Have You Tried These 7 Different Types Of Payasam?
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

What is rice pudding to the world, is what we most commonly associate with kheer or payasam in India. When one draws parallels between regional Indian cuisine across the country, given a few distinctive factors that set each one apart, there is always similarities in the way a dish is treated or made – like the payasam for example. Commonly known to be a South Indian preparation made with rice, milk and flavoured with cardamom, the payasam is typically eaten to mark the end of a feast and consumed warm.

Based off of the availability of ingredients, seasonality and what kind of sweeteners are used on any given occasion, the payasam varies in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Besides the basic rice payasam, fruits like pineapple and jackfruit, ingredients like semolina, sago pearls and rice flakes are often used in these preparations. If you haven’t had a chance to try out some of these different varieties, here are seven different types to add to your bucket list of payasams.

Arisi Payasam

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

One of the most common and classic types of payasam made with rice, milk, sugar, and flavoured with cardamom, this is the type of payasam that is also similar to kheer and the rice pudding of the west. Made by slow-cooking soaked rice grains in milk, and garnished with nuts like almonds, cashews and pistachios, the arisi payasam is a delicious dessert that is made on special festive occasions.

Ada Pradhaman

A traditional Kerala payasam, the ada pradhaman is made with rice flakes or ada, jaggery and coconut milk. Unlike most regular payasams, the pradhaman has a plant milk base and a rich distinct flavour due to the use of jaggery. Usually served as a sweet dish during Onam and wedding sadya feasts, the ada pradhaman is best enjoyed when warm.

Paruppu Payasam

Image Credits: Sharmis Passions

In this payasam, split yellow lentils, usually moong dal, are cooked with jaggery or sugar, coconut milk, and cardamom. With a unique sweet and nutty flavour, the paruppu payasam is also flavoured with ghee and dry fruits. Commonly made in households during Pongal, the payasam is rich and creamier than its milk-based counterparts, due to the presence of cooked lentils.

Also Read:

Gasagase Payasam: A Quick Recipe You Can Try On Any Occasion

Carrot Payasam

Grated winter carrots are cooked with milk, sugar and flavoured with cardamom or saffron in this unique and colourful payasam. With the earthy sweetness of the carrots combined with milk, the carrot payasam is also packed with vitamins and fibre. The payasam can also be made sugar-free with the addition of honey or jaggery, which might also give it a deeper brown colour unlike its original pastel orange appearance.

Kadalai Paruppu Payasam

Image Credits: Archana's Kitchen

A preparation made with chana dal, jaggery, coconut milk and flavoured with cardamom, the chana dal payasam has a nutty flavour from the lentils. While the lentils are cooked, they continue to maintain some form, giving the paysam an interesting texture with some bite. Chana dal payasam, much like the rice payasam, is also a preparation made during festive occasions – especially during the winter season, due to the warming properties of jaggery.

Aval Payasam

Aval or flattened rice used to make this payasam is different from the rice flakes used to make the ada pradhaman. This simple preparation of milk, sugar, flattened rice and cardamom and is a quick fix dessert for days when you don’t have the patience to slow-cook rice in milk to make payasam. Since poha also absorbs liquid easily, the aval disintegrates into the payasam rather easily, giving it a grainy, drinkable texture and consistency.

Chaka Payasam

Image Credits: Yummy Recipes

Chaka payasam or chaka pradhaman, is one of the cornerstone desserts of Keralan cuisine and is often prepared during the summer season, when ripe jackfruits are available in abundance. Also made during the festival of Onam, featuring as part of the sadya feast, the payasam utilises both – whole milk and coconut milk in its preparation. The dessert dish has a fragrant sweetness from the use of jackfruit and also a rich yellow colour as a result of the jaggery and fruit pulp.