Ah! It is that time of the year when you can literally experience peaks of love everywhere. February is the month when you eagerly plan something special for your valentine, be it your husband/boyfriend/partner, children, friends or parents. So why not treat your valentine in the Assamese way this year? We all love to eat and share recipes and to try new cuisines. Surprise your loved ones with the Assamese recipe of Axomiya Payokh, a milk+rice pudding. The dish is healthy, easy and can be perfect as a dessert for your Valentine’s Day Party.
Memories related with Axomiya payokh
There was a time when our birthdays meant luchi (Indian puffed bread) and payokh. The piping hot luchis accompanied by mildly sweet payokh was a must have combo for most of the parties in our childhood. Payokh held a great place in the culinary tradition of Assam. You arrange dinner for someone, cook payokh as desert, you are having some religious rituals, cook payokh and distributed among the devotees. Payokh is a dish that is held very high in our households.
I still remember when ma used to cook payokh during our childhood. My mother is an excellent cook and once she started cooking it, the aroma used to fill the house. As we came back from schools in the afternoon, one step inside our alley and our nose would tell that ma is cooking payokh for us. In the cold afternoons, it was a comfort smell and we would eagerly wait for ma to finish her cooking. One scoop of the payokh with piping hot luchis and our hungry tummies would sing the songs of summer. Now I cook payokh regularly but I would never be able to create that magic like ma. I think it was love that made those payokh special!
How to cook Axomiya Payokh
Though the payokh is easy to make and use minimal ingredients, it involves slow cooking and hence takes a lot of time. It is advisable to cook it beforehand to avoid the last minute rush. As I said, this is a dish which has to be cooked with much love and care. The dish can be made in large batches and can be refrigerated for two days.
Axomiya Payokh needs only 4 ingredients to be specific, milk, rice, sugar and cardamom seeds. The dish is made by continuously stirring the milk with rice. Generally, Joha rice, an aromatic, indigenous rice found in Assam is used to make payokh but you can use any small grain rice for it.
Here is the recipe for Axomiya Payokh. Let your loved ones taste something that speaks of love, only love!
- 1/2 litre full cream milk
- 1/2 litre water
- A handful of Joha or any small grain rice
- 1/2 cup regular sugar
- 2 large cardamoms
- Dry fruits for garnishing
- Pour the milk and water in a deep based vessel.
- Bring it to boil.
- Once the milk+water boils, lower the heat and let it simmer.
- After 10 minutes, add the rice and stir continuously.
- Once the milk reduced to half, add the sugar and cardamoms and stir continuously.
- Cook till the rice is totally mixed with the milk and thickens like custard.
- Once done, garnish with dry fruits of your choice.
- The process takes one and half hour to two hours to make the perfect payokh. Stir continuously after every five minutes so that the rice doesnot stick to the botttom.