I love payasam. There, I have said it.
Nachi made this often and taught me to make it, although he was never too keen to have me cook it for him. Very particular about food, he was. In those days I was still learning a lot about Indian food, and particularly about the precision needed in some of these traditional dishes. One cardamon pod either way, and you could spoil the dish.
I have been making it since 2003. It is the kind of dessert you want to eat on a night you are feeling a little vulnerable and out of sorts with the world. It will make you feel great again.