I’ve been home for over a week now, and yet I feel like I’ve just landed. For the first bunch of days, I just felt like I wasn’t quite here. My timing was all off. I wasn’t sure what to eat. I felt all floaty, sort of. And, it was delicious. A good friend once said to me to enjoy the weirdness upon return from India, because pretty soon everything will feel all “same same” again. No kidding. That floaty weird feeling is the space the trip opened in my mind and spirit. Cool. I’m trying to hold on to some of that, even while getting back to business as usual. As they say, “Same same. Only different.”
And so, here I am at home, trying to find some warmth, trying to incorporate some loves from India while getting back to my old faves (holy crap, I forgot how much I love arugula salad and sautéed greens!). And, while I miss the Indian treats, here in daily life I feel the need to healthify them, just a little.
Enter my newest creation and latest love: Payasam Inspired Overnight Oats
This is so simple I can barely even think of it as a recipe, and yet it is such a perfect recreation of the dessert flavors I love from Kovalam that it’s rather brilliant. Payasam is basically rice pudding with cardamom, usually with golden raisins and cashews. I had so many kinds while I was there ranging from soupy to dense to gooey and puddingy. All of them special and delicious in their own way.
Here at home I don’t always eat dessert (or, hmmm, yes I do but it’s often a single date or a few squares of chocolate rather than a whole dish) and so I wanted to create something that could scratch that itch, but be healthy enough for breakfast. Overnight oats are the perfect breakfast for the ashtangi who travels to a shala to practice and has to run to work after. Or really anyone who eats breakfast on the go. I hope you enjoy this Kovalam comfort food remix as much as I do!
Payasam Inspired Overnight Oats
Traditional Payasam has raisins in it, but I used dried tart cherries since I had them in the house. I bet chopped figs or dates would be awesome too! Cardamom is non-negotiable.
1 Cup Nut Milk
1/3 Cup Rolled Oats
1 ½ Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1 ½ Tsps. Maple Syrup
1 Tsp. Cardamom Powder
Splash Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsps. Golden Raisins or other dried fruit
2 Tbsps. Chopped Cashews
Add all ingredients to a jar, cover and shake vigorously.
Let sit, and shake intermittently for 5 minutes.
Place in the refrigerator to set up for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
Eat and mmmmm!