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Payasam Cook-Off 2010 - Recipes

Judges at work to find the award winning payasams

These are the recipes submitted for the Payasam cook-off event held on August 28th, 2010 at Lake Cunningham Park, San Jose. Please contact the related participant if you have any questions about the recipe.

 For photos, courtesy: Suku K., Umesh Nair.

Idichu Pizhinja Payasam with Rice

(First Prize)

Asha Manoj


1 cup rice
3 lb jaggery
3 coconut or 3 canned coconut milk cans (I used 1 fresh coconut and 2 cans)
1/2 cup sugar
dry ginger(chukku) - 1 small piece
cumin - 1 tea spoon


Dry grind, ginger, cumin with 2 table spoon of sugar, keep aside.
scrape the coconut (if you are not using cans)
mix the fresh coconut with cup of warm water, grind (this is the idikyal part ;-)) it in blender for few minutes.
separate the milk out of coconut by pressing it in your palm or using a mesh
Do this 3 times keeping 1st, 2nd, 3rd set of milk separately.
put the jaggery in a pot and add 2 cups of water and melt well.
Once all the pieces are melted, strain it, keep aside.
Use the third set milk to cook the rice. Add some more water if needed.
If you are using the can, mix one can with one can of water and use it to cook rice.
Once the rice is cooked well, add the jaggery syrup. let it boil.
Add rest of 2 set of milk, or 2 can with equal amount of water to this.
Let it boil thoroughly.
Check the sweetness level and add sugar to adjust it according to your taste.
Add the ginger-cumin powder and mix well.
Switch of the stove and stir the payasam for some more time.

Kukku Rasayanam (Thulu style) - Mampazha Payasam - Mango Payasam

Renuka Empranthiri



1. Big Ripe Mango - 6 or Small Manila mangoes- 12 count
2. Coconut - 2 big ones.
3. Jaggery - 1 lb
4. Cardamoms- 15 count        
5. Warm water- 12  cups
6. Fresh Mint leaves- 5-6 count to decorate- optional


1. Please select all very ripe mangoes. Peel the skin off, smash all the mangoes in a big vessel.
You could either leave the mango seed or you could throw it.
2. Take Jaggery and make it into small pieces, add it to mango mixture. Let it dissolve it properly   with smashed mango.
3. Crack the two coconuts, scrap it, or make coconut slices with a stainless steel knife. Slowly       pour warm water, and grind the coconut. You have to use the same coconut, take coconut milk three times. Grind the coconut with 2 cups water, using a strainer with very small holes, take the coconut out and save in a plate. Keep the 1st coconut milk separate, should be thick. Label it as 1st coconut milk. Grind the same coconut again, pour more water, maybe 4 cups of water, using the strainer, take coconut milk, label it as  2nd coconut milk, and then comes the final 3rd coconut milk got by grinding the same coconut again, using 6 cups water. Strain it and label it as 3rd coconut milk.
4. Pour 3rd coconut milk at first, to the mango- jaggery mixture, mix it thoroughly, then add 2nd coconut milk, dissolve properly, and finally add the 1st coconut milk, and mix it.
5. Peel cardamom, take seeds out, make it into a fine powder, and add it to the payasam.

Mango rasayanam/ payasam is ready to be served. You could decorate with fresh mint leaves.

It is a very good refresher in hot weather.

Adipoli Semiya Payasam

Ligi Samuel 



Vermicelli/Semiya - 1 cup
Milk - 1 litre
Sugar - 1 cup
Salt - A pinch
Cashew nuts (split) - 10 nos
Raisins (Kismis) - A few
Cardamom - 5 nos(crushed)
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Almonds- 10 nos.


