Pineapple Payasam: A Yummy Vegan South Indian Sweet Dish
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There is a wide variety of payasam (a sweet dish) in South India, and Pineapple Payasam is one among them. The common ingredients in all payasams are milk, ghee, and sugar, but Pineapple Payasam is made with pineapple, rice flour, and coconut milk, making it a vegan dish. To make the payasam a wee healthier, jaggery instead of sugar is used to prepare it. 

The sweet and sour flavour of the pineapple lends a unique taste to the payasam, while rice flour, used as a binding agent, thickens the dish. Coconut milk goes well with the taste of the pineapple and jaggery, while roasted cashew nuts add crunch to the dish. 

Two types of coconut milk consistencies are used in the dish: thick and thin. Both are prepared from a single coconut, but each has a particular technique. To save time, one can also use ready-made coconut milk from the market–and make the coconut milk thin by adding water–but homemade coconut milk has its own charm. The different kinds of coconut milk add texture to the dish. Pineapple Payasam is a melt-in-your-mouth dessert that is healthy and tasty. Payasam is similar to the North Indian kheer.

Here is a recipe for Pineapple Payasam.


  • 1 pineapple 
  • 1 coconut 
  • Jaggery
  • Rice flour 
  • Cashew nuts 
  • Ghee 


  • Cut the pineapple into small cubes. 
  • Put the cubes into a mixie and grind it to make a puree.
  • Grate the coconut and put it in the mixie, add half a cup of water, and grind it to make a coarse paste. 
  • To make thick coconut milk, strain the coconut paste by squeezing and extracting the coconut milk. You can also use a cloth for this by tightly binding cloth with the coconut paste inside and then extracting the milk. 
  • To make the thin coconut milk, put the leftover squeezed coconut into a mixie, add half a cup of water, and grind it. 
  • Squeeze the coconut and extract thin milk.
  • Pour the thin coconut milk into a pan.
  • In a bowl, put two tablespoons of rice flour and half a cup of water, and mix well to make a paste.
  • Add the rice flour paste to the thin coconut milk, and cook on low flame, while stirring. Let it come to a boil.
  • Once the mixture thickens, add grated jaggery and mix till all the jaggery pieces dissolve. 
  • Add the pineapple puree and cook for two to three minutes. 
  • Add the thick coconut milk and mix well, bring it to boil.
  • Add a pinch or half a teaspoon of cardamom powder and stir. 
  • Take off the payasam from the flame.
  • In another pan, put two teaspoons of ghee, add one tablespoon of cashew nuts and roast. 
  • Place the roasted cashew nuts in the payasam.
  • You can also put small bits of pineapple as a topping, giving the dish a nice taste.