Manjapodi paal (Turmeric milk)

Okay. This is totally not food. It’s something my parents used to give me at bedtime when I had a bad cough that kept me up all night. It’s very soothing and turmeric is supposed to be good for you, so I’m sharing. I don’t like milk – I think I’m faintly intolerant – but this is very soothing once I get past the nausea. Heheh.

You need: 1 cup milk; ΒΌ tsp turmeric powder; a pinch of cinnamon powder; 2-3 crushed peppercorns (not powdered black pepper, they should be freshly – and coarsely crushed); 1-2 tsp sugar.
How to: Add everything to the milk and boil for about 5-10 minutes on low heat. Strain and drink while still warm.

Paal paayasam

Dessert, also known as kheer in the North. They’re slightly different. This is the South Indian easy version.

You need: 1 liter milk, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp uncooked rice (washed and drained), a pinch of saffron (optional)

How to: Cook rice in milk till very soft on a low flame.

Add sugar and saffron. If you do use saffron, it needs to be soaked in a little hot milk or water before adding.

Keep stirring till it thickens. Don’t let it stick to the bottom of the pan, it will burn.