Nei means ghee. So nei payasam literally translates as ghee payasam. Don't think I am going to give a recipe of payasam/kheer with ghee as the main ingredient. Indeed , ghee is the star ingredient in the recipe. This is a combination of rice , jaggery and ghee. Sounds simple isn't it. But the rich taste of the payasam is heavenly. Its also known as kadu madhura payasam (very very sweet payasam). Yes, the rice:jaggery is 1:3. Nei payasam is a famous offering in the temples of Kerala. This is also prepared during Bhagavathy Seva, a pooja conducted to please Devi, which is performed in the month of Karkitakam/Aadi (15th July-15th Aug).
As I mentioned, because of the sweetness and richness of ghee, it can be eaten in small portions only. When the payasam is prepared for any ordinary occasion or wants it to be less sweeter, then the rice:jaggery is added in the proportion of 1:2. The ratio seems to vary from home to home. Also select jaggery which is brown which gives a nice deep color to the payasam.
Raw rice - 1/3 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup
Ghee- 1/3 cup or less
Water -1/3 cup to melt jaggery.
cashew,raisin - 10 nos each
coconut, cut into small pieces - 1 tblspn
Wash and pressure cook rice till it is well cooked. Later,on cooking in jaggery, it will turn grainy. Melt jaggery in a pan with 1/3 cup of water. Strain and bring the jaggery syrup to boil. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, with out forming lumps. If you find it difficult, switch off the stove. Once the rice is well mixed with the syrup, put it on fire again. Add a tablespoon of ghee. Keep stirring and add ghee at intervals to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reserve a tablespoon of ghee for frying cashews etc.Cook till the mixture starts leaving the sides and gets a saucy consistency. Don't over cook and it will become a hard mass on cooling.
Take a small pan. Add ghee. Add pieces of coconut. Roast till it browns. Remove the coconut and add cashews. When they start browning, throw in the raisins. When the raisins puff up , remove from fire. Garnish with payasam with roasted coconut, cashews and raisins. Enjoy spoon full of payasam. You cannot go beyond 3 spoons at one go. It stays good even 3 days with out refrigeration, when properly made.
With this measurement, it will serve 2.