Malgudi Days

Kavuni Arisi Payasam (Black Rice Kheer)

Kavuni Arisi Payasam (Black Rice Kheer)

By Bhamini S.

This is a traditional and authentic festival sweet of Chettinad (Tamil Nadu) region. It is an extremely delicious payasam that all your guests will love. Kavuni Arisi or black rice is predominantly used in Chettinad cuisine as it is grown in plenty in the region.

Black Rice or Kavuni Arisi has gained popularity to the level of a superfood. It is cultivated in northeastern and southern parts in India. Black rice also known as 'Forbidden Rice' and is deep coloured because of the presence of a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin making this variety of rice the revered amongst all rice varieties.

Cooking time: 1 hour
Preparation time: 20 minutes

1 cup black rice
2 cups full cream milk
1 x 350ml fresh cream
4 spoons ghee or clarified butter
¾ cup sugar
1 heaped tsp broken cashew
1 heaped tsp raisins
A few cardamom pods, powdered
A few saffron strands



  1. Wash and soak the black rice overnight. The next morning transfer the black rice along with the 2 cups water and 2 cups fresh milk to a pressure cooker and cook for 5 whistles, turn down the flame and simmer for 5 more minutes. Turn off the flame and allow the pressure to release naturally. 
  2. Once the pressure releases, slightly mash the rice with a ladle.
  3. Heat a deep bottom pan on medium heat, add the fresh cream and cooked rice and cook on a medium flame. To this add crushed cardamom and sugar and stir well. 
  4. Cook and stir until it thickens like a porridge and switch off the flame. It will take about 15-20 minutes to thicken. 
  5. In a separate pan, fry cashews and raisins in ghee on a low flame and before adding it to the payasam. Mix well and serve hot.


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