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Category: Desserts
Serving: 5-6 servings
Preparation: 45 minutes

The smell of rice cooked in jaggrey syrup and ghee over a smoky wood fired pits is an inviting sign to temples in Kerala. The Nei payasam is an offering that is given to every devotee during the visit in a little turmeric leaf along with freshly ground sandal wood and flowers offered to god.

Nei payasam is a flavor memory, the smoky aroma adds to the nostalgia. This is a recipe from Ammini Ramachandran's book Grains, Greens and Grated coconuts. Ammini Aunty is one of the earliest immigrants to the US and she has documented her family recipes and traditions in the book. This is a must have in your library if you like vegetarian Kerala cooking.

Payasam and pradhaman are a must during any feast in Kerala and other southern states of India. The sweet helps salivate which aids in digestion (this has a mention in our ancient scriptures)

Celebrating Onam with this easy and tasty nei payasam... enjoy!


short grain rice (ponni rice)- 1 cup
water- 2.5 cups
jaggrey- 1 cup
water- 50 ml
ghee- half cup
cardamom pods- 3-4 nos

Ghee -1 tbsp
cashew nuts broken- 8-10 pieces
coconout shaving- 10-15 pieces
raisins- 2 tbsp


1. Rinse the rice for 4-5 times under cold running water. Till most of the starch has gone.
2. Place the rice and 2.5 cups of water in a pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles.
(Note: the rice should remain whole and the water should be absorbed)
3. In a pan melt the jaggrey and water over slow heat till a syrup is formed.
4. Add the cardamom pods in the jaggrey syrup and bring to a boil.
5. Pour the jaggrey syrup into the cooked rice and stir well on slow heat, once the syrup is absorbed, add 2 tbsps of ghee and mix well.
6. Cook till the payasam looks like a risotto.
7. In a pan heat ghee and sautee the cashews till golden, add the sliced coconuts and cook till brown,set aside and add the raisins.
8. Garnish and serve warm or in room temperature.

Serving Ideas

Serve warm or in room temprature

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