main ingredients, you pick the mix:
1) Milk : Dairy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, soya milk, any kind of milk you like.
2) Sweetener : You can use any un-refined sugar: maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut sugar, palm sugar or jaggery - an earthy, un-refined sugar typical in the South.
3) Spices/Flavour : your imagination is the limit! As well as spices like cardamom, saffron, cinnamon and the like, you can add anything from nuts, to dried fruits to rice and quinoa. Anything to add some texture and taste.
Spice Advice: Cardamom
These little green pods are flavour-packed. Crushing and powdering the seeds inside releases their aroma, which adds a festive touch to any dessert. Cardamom is also a key ingredient in many spice mixes such as curry powder. We always recommend buying the whole pods and powdering the seeds yourself rather than buying the pre-prepared powder. You'll get so much more flavour with minimal extra effort!
Spice Advice: Saffron
These crimson threads are produced from the stigmas of a flower - the Saffron crocus. Extremely labour intensive to produce, this expensive spice only needs to be used sparingly to impart a golden hue and festive feel. It is often added to desserts in South India to make them decadent and luxurious.