Aval Payasam is a South Indian pudding made with flattened rice, jaggery, milk, nuts and raisins. Also known as Atukula Payasam in Telugu, it is a sweet dish mostly made on Shri Krishna Jayanthi. Lord Krishna, the 8th incarnation of the Hindu Supreme God Vishnu is worshipped as the god of love, protection and compassion. Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated by Hindus across the globe to mark the birth of the Lord Krishna. It is believed that flattened rice was one of his favorites, so various dishes made with it are offered to him during the puja.
In this post I share an easy payasam recipe that you can make on the festive day and offer to the Lord.
About Aval Payasam
Aval is the Tamil word for flattened rice, also known as poha, beaten rice or parched rice. Payasam is a traditional South Indian pudding made with various grains, is sweetened with jaggery & flavored with cardamoms. Lots of cashews and raisins are fried in a generous amount of ghee which is lastly poured over the payasam.
This Atukula Payasam is made much the same traditional way except regular rice is replaced with Poha.
All those traditional dishes take time so if you are unable to make any of them, Aval Payasam and Aval Ladoo are the quick options.
How to Make Aval Payasam (Stepwise photos)
1. Skip this and the next step if using sugar. If using jaggery then making a syrup will enhance the taste of the jaggery. However you can also skip this and add jaggery powder towards the end and turn off the stove. But making jaggery syrup is the traditional way of making payasam. Add ½ cup grated jaggery and pour 3 to 4 tbsps water to a small pan.
2. Dissolve and bring it to a boil. Let it bubble on a low flame. Off the stove when it turns sticky, don’t need to check any syrup consistency. Keep this aside to cool.
3. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan. Fry 16 split cashews (8 whole) until slightly golden. Add 8 to 10 sweet raisins and fry until they turn plump. Remove them to a plate.
4. Next ½ cup aval/poha and saute on a low flame for a few minutes until they smell good. This step enhances the flavor of the payasam.
5. Mean while make a fine powder of 8 cashews and 2 tbsp poha or 1.5 tbsps rice flour.
6. The powder has to be fine.
7. Add this and fry well for a minute or two.
Make Aval Payasam
8. Pour 2 cups milk and stir well. Bring it to a boil on a medium high heat. Turn down to medium and cook until thick.
9. When the poha turns soft and the payasam turns thick, add ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder. If your payasam turns thick but poha remains hard, add ¼ more milk & cook.
10. Turn off the stove and filter the cooled jaggery syrup. Make sure the syrup is cooled completely else it will curdle the aval payasam.
11. Mix well and do not cook further. You can also add more ghee if you prefer.
Cool the aval payasam and offer as Naivedyam. Garnish with the nuts and raisins.
Aval Payasam Recipe for Krishna Jayanthi
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 8 cashew nuts (split before frying)
- 8 to 10 sweet raisins (optional)
- ½ cup poha /aval/ atukulu/ avalakki
- 2 cups milk (can use ¼ cup more)
- ½ cup jaggery grated
- 3 to 4 tablespoons Water to melt jaggery
- 3 to 4 green cardamoms powdered or ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
To Powder – thickens the payasam
- 2 tablespoons aval /poha or 1 to 1 ½ tsp rice flour
- 8 cashews or 3 to 4 tbsp coconut
Make Jaggery Syrup
- Add jaggery to a small pot along with 3 to 4 tbsp water. Melt the jaggery on a low flame.
- When the jaggery melts and begins to bubble up then set this aside to cool completely. The syrup must turn sticky and don’t need a string consistency.
How to Make Aval Payasam
- Powder cashews and poha in a blender to fine powder. Skip if using rice flour.
- Heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashews until lightly golden. Add raisins and fry until they turn plump. Set these aside.
- Add poha to the pan and keep frying on a low flame.
- Once the poha begins to smell good, then add the powder and fry for another 1 to 2 mins.
- Pour milk and begin to cook on a medium heat until the poha turns soft. Stir often to prevent the milk scorching at the bottom.
- In the meantime kheer thickens as well and the jaggery syrup has to cool down completely.
- Add cardamom powder. If using rice flour, stir it in ¼ cup milk. Make sure there are no lumps. Add it to the pot. Stir and cook on a medium heat until the payasam turns thick.
- Filter the cooled jaggery syrup to the payasam. Turn off the stove and mix everything well. Do not cook further, take it off from the stove.
- Add cashews and raisins. If desired some ghee as well.
- Serve aval payasam warm or cold.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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