1) Keep aside 1 cup of milk and heat the remaining milk in a thick bottomed vessel.
2) Meanwhile heat the ghee in a small wok and fry the cashew nuts and raisins and keep them aside.
3) In the remaining ghee fry the vermicelli to golden brown and keep it aside.
4) When the milk comes to a boil add the roasted vermicelli and cook stirring constantly till done.
5) Once the vermicelli is well cooked, add sugar and stir till they dissolve completely.
6) Now add the crushed cardamom and cashew nuts, raisins, salt and stir well.
7) After 5 minutes remove from fire.
8) After 5 minutes add the remaining milk and give it a stir. Add some almonds to it, as well.


- This is to make sure the payasam doesn't change consistency when it’s cold.
- Serve hot or chilled.

Payasaraja aka Nethrapazha Prathaman

Madhu,Smitha,Joseph,Sonia,Reshma,Narayanan et al

(Popular Prize)


Nenthrapazham  : 5 to 8 Numbers (depending on size) (3 lbs)

Sarkkara (Jaggery) : 1Kg

Ghee     : 150 gms

Coconut milk : from 3 Coconuts (or 2 containers of standard size)

Cardamom (elakkai) : 15Nos.

Cashew Nut (splitted) : 100gms

Dry grapes(not raisins) : 50gm.

Coconut : 1/2 cup (sliced).

Dry ginger powder : 1/2 tea spoon.



1. Cook the bananas in steam after making them into 3-4 slices.

(Nannayittu pazhutha nenthrappazham aaviyil puzhungi edukkuka.( Tholi kalayathe venom puzhungaan. Oru pazham oru 3-4 kashnangalakki iddly pathrathinte thattil vechu puzhungi edukkam. Orupadu neram puzhungiyal kallu pole aayippokum).

2. Remove the skin, split  it open and remove the black seeds and the inner layer.

3. Mince the banana, to very small pieces. Don't grind it .

4. Make the jaggery into small pieces and make the syrup by boiling it with two cups of water.

5. Make the coconut milk. The first milk should be made with out adding water or adding very little water in grated coconut.  Then make the second one by adding two cups of water, and then  the third one by adding 4 cups of water. (Easy way for American Ammayis chacko milk from Chinese store).

6. if you are planning to use the ready made coconut milk, you should pour that to the payasam with boiled water. 4 cups of boiled water per container is required.

7. Fry the cashews and sliced coconut pieces in 1/3rd portion of the ghee. When the cashews become little brown add the dry grapes and fry it for one more minute.

8. Make cardamom powder . Use only the seeds, no skins. Mix it with dry ginger powder and one teaspoon of sugar.

Cooking :

Put a thick bottom big vessel (uruli if possible) on the stove and heat it up. Now pour 1/3 rd of the ghee and put the banana. Add jaggery syrup. (If you don't want to have too sweet payasam, add only 3/4 th of the jaggery syrup now. Later you can add the rest according to the desired sweetness.) Stir the contents well and cook it in low flame for about 15 minutes. Now add the third milk and allow the contents to boil. Stir well otherwise the contents will settle down and get dried.(Malayalathil paranjal .. chuvattilpidikkum). When it becomes thick add the rest of the ghee and continue to stir. After about 15 minutes add the second milk. Stir well and allow the contents to boil for 10 more minutes.(Check the sweetness  and add jaggery as required now) .Now reduce the flame to minimum and add the fried cashews, dry grapes and coconut pieces and stir well.  Pour the first milk and add the cardamom - ginger powder. Don't stir it now. Keep it aside for five minutes. Now stir it well and the payasam is ready to serve.

