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Pal Payasam | Stovetop Indian Rice Pudding With Evaporated Milk

  • Author: Shri Repp
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Pal payasam is an Indian rice pudding perfumed with cardamom. This stovetop pal payasam uses evaporated milk for a warm and decadent dessert that comes together quickly.


  • 1/2 cup - Basmati Rice
  • 1/4 tsp - Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups - Water
  • 1 can (12oz) - Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 cup - Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp - Cardamom Powder
  • 3 Tbs - Ghee
  • 2 Tbs - Raisins 
  • 2 Tbs - Chopped Nuts, like pistachios, cashews, or almonds


  1. Add rice to a medium saucepan. Fill the pot halfway with water and swish and lightly scrub the rice with your fingers to release the excess starch in the rice. Drain the cloudy water and repeat this process until the water is fairly clear, then drain once more.
  2. Add salt and water to the saucepan on medium heat. Once the water begins to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and slightly mushy and most of the water has evaporated. 
  3. Add evaporated milk, sugar, and cardamom powder to the saucepan and mix. Use the back of your spoon to lightly mash the rice with the milk. Simmer the milk on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes, making sure to continuously stir, until the sugar is dissolved and the pal payasam is your desired thickness. Simmer for a longer period time for a thicker and creamier payasam. 
  4. Make the Topping: Towards the end of the cook time for the payasam, make the topping in another small saucepan. Add 3 Tbs of ghee to the saucepan and toast raisins and nuts of your choice in the ghee. Roast for 2-3 minutes or until the raisins plump up and the nuts have a light brown color to them. 
  5. Spoon the ghee, nut, and raisin mixture on top of the payasam and serve warm.


  • For a thicker pal payasam, simmer the payasam in the milk for a longer period of time. For a looser payasam that is runny, simmer the payasam less or add additional milk.
  • Stirring the pal payasam once the evaporated milk is added is important to ensure that the milk at the bottom of the pan doesn't burn.
  • You can alternatively make this dish with cooked or leftover rice. Simply add the precooked rice to the saucepan with 1/2 the amount of water listed and follow the remaining steps listed in the recipe.
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Pal Payasam | Stovetop Indian Rice Pudding With Evaporated Milk