- Payasam, is one of the delicacies served in every house of South India, especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- Its history dated back in Dwaparyuga. A mythological story has been narrated in whole kerala, depicting its importance as Prasadam in the temples of Lord Krishna.
- Kheer, a thicker version of Payasam which is also mentioned in Ayurveda. It has various synonyms such as Payasam, Kshirika, Paramannam.
- A literary reference about a similar dish made with millets and milk is mentioned which was prepared in Gujarat, India, in 14th Century BC.
- Another version of the dish is called Firni, a popular Persian's recipe where they use dry fruits and nuts to enhance its taste.
- The recipe varies greatly and is evolved according to the local inhabitants. It is commonly known as rice pudding in the West, Ksheer in the middle East, arroz con leche in Spanish.
- In the Buddhist era, it became a staple temple food and was associated with Lord Shiva and served as Prasad to devotees.
- A large number of varieties of payasams are prepared in different part of country starting from from the traditional recipes that include rice, vermicelli and moong dal to other preparations like jevvarisi payasam (saboo dhana payasam), thengai payasam (coconut grating payasam), rava payasam (sooji payasam), etc.
Method of Preparation
- In Ayurveda classics it is mentioned that the rice fried in ghee is boiled in milk and then, sufficient amount of ghee and sugar are added to it.
- Traditionally, Payasams prepared by using sweetening agents such as jaggery in Southern parts of nation where as sugar is used in the North Indian variant of Kheer. One can also add shallow fried or roasted dry fruits for garnishing.
- In Ayurveda texts, Paysam is said to be nourishing, strengthening, pacifies Pitta and Vatadosha, but it is difficult to digest, hence should be consumed in appropriate quantity.
- In Ayurveda, the key ingredients Ksheera (milk) is immunity enhancer, tissue growth promoter, alleviates Vata and Pitta Dosha, aphrodisiac in properties and increases lactation.
- Similarly, Ghrita (ghee) being one of the ingredients, is Dhee, Smriti, Medhavardhaka (Intellect promoting), improves digestion, strengthening, increases longevity, aphrodisiac, alleviates Vata and Pitta Dosha, and cold in Potency.
- Paysam or Kheer prepared with Shastika variety of rice (paddy grown in 60 days) is given to pregnant women as per Ayurvedic principles of antenatal care, preferably in 3rd month of pregnancy. This will promote the development of skeleton structure of fetus, and provide immunological benefits.
- Payasam prepared with vermicelli, is also mentioned in Ayurveda texts as "Sevika" is nutritious and pacifies Pitta-Vata, astringent and has fracture healing properties.
- Milk is considered as complete food source of sugar, protein, fat, calcium, sulphur, magnesium, manganese, iodine, zinc, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, A, and K. It strengthens the bones, gives immunity.
- Nuts or dry fruits are packed with essential Nutrients. They are an abundant source of Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Fiber.
Nutritional Facts (Per 250 ml of serving):
- Vitamin A - 165.1 mcg
- Vitamin B - 10.1 mg
- Vitamin B2 - 0.1 mg
- Vitamin B3 - 0.4 mg
- Corbohydrates - 23.7g
- Vitamin C - 19.9 mg
- Vitamin E - 0.8 mg
- Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) - 10.1 mcg
- Energy - 93 Cal
- Protein - 0.4g
- Calcium - 7.2 mg
- Iron - 0.1 mg
- Magnesium - 6.5 mg
- Phosphorous - 7.9 mg
- Potassium - 112.3 mg
- Calories - 8.9 g
- Fiber - 1.3 g
- Fat - 0.2 g
Source : Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth
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