Carrot Payasam

(Special Jury Award)

Radhika Rajagopal


1. Chopped Carrot -- 4 Cups
2. Cashews to make into Paste -- 6 .       
3. Dates -- 4
4. Milk -- 7 Cups
5. Cardamom Powder -- 2 teaspoons
6. Raisins and Cashews for garnishing
7.Sugar -According to taste
8 Butter --3 Tbsp


- Soak the Cashews in 1/4 cup of milk . After a while , i.e once the cashews are soft,grind them together with the dates into a fine paste.
- Cook the chopped Carrot in a pressure cooker for 1whistle .
- Leave the cooked Carrot to cool for about 15-20 min. Once cooled, grind cooked Carrot in a mixer grinder to prepare a smooth paste. Saute this paste in the butter and sugar until the paste texture turns thick.
- In a pan or in vessel, Boil the milk until it reduces to 1/2 the quanity(to make the task easier , evaporated milk can be used instead). To this add the carrot paste. Add Sugar and stir until the Sugar dissolves.
- Keep stirring for another 8-10 minutes.
- Add the Cashew & date paste from step 1 to the above.Continue stirring for few more minutes.
- In a frying pan, fry Cashew Nuts and Raisins in Ghee.
- Garnish the Paysam with the fried Cashew Nuts and Raisins .

Tastes best when served chilled.

Pineapple Pradhaman

Sheena Mathew  



Pineapple Ripe: 1 no
Sugar: 300 gm
Coconut Milk: 6 cups
ghee: 25 gm
raisins: 30 gm
cashew nut : 30 gm
Coconut sliced: 30gm
Jeera pd: 1t
dried ginger: 1t
cardamom: 4nos
chowari: 50 gm.


1. Boil Pineapple along with little water.
2. when cooked add ghee and fry well.
3. add sugar and fry. no crumps or lumps.
4. 3rd extract of milk
5. when starts to boil add chowari
6. add second and first extract of milk.
7. add nuts and resin
8. remove from flame
9. add spices.

Adipoli Adapradhaman

Heera Pillai & Smitha Nambiar


Cooked Ada - 500gms (Cook raw ada in boiling water, rinse in cold water and strain)
Jaggery (dark) - 1.5 pounds
Coconut Milk - 6 cans
Pure Ghee - 1/4 Cup
Green Cardamoms - 8 (powdered)
Chukku podi(dry ginger powder) - 1 pinch
Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Coconut Bits - 1/ cup


In a vessel (preferably Uruli) melt jaggery by adding 1 cup of water and stir well until the jaggery has dissolved.
Stir the cooked ada into this and keep stirring until you’ve attained a medium thick consistency.
Add Ghee intermittently to avoid sticking. Cook for about 30 mins.
Now add 4 cans of coconut milk, mix well and let it come to a boil.Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Switch off the heat and add the rest of the coconut milk to get a favorable consistency.
Add cardamom powder and Chukku podi into it.Stir again and keep it aside.
Heat ghee in a small pan and fry coconut pieces, cashew-nuts and raisins. Now add these into the Payasam. Mix and serve hot.

Cracked Wheat Payasam (Gothambu Rava Payasam)

Suman Balasubramoni

(Second Prize)


Cracked Wheat (fine) - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups
Milk - 1 cup
Coconut Milk - 1 can (13.5oz/400ml)
Cashews pieces - 1 Tbsp
Golden Raisins - 1 Tbsp
Jaggery - 1/2 cup or to taste
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Grated Coconut / Dry coconut chunks - 2 Tbsp
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp


1.Add Cracked Wheat and Water in a pressure cooker and cook on high until one whistle. Switch off stove and allow the pressure to go down on it’s own.
2.Meanwhile take ¼ cup of hot water and melt the Jaggery in it. Once the mixture is cool drain it to remove the sediments.
3.Transfer the cooked wheat to a heavy bottom pan and turn on stove to low heat.
4.Add cardamom powder and then add the Jaggery to cooked wheat and mix well.
5.Add Milk and allow it to come to a boil and thicken on medium heat.
6.Add Coconut Milk, allow it to come to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Remove from stove.
7.Dry roast Shredded Coconut in a small skillet until fragrant or roast the dry coconut chunks with 1 tsp. of ghee until golden brown in colour and add to cracked wheat.
8.Heat Ghee in same skillet. Add Cashew pieces and sauté for 30 seconds.
9.Add Golden Raisins and allow them to plump up.
10.Add Cashews and Raisins to the Cracked Wheat and mix well.
11.Serve hot or cold.


