Onam 2023: 6 Types Of Payasam To Complete Celebrations
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Onam is a grand festival in Kerala that is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is a harvest festival that is observed for around ten days. This festival signifies the return of King Mahabali to his homeland to celebrate his kingdom’s prosperity. Onam is marked with rangolis, thrilling boat races, folk songs, and a delectable plethora of traditional dishes.  

A scrumptious feast called Onam sadhya is also an important part of this festival. Served on a banana leaf, it features a mouthwatering array of 26 dishes that not only satisfy our taste buds but also fill our hearts with joy. Rasam, erissery, pachadi, thoran, sambar, pulissery, avial, and kadala curry are some treats on the Onam sadhya meal platter.

When it comes to dessert, payasam is the most popular choice for the feast. This is a creamy and delicious sweet treat that is commonly prepared with rice, milk, and a variety of dry fruits and nuts. Considered an auspicious offering to God, the Onam sadhya platter is incomplete without payasam. It is also distributed as prasadam in temples and pujas across the state. This dessert is a sweet addition to the elaborate feast. Payasam is also associated with prosperity, happiness, and auspiciousness in this festival. 

This luscious dessert has plenty of varieties, and each of them tastes incredible. Here are the top six varieties of payasam you can add to your Onam sadhya platter: 

Ada Pradhaman

This is the most special variety of payasam from Kerala. Made with coconut, rice flakes, ghee, and jaggery, this decadent and hearty dessert is also a part of other feasts and festivals in the state. You can flavour the dish with cardamom powder, fried cashew nuts, and raisins. This rich and creamy dish takes around one and a half hours to prepare, but believe us, it's worth it. 

Semiya Payasam

This is an iconic dessert that is also popular in other parts of the country. Semiya payasam is made with roasted vermicelli, milk, ghee, sugar (or jaggery), and lots of nuts. Prepared within minutes, this dessert can be made with condensed milk as well. Semiya payasam can also be served after a family dinner. 

Pal Payasam

This is the classic variety of payasam, which is enjoyed at many festivals and celebrations in the state. Pal payasam is a simple yet yummy dessert that is prepared with rice, milk, cardamom, and sugar. The rice used is usually unnakalari or basmati rice to make this creamy and rich dish that can make you crave more. You can also flavour pal payasam with cardamom powder, saffron strands, and dry fruits to give it a little twist on the traditional preparation. 

Tender Coconut Payasam 

If you are fond of tender coconuts, then this payasam, also known as karikku payasam, is a must-try for you. Made with milk, tender coconut kernels, coconut milk and water, jaggery, cardamom powder, and ghee. This light and soothing dessert is an ideal addition to your Onam sadhya platter. It is easy to prepare, and you can also garnish it with your favourite nuts or chopped tender coconut kernels to enhance the taste and texture.

Parippu Payasam 

This is an incredibly nutritious variety of payasam that is also good to taste. If you are bored of rice or vermicelli varieties, then this is a must-try. Made with moong dal, coconut milk, and jaggery, it requires extra effort to cook. You will have to roast parippu (moong dal) for at least five minutes before combining it with other ingredients. 

Aval Payasam 

This is another delicious variety of South Indian payasam. The term aval means flattened rice, or poha. Prepared with flattened rice, jaggery, milk, and nuts, it is also known as Atukula payasam. Apart from Onam, aval payasam is also widely prepared during the festival of Shri Krishna Jayanti. It can be made with all kinds of poha, but for the best results, use thick poha.