Soak almonds in hot water for 10 minutes and then peel them.
Cut cashew nuts and peeled almonds in small pieces, and grind them in a mixer to make a coarse powder.
Keep saffron strands for soaking in some milk.
Boil milk in a pan, reduce the flame, and add powdered dry fruits.
Simmer the milk till it thickens, keep stirring intermittently.
While the milk is simmering, boil water in another pan.
Add ghee in the boiling water and add pasta to it.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Make sure that you keep stirring so that pasta doesn't get stuck to the pan.
Add thickened milk in the semi-cooked pasta and mix it well.
Pour the milk with saffron strands in the kheer and mix well. (You can add cardamom powder to the kheer if you like. I plan to add next time I make this kheer/payasam.)
After the pasta's cooked properly, add sugar, mix well and turn off heat. Pasta should be cooked but firm, overcooked pasta won't taste good. (Taste the kheer and see if you want to add more sugar. We were fine with 3 tbsp.)
Garnish the kheer with sliced pistachios. (You can serve the kheer/payasam hot or cold. I liked it hot.)