Nendrapazham  Payasam

Sreeja Sreedevi



- Ripe Nendrapazham (plantain): 2
- Jaggery: ½-¾ cup (according to your taste)
- Coconut milk: 2-3 cans
- Ghee: 5 teaspoon? or as you feel appropriate
- Cardamom (elaichi/elakka) powder: a pinch
- Dried ginger : a pinch
- Ada: 1 cup
- Tapioca pearls/Sabudana/Chowari : 4-6 table spoon (soaked in water for an hour)
- Coconut pieces : as you feel appropriate
- Jeerakam : as you feel appropriate
- Cashewnuts - 7-8
- Raisins :5-6


1) Cut the plantain into half (with skin)  and cook in water till soft and mushy. You can also cook it in a pressure cooker with little water for about 3 whistles or so.When cooked, drain the water. Peel and remove the skin, core and seeds. Allow to cool completely and crumble roughly.
2) Grind the cooked plantain pieces with some water and set aside.
3) Boil the soaked tapioca pearls  in water until it becomes translucent. Stir constantly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
4) In a heavy-bottomed (non-stick) vessel, add water and cook the ada till its soft and then add cooked tapioca pearls.
5) Add melted jaggery  and cook together until  done.
6) Then add the coconut milk, keep stirring  until you reach the right consistency you need for the payasam.
7) Mix in ground plantain paste, dry ginger powder  and the cardamom powder. Reduce the heat to low. Keep stirring and cooking till the raw smell is gone and the mixture thickens (takes about 8-10 minutes). You can repeat step 6 if you want to.
8) To garnish, heat ghee in another pan. Add jeerakam , cashew nuts, raisins and coconut pieces  until it turns brown. Then pour it into the payasam.
9) Turn off the heat and set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.

Optional: To give it a stronger flavor of plantain, add caramelized chunks of plantain into the payasam before serving.

Fruit Payasam

Preethy George   


1) Pineapple chopped in small pieces   -  1
2) Dates -  500 g
3) Small pazham -   15
4) Cashews   -         100 g
5) Raisins  -          100 g
6) Jaggery  -           750 g (melted)
7)  Coconut Milk   -               7 cups
8)  Ghee      -            200 g
9) Cardamom powder   -                2 tsp
10) Kalkantam   -                1/4 cup


Heat 3 tbsp of ghee and fry cashew and raisins. When light brown, add pazham and
saute for 5 mins.

To this mixture, add pineapple and saute for another 2 mins. Now add the dates
and saute for 2 mins.

To this, add the melted jaggery and saute for 2 mins. Add coconut milk and boil.
Once the payasam thickens, remove from heat and add cardamom powder and kalkantam (rock sugar).

Serve hot.


Supriya Viswanathan



Corn - 5
Coconut Milk - 2000 ML (5 Cans)
Jaggery - 450g
Cardamon Powder - 1tsp
Ghee - 2TBL

For Decoration

Sabudana - 1TBL
Cashew - Handful
Raisins - Handful
Badam Powder - 2 TBL


- Grate the corn and Boil Sabudana and Keep aside
- Melt the Jaggery with hot water
- In a Pan add Ghee and fry the corn
- Add 2 cans of coconut milk to the above and cook the corn well
- Once cooked add the melted jaggery(Step 2)
- Once boiled add the remaining 3 cans of Coconut milk and stir well
- Garnish with Sabudana, Cardamom Powder,Cashew,Raisins and Badam powder
 - Serve with a smile

Don’t forget to "SMILE" while you are eating "EATMEALL".

Food Fact

Corn is a good source of many nutrients including thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese.

