South India’s most quintessential dessert, Payasam, similar to North Indian Kheer, is a classic, traditional pudding recipe prepared during festivals or as ‘prasadam’ (offering to God). Out of the many variations of Payasam, few include using Vermicelli, Sago or grains like broken wheat, rice, millets or moong dal to make this delicious festive recipe. This dessert is the heart of any elaborate Sadya (traditional feast), and gives a perfect ending to it.
The recipe here is a beautiful amalgamation of rice, coconut milk and jaggery, cooked together to get a heavenly tasting Rice Pudding, also known as Paal Payasam. Coconut milk is the star of this dish that yields a luscious creamy texture to the payasam. This is also the reason that I did not need to add ghee here as the creaminess of coconut milk is well enough for the recipe, and also makes this dessert Vegan. The making of this payasam is quite minimal and simple, yet so rich in taste, you might just need no reason at all to make and indulge into it. Apart from the Onam festival, Paal Payasam is also prepared during Pongal, the festival celebrating harvest and bounty.