Recipe: Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer

Earlier this week was Avani Avittam, the only festival dedicated to men in Hinduism (or rather tambramism) and since it was BB’s first one, we had to go down to the temple for a special prayer and then the next day was the recitation of the Gayatri Mantra. This sacred mantra is said to be the root mantra and it is said that reciting it 1008 times is said to be very beneficial.

On Avani Avittam, I made my Vermicelli payasam and the day of Gayatri Mantra, I made this easy Aval payasam or Poha Kheer. It’s a simple dish that can be made in less than 30 minutes, start to finish so even an FTWM can make this on a festival.

Aval Payasam/Poha Kheer


  • 1 cup poha
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-litre full cream milk
  • a handful of cashew nuts
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsps ghee


  • In a pan heat the ghee and fry the cashew nuts and once brown, keep aside.
  • In the same pan, fry the poha till they slightly turn brown and at this point, add half the milk. Let the poha absorb the milk and then add the remainder of the milk.
  • When the milk comes to a rolling boil, let it boil for another 5 minutes until the poha is soft and has completely absorbed the milk
  • Add the sugar, cashew nuts, saffron and cardamom powder and let the kheer boil for another five minutes.
  • The kheer is ready to serve. Drink hot or cold, though we prefer to drink it cold!




Avani Avittam

Today is Avani Avittam, one of the most important days in the year of a Hindu South Indian Brahmin.  It is probably the only festival that I know where men get top billing. On this day, men (and boys) reaffirm their faith as brahmins and also change their sacred thread. Here is a link from Wikipedia which give more details about the festival and its meaning. The day after Avani Avittam is the day when all brahmin men are supposed to do the Gayatri Japam, even if you don’t do it on any other day 0f the year.

We plan to do P’s Upakarma most probably end of next year. This is when he will be formally initiated into becoming a Brahmin. This is something that needs to be discussed with both my parents as well as S’s parents sometime soon.

Today is also Raksha Bandhan. This is a very beautiful Indian festival which reaffirms the ties between a brother and a sister. This is mainly celebrated in northern India, but since I have grown up in the western part of the country, I have adopted it as well and D&P have been celebrating it since they were babies. In the evening after they are back from school, D will tie the rakhi to her brother. I’ll take a picture of the Rakhi and post it here tomorrow.