Axomiya Payokh: Treat Your Valentine the Assamese Way This Year!

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.

Axomiya Payokh: Treat Your Valentine the Assamese Way This Year!

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! 

Axomiya Payokh: Treat Your Valentine the Assamese Way This Year!

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. 

Ingredients of Axomiya Payokh

 

Here is the recipe for Axomiya Payokh. Let your loved ones taste something that speaks of love, only love!

 

Axomiya Payokh: The Perfect Valentine's Day Dessert
Serves 5
A perfect dessert to be cooked with love
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 litre full cream milk
  2. 1/2 litre water
  3. A handful of Joha or any small grain rice
  4. 1/2 cup regular sugar
  5. 2 large cardamoms
  6. Dry fruits for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Pour the milk and water in a deep based vessel.
  2. Bring it to boil.
  3. Once the milk+water boils, lower the heat and let it simmer.
  4. After 10 minutes, add the rice and stir continuously.
  5. Once the milk reduced to half, add the sugar and cardamoms and stir continuously.
  6. Cook till the rice is totally mixed with the milk and thickens like custard.
  7. Once done, garnish with dry fruits of your choice.
Notes
  1. 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.
Adapted from Assamese Cuisine
Adapted from Assamese Cuisine
Foodie On The Road http://foodieontheroad.com/

How to Cook Simple Vegetable Pulao in Pressure Cooker

The first cookbook that I have ever read is the Hawkins cookbook. Ok, it’s not a regular cookbook with fancy pictures but just the user’s manual for Hawkins pressure cooker with some Indian and continental recipes. Every household in my place owns more than one pressure cooker. It seems that our kitchens are incomplete without them. And the brand that I have only seen is Hawkins. You need to cook rice, put in a pressure cooker, you need to cook lentils or eggs or steam vegetables, put it into a pressure cooker. And every cooker from Hawkins comes with the mandatory users’manual with some easy to cook recipes. These one pot meal recipes were taken from different parts of India and abroad. They also provided a list of spices and food terms and it was my handy companion to know what people are cooking. Well, I came to know the difference between soup and stew from Hawkins users’ manual only otherwise, where else a teenager girl from an almost village-like town can learn about continental food?

To say that I loved the manual will not be sufficient. I adored the manual. It was my door to the world where the same ingredients were described to be cooked in various cuisines. It was my first encounter with the world of food and it intrigued me to learn more about the food. Our food shows were limited to a one-hour weekly program of Tara Dalal at that time and I used to stare at the cover of the manual to learn how they decorate the food. I still remember to insist my mother cook from any recipe just like the manual had.

The first thing that I loved about the recipes in Hawkins manual is that the instructions were given to cook food in the pressure cooker as well. Till now, I remain sucker of quick and one pot meal recipes. That manual taught me to cook so many dishes that I have lost its count. I can still imagine me going through pages after pages to read more and more about cuisines from other parts of the world.

How to Cook Simple Vegetable Pulao in Pressure Cooker

When I learned to cook, the first thing that I tried from the Hawkins manual was pulao. Pulao is an Indian dish which is basically herb and spice infused rice on your plate. Depending on the availability, the ingredients of the pulao can be varied from one dish to another.

Although you can cook any pulao in your Hawkins pressure cooker, I prefer to cook vegetarian pulao in it. It takes hardly 7 minutes to cook veg pulao in a pressure cooker. Here is the recipe that I use to cook pulao in cooker. This pulao can be eaten with any curry of your choice. It is a wholesome meal and comes quite handy when you are tired or busy to cook a full meal.

 

Simple Vegetable Pulao in Pressure Cooker
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup basmati rice
  2. Whole spices
  3. Two large size onions
  4. 1 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste
  5. Vegetables of your choice, diced and cubed
  6. Ghee/oil, and salt
Instructions
  1. Wash and soak the rice for atleast 30 miutes.
  2. Now heat ghee in pressure cooker.
  3. Temper the oil with whole spices.
  4. Now fry the onions (cut into thin slices) till they turn soft.
  5. Add the vegetables, salt and ginger garlic paste and saute till the masals leave their raw smell.
  6. Add the rice and stir well.
  7. Add required water and close the lid of the cooker.
  8. Bring it to full pressure and keep for five minutes.
  9. Now switch off the heat and release the steam.
  10. Your pulao is ready in no time.
Notes
  1. You can add dry fruits along with the vegetables.
Adapted from Hawkins Pressure Cooker Manual
Adapted from Hawkins Pressure Cooker Manual
Foodie On The Road http://foodieontheroad.com/