Thursday, August 27, 2015

Payasam: or, A Book of Cookrye abuses pasta and ruins Indian desserts

Today, we at A Book of Cookrye present an adventure in cooking!

The Complete Around-the-World Cookbook, Pan-Am Airways, 1954

We could have looked this up and seen what it looks like successfully executed. Really, we could have. However, we wanted the slightly masochistic fun of going at a recipe the likes of which we've never seen before with absolutely nothing to guide us.
That's a lot of butter.

And by nothing to guide us, we really mean nothing to guide us. A lot of people in our building with whom we share a kitchen are from India, and they make a lot of food from home, but we've never seen them make any Indian desserts.

When the raisins turned into little raisin balloons as the butter started to look burnt, we asked for the first time a question that came up a lot while making this.

All right, the pan-fried raisins were weird, and they may have absorbed enough butter to reconstitute into grapes, but here's where we really ran into problems.
Break in half? We should have broken it into thirds!

Does this look fully cooked to you? The pot had dried up by this point.

Nothing like a pot of half-cooked spaghetti and nearly-burnt milk!

We'll let Lucy and Ethel speak on our behalf.

Furthermore, the noodles stayed crunchy well after we added about twice as much water as originally went into the pot.

Even if the pasta had cooled, we were having problems with our hard raisins and burnt nuts. Once the raisins had cooled, they shattered if you tried to spear them with a fork. The whole mess ended up in the trash.
I sauteed them for five minutes, does this look right?

Ever wanted to eat a bird's nest?

If you want to try this yourself in half the time, partially cook some spaghetti and toss it in condensed milk. It was nearly really good, but still terrible. However, what should one of our neighbors offer to share with us but this exact dessert!
It's like rice pudding but with pasta.

I think we can look at our attempt and say...

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