- Corn for Cardiovascular Health
- Supports Lung Health
- Maintain Your Memory with Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
- Support for Energy Production, Even Under Stress

Parippu~Pazham Payasam

Bindu Hari



Cherupayar Parippu - 2 cups
Jaggery - 2 lb
Nendra pazham - 4
Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
Medium thick coconut milk - 2 cups
Light coconut milk - 4 cups
Ghee - 1/2 cup

For Garnish:

Ghee - 3 tablespoon
Cashewnut , raisins & Coconut chips - 1 ounce each
Chukh+jeerakam powder - ½ tsp


Fry the parippu without oil until it turns light brown. Pressure cook it.

Steam the pazham & mash it when cooled.

Make syrup from jaggery by adding 1 cup water.

Add the melted jaggery, mashed pazham to cooked parippu & stir well. Add 1/2 cup ghee to this & mix well. Continue stirring until the ghee floats on top.

Add light coconut milk & stir until it condenses.

Then add medium thick coconut milk & keep boiling until the desired consistency (Preferably more liquid consistency coz it starts to thicken as it starts getting cooler).

Now add the thick coconut milk, chukh + jeerakam & mix well.

Fry the cashewnuts, raisins & coconut pieces in rest of the ghee & add to payasam.

Serve hot.

Nenthrapazham Payasam

Vinaya & Bysi


1) Ripe Banana - 3 nos
2) Jaggery -  1 Kg
3) Coconut Milk - 2 Cans
    3rd extract: Mix 1 can of coconut milk with 3 cups of water
    2nd extract: Mix half a can of coconut milk with half a can of water
    3rd extract: half a can of coconut milk

4) Sago - 50 gms
5) Ghee - 50 gms
6) Cardamom - 3 pods
7) Cashews - 25 gms
8) Raisins - 25 gms
9) Coconut Bits (thengakothu)  - 25 gms


1) Steam cook the bananas, mash them and set aside.

2) Boil sago in 1.5 cups of water until cooked (sago becomes transparent)

3) Boil jaggery in one cup of water till the jaggery melts.

4) In a heavy bottom pan, add ghee & saute mashed bananas for 3 minutes

5) Add the Jaggery syrup and cook for 5 minutes.

6) And 3rd extract of coconut milk & slow cook for 30 - 40 minutes.

7) Add the cooked sogo to the above mix and let it boil for another 5 mins

8) Add 2nd extract of coconut milk and cook for 20 minutes

9) Add the 1st extract of coconut milk and cook for 5 minutes. Turn
off the burner.

10) In a kadai, heat 40 grams of ghee and fry cashews, raisins & coconut bits.

11) Garnish the payasam with the above fried cashews/raisins/coconut bits.

12)  Crush the cardamom pods and add that as well to the payasam.

13) And now, the payasam is ready to serve!!

Cherupayarparippu Payasam

Vineetha Vijayan & Beena Premachandran

(Special Jury Award)


Moong Dal (Green Gram)     200 Grams
Jaggery                    400 Grams
Sago/Sabudana              25 Grams
Coconut                    1 Number
Ghee                       50 Grams
Nuts & Raisins             25 Grams Each
Powdered Cardamom          20 Grams
Coconut Pieces (Thenga Kothu)       As Required


1.    Soak Sago in a little water for ½ hour.
2.    Boil the soaked Sago until ½ cooked
3.    Grate the Coconut and extract 2 cups of thick Coconut milk and 2 cups of thin Coconut milk.
4.    Fry raisins, nuts, and thinly sliced Coconut pieces in ghee until Golden brown.
1.    Roast Moong Dal on medium heat until it is light- brown. Use a pressure cooker to cook the roasted Moong Dal with sufficient water.
2.    Melt Jaggery in a thick-bottomed pan with 1 cup of water. When the Jaggery starts to boil, add the Cooked Dal and 2 Tablespoon ghee and stir continuously.
3.    Add half cooked Sago and stir properly.
4.    When the water content in the pan has completely evaporated, add the thin coconut milk and mix well.
5.    When the Payasam boils and gets reduced, add the thick coconut milk.
6.    Switch off the stove, add cardamom powder, and garnish it with raisins, nuts, and coconut pieces.

