• 2 quarts whole milk
• 3/4 cup jasmine rice
• 1 cup sugar
• 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
• 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
• 2 tablespoons ghee
• 1/2 cup shelled natural pistachios
• 1/2 cup golden raisins
Simmer milk with rice, sugar, cardamom, and saffron in 7- to 8-quart heavy pot, stirring often, until reduced by half, 45 to 50 minutes. Discard cardamom. Heat ghee in a heavy skillet over moderate heat until melted, then cook pistachios and raisins, stirring, until nuts are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir half of pistachio mixture into payasam and sprinkle remainder on top.
Cooks' notes: • Serve payasam warm or chilled. • You can make payasam, without pistachio mixture, 1 day ahead and chill, covered. Cook nut mixture just before serving.