Vibrant Payasum

… Admin / September 6, 2023 / Photo Credit:


Payasam, a sweet pleasure native to Tamil Nadu in southern India, captures the spirit of celebration and shared experiences in a single bite. Payasam is a cherished meal that reflects the region’s deep cultural past and is often made for celebrations such as festivals, weddings, and other joyous events. Rice pudding with saffron, cardamom, and a little ghee is the basis of payasam. The rice and lentils in this meal are cooked in milk until they become smooth and creamy. The mixture tastes better when jaggery or sugar is added to sweeten it.

Payasam is a beautiful symbol of prosperity and happiness, in addition to being delicious. Payasam, a traditional sweet dish from Tamil Nadu, is served in elaborate dishes and decorated with almonds, raisins, and occasionally edible gold or silver to capture the essence of the state’s celebratory attitude. During celebrations and happy events, families and communities get closer by sharing a bowl of payasam. It’s a timeless cuisine that brings families and friends together to celebrate their shared heritage and celebrate the values they hold dear. Payasam takes you on a voyage through the cultural ethos of Tamil Nadu with every mouthful, bringing together tastes, customs, and emotions. It’s proof that the people in that area have always had a special place in their hearts for the expressive and celebratory power of food.

  • Origin: Tamin Nadu, India
  • Category: Payasum is a Tamil Vegetarian Dessert which is considered Dessert
  • Ingredient: Rice, Milk, Sugar, Cardamom, Nuts are treated as main ingredients for this recipe. Other ingredients used are Saffron, Ghee
  • Time and Flavour: This recipe takes approx 1-2 hours and the flavour is Sweet
  • Nutritional Information: Payasum contains 200 kcal calories per 100 g serving. This serving contains 7 g of fat, 3 g of protein and 30 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 15 g sugar and 1 g of dietary fiber, the rest is other nutritional component. [ These values may vary based on ingredients used and its quantity ]

Tamil dish - Payasum

Photo Credit:


Payasam, a cherished South Indian dessert, is a rich and creamy rice pudding enjoyed during festive occasions and special gatherings. Also known as kheer in other parts of India, payasam is prepared using rice, milk, and sugar as its core ingredients. The dish is often flavored with aromatic spices such as cardamom and garnished with nuts like cashews and raisins for added texture and flavor.

To create payasam, rice is cooked in milk until it softens and absorbs the milk's essence, resulting in a luscious and velvety consistency. Sugar is added for sweetness, and the dish is then infused with the fragrance of cardamom, enhancing its overall flavor profile. Depending on the variation, other ingredients such as saffron, grated coconut, and jaggery might also be used to create distinct flavors and colors.

Payasam holds cultural significance and is an integral part of South Indian festivals and celebrations. It is often prepared as an offering to deities and is served as a traditional dessert during feasts. Different regions and communities have their own versions of payasam, ranging from the classic rice-based one to variations featuring vermicelli, semolina, or even lentils as the main ingredient.

The combination of the creamy texture, the comforting aroma of spices, and the indulgent sweetness makes payasam a beloved treat that captures the essence of South Indian cuisine and hospitality.


  • Rice [ चावल ], 1/4 Cup
    → Uncooked And Washed.
  • Split Yellow Lentils [ उच्चली पीली मसूर दाल ], 1/4 Cup
    → Uncooked And Washed.
  • Jaggery [ गुड ], 3/4 Cups
    → Grated.
  • Coconut Water [ नारियल पानी ], 1 Cup
    → Extracted.
  • Cardamom Powder [ इलायची चूर्ण ], 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Clarified Butter [ घी ], 2-3 Teaspoons
  • Cashew [ काजू ], 8-10
    → Chopped And Roasted.
  • Raisins [ किशमिश ], 8-10
    → Roasted.
  • Water [ पानी ], As desired

Adjust the amount of jaggery to your desire for sweetness.By adding additional coconut milk or water, you may modify the consistency of the payasam.To enhance flavor and texture, add saffron strands or any nuts of your choosing.

Method for preparing Payasum

  • Add washed rice and moong dal to a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles, or until the dal and rice are tender.
  • Once the pressure has been released, mash the cooked rice and dal mixture with the back of a spoon or a masher well.
  • Heat the ghee in a separate skillet and roast the cashews and raisins until golden brown. Set things aside for now.
  • Add grated jaggery and a little water to the same pan. Heat until the jaggery fully melts and becomes a syrup. Remove any contaminants by straining.
  • Combine the mashed rice and dal with the jaggery syrup. Stir well and cook for a few minutes, or until the flavors blend.
  • Mix in the coconut milk and cardamom powder. Allow to boil for a few minutes after properly mixing.
  • Finally, stir in the raisins and roasted cashews. Combine thoroughly.
  • Payasam is ready to serve. You may eat it hot or cold.

Health Benefits

  • Nutrient-Rich – Payasam is rich in minerals such as calcium, protein, and healthy fats.
  • Energy Boost – The addition of rice or vermicelli to payasam delivers instant energy owing to the carbs.
  • Antioxidant-Rich – Ingredients such as saffron, cardamom, and nuts provide antioxidants that benefit general health.
  • Moderation and Celebration – Payasam is often consumed at festivities and festivals, promoting a balanced approach to indulging.
  • Comfort Food – The warm and creamy texture of payasam brings comfort and pleasure, as well as a mood boost.

Although these components may offer some health benefits, it's crucial to keep in mind that everyone's experience may vary, and they must be consumed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet. If you have any specific health issues or concerns, it's recommended to speak with a healthcare provider.

To Conclude

Indulgence and history come together in every bite of payasam, a cherished South Indian delicacy. Rice, milk, jaggery, and a variety of fragrant spices come together in this delicious meal with a history entwined with rites and festivities. Its smooth consistency and decadent taste are sure to bring you warm feelings of reminiscence.

Payasam is a sweet and creamy dessert that requires a lot of time and attention to detail in order to create. There is a wide variety of payasam to choose from, each with its own unique appeal, from the traditional rice-based version to those made with lentils, vermicelli, or even fruits.

Payasam is not only a tasty treat; it also has cultural importance and is a common sight during celebrations and happy events. The appearance of this item during social events fosters a feeling of belonging and camaraderie. The love and care with which the people of South India hold on to their traditions and celebrate life’s precious moments is wonderfully conveyed in every spoonful of payasam.

Thank You

The pictures displayed on this website are usually royalty free stock photos taken from Unsplash, iStock, Pixabay, Pngtree, and other sources. We appreciate the work of the individuals who own them. This is to thank them for their work and let them know how much it is appreciated.

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