Kerala’s spices have always attracted traders and travelers from across the world for centuries. Those who have visited this land of coconuts and spices will also fall in love with the beautiful and vivid nature of Kerala. One of the most memorable things that will always keep the experience of Kerala alive for the tourists, apart from the sceneries, will be the flavourful cuisine of Kerala. If you ever had the chance to savor the extravagant Kerala feast, the Sandhya, you will never be able to forget the sweet flavor of the Payasam served. The Payasam come in different flavors and are considered the most important dish of Sadhya. Payasams are usually made only during special occasions such as festivals and celebrations.
Photo by Joseph Thekkekara
Payasams are usually made of 3 main ingredients – milk or coconut milk, sugar or jaggery and one more ingredient that makes it special. Other than these, ghee, cardamom, nuts, and raisins are also used. The special ingredient can be one of these – rice, rice flakes, vermicelli, rice ada, jackfruit, green gram lentil, broken wheat, banana or carrots. So with carrots, you make carrot payasam and with broken wheat, you make wheat payasam. Here we introduce you to 7 exotic Payasams from God’s Own Country.
Photo by Charles Haynes
PaladaPayasam is considered the king of Payasams. The ingredient list is simple – only milk, sugar, and rice ada. This rice ada is now available ready-made. Earlier it used to be made from the scratch by steaming thin rice batter spread on a plantain leaf. It is very sweet and has a unique and heavenly rich to keep you looking forward to the next time you can visit the place to taste the same.
Photo by cell105
This is similar to Palada Payasam. Instead of milk and sugar, coconut milk and jaggery are used to make this Payasam. The flavor will be exotic with a scent of coconut and jaggery that will melt in your mouth. Ada Prathaman
Jack fruit Payasam
Photo by Divya Kudua
This one is made of sweet ripe jackfruit, coconut milk, and jaggery. Nuts, raisins and small pieces of coconuts are fried in ghee and added as the garnish. Ripe Jackfruit is cooked first and ground before adding the coconut milk and jaggery. This is an exotic dish since jackfruit is not as commonly available across the world. Many people make Jackfruit jam (Chakka Varatti) with ripe jackfruit, ghee, and jaggery and use it to make Jackfruit Payasam which also tastes awesome. This jam can last for a year if stored decently. This is called Chakka Prathaman.
Nei or Ghee Payasam
Photo by Raksh1tha
This is a simple yet exotic Payasam which is usually made in the temples or for pooja at home as Prasad. Rice is cooked well with jaggery and a generous amount of ghee with cardamom and nuts.Can’t say if it is because this Payasam is served as an offering to God, but it definitely tastes heavenly!
Split green gram dhal or lentils are roasted till golden yellow in ghee along with some split Channa Dal. Coconut milk, jaggery, nuts, and cardamom are added to make it a delicious Payasam.
Photo by Divya Kudua
Broken wheat is cooked first in milk or water. It can be pressure cooked. Coconut milk and jaggery are added. Once it mixes and comes to a Payasam consistency, cardamom is added for flavor and it is garnished with chopped coconuts, cashews and raisins fried in ghee.
Pal Payasam (Ambalappuzha Payasam)
Photo by easycooking
This is basically rice Payasam made with cooked rice, milk and sugar. It is also called Ambalapphuzha Payasam because it is the favorite of Lord Krishna. It is a very popular offering at Ambalappuzha Lord Krishna temple for which you need to book well in advance. Though Pal Payasam or the Rice Kheer is made commonly across India, in Kerala, it is made using broken red rice which makes it look and taste special.
Featured Photo by easycooking