East Indian Farina Hot Cereal (Payasam)

Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 10 mins

Adapted from Laurel's Kitchen vegetarian cookbook-the first vegetarian cookbook I ever bought. The original recipes uses brown rice cereal, which is equally good! I've made this many, many times for breakfast. My payasam I prefer on the thick side, so feel free to add more milk or less cereal. Comforting and delicious on a cold winter day.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 cup whole milk or 1 cup rice milk
  • 13 cup farina (farina is also known as Cream of Wheat) or 13 cup brown rice meal (farina is also known as Cream of Wheat)
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 tablespoons butter (NOT margarine)
  • 14 teaspoon ground cardamom, to taste
  • 12 tablespoon unbleached cane sugar, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons raw pistachios, pieces chopped or 2 tablespoons raw almonds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raisins


  1. In saucepan bring milk to almost boil and stir in the cereal using a fork to break up the clumps. Stir in the salt.
  2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes for farina, 10 minutes for rice meal.
  3. In a small saute pan, melt the butter on medium heat and add the cardamon, cane sugar and raw nuts. Toast for about 2 minutes, being careful not to burn.
  4. Add the raisins to the butter mixture and heat through.
  5. Once the hot cereal is cooked, stir the cardamom/nut mixture into the cereal.
  6. Serve piping hot. Mmmm!
Most Helpful

I made this for breakfast today. I must admit, I cut alot of corners. (I used margarine instead of butter and substituted equal parts of cinnamon and ground cloves for the cardamom, and I accidentally made the farina based on the box instructions in the microwave instead of making the thicker version posted here.) But it was good anyway. I definitely plan to make it again, maybe closer to the original recipe next time. Thanks!

Ransomed by Fire May 09, 2010

This is wonderful!! I never thought to use cardamom in my farina, but it worked really well. I also used 1 can coconut milk and added water to bring it to the 3 cups needed for the liquids (made 3-6 servings[love that feature]). It's very creamy that way, just the way we love it. Very simple recipe with loads of flavor. Thanks!

Reeseccup November 14, 2006

This is a delicious breakfast cereal! I used less nuts and raisins and loved them toasted that way, sweet and spicy and buttery. Really enjoyed this - thanks for sharing the recipe! Made for ZWT8, Chefs gone WILD!

loof August 16, 2012