Add the rice and roast the rice in a heavy bottom pan or kadai (I used my uruli).
Roast until the grains bulge and the color turns slightly like below. Transfer the roasted rice, add 1 cup of water and let it soak till the milk comes to a boil.
In the same uruli, add the milk and bring it to a boil.
When the milk boils (in Tamil, we say pongu varumbodu), drain the water from the rice and add the rice to the milk.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the rice cook in the milk. Keep a wooden ladle on top of the uruli to not overspill the milk. Keep stirring in between, and during the process, collect the frothy cream, scrape the sides, and add it back to the payasam. We are not making basundi here, but collecting and adding the cream back into the kheer enhances the flavor. Note - It took 35 minutes for the rice to cook. The timing might vary depending upon the vessel and the heat setting.
When the rice is cooked, add the sugar, mix well, and mash the rice. Reduce the heat to low, cook for 12 to 15 minutes, and turn off the heat.
Serve this kheer warm or cold.
Adjust the sugar as per your sweet preference.
As the kheer cools, it becomes thick. If needed, add boiled milk as required before serving.