Sharkara Payasam

Latha Narayanan



3 cup uncooked rice
6 cup jaggery, melted
water - 4 times the rice
3 table spoon ghee
Coconut pieces


Boil water in a heavy bottom vessel. Add the rice and stir well. Reduce the heat, cover and cook, stirring every few minutes till the rice is done (add more water if necessary) and the water is mostly absorbed. Be careful not to overcook the rice, it should not get mashed when stirred.

Add the melted jaggery. Cook over low-medium heat till the mixture is thick and there is no water left. Add 21/2 tbs of ghee and keep stirring for another 4-5mins and take off heat.

Lightly brown the coconut pieces in 1/2tbs of ghee and add to the payasam.

Semiya Payasam




Semiya   1/2 cup
Milk     1 litre
Sugar    1 cup
Cashew   8-10 no:s
Raisins  1 spoon
Ghee     2 spoon
Cardamom powder   a pinch

First put 1 spoon of ghee and fry the cashew to become a light brown colour and keep aside.then fry raisins and keep aside
Then add 1 spoon of ghee and fry the semiya to become a light brown colour.Add '/2 litre of milk to semiya to make it soft and boil,stir occasionally so that it doesn't get burned or boil over.When the semiya is cooked ,add some more  milk and make it to boil.then add sugar and make it to boil for 20 minutes.When the payasam is thickened add a pinch of cardamom and the fried cashew and raisin.Remove from the stove .And the payasam is ready.

Corbeille A Fruits

Sujaya Shyam



1. Milk - 1 gallon
2. Badam - 50 nos
3. Nendra Pazham - 1 nos
4. Banana - 1 nos
5. Apple - 1 nos
6. Grapes - 20 nos
7. Sugar - 10 tbps
8. Red wine - 2 ounce


1. soak the badam and grind it to a fine paste.
2. Boil the nendra pazham and grind it to a fine paste.
3. Bring the milk to a boil. Add the badam paste and let it boil further. Also add the nendra pazham paste and let it boil.
4. chop the apples, bananas and grapes to
fine pieces. Add it to boiling mix and boil further.
6. Add raisins and cashewnuts to it.
5. Add the ounce of wine

Rice Paal Payasam

Umita, Sunitha Jaymohan & Jessy Mary James

1/3 cup - Rosematta rice, wash well or basmati rice broken
1.5 cup - sugar
8 cups - Milk ( read note below )
2 - Cardamom ( optional ), crush and powder
Few cashew nuts
Few white dry raisins
1 ) In a pressure cooker boil the milk. Then add washed rice, sugar and close the pressure cooker with the lid. Bring to a full cooking pressure. After the first whistle, low the heat to very low simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
2 ) Open the pressure cooker after it has cooled down to see a paal payasam with a beautiful dark pink shade. Check the sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. You can serve the payasam without garnish at this point.
3 ) Proceed to garnish and flavour with cardamom. Add cardamom powder and stir. In a pan heat some ghee and fry the cashew nuts and raisins. Garnish thepayasam.


Brown Semiya Payasam

Rekha Manoj


1. 400gms of Semiya/ Vermicelli
2. 1 kilo of Jaggery/ Molasses
3. 2 cans of coconut milk
4. For seasoning: Few roasted cashew nuts and raisins- These are roasted in 2 tablespoons of ghee or butter

Cook the semiya in boiling water for about 20 minutes. Once the semiya is completely cooked, drain the water and set it aside.

Microwave the jaggery with little water for about 10min make sure to stir after every 2 mins. Once the jaggery is thoroughly melted, strain the jaggery to remove any dust or dirt particles.

Heat the jaagery in the cooking dish and add the semiya to it. Keep stirring for about 20-30min until it reaches a thicker consistency then add slowly coconut milk.

Let it cook for roughly 10-20 min finally garnish with roasted cashew nuts and raisins. Brown Semiya Payasam is ready to serve.



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