javvarisi payasam

Javvarisi payasam (stovetop & instant pot)

By Swasthi on August 29, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Javvarisi payasam is a sweet dish made with tapioca pearls, sweetener, milk, cardamoms, cashews and raisins. Javvarisi is the Tamil name for tapioca pearls & are also known as sago. These tiny balls are made from tapioca starch which is obtained from the tuberous roots of cassava plant.


javvarisi payasam in a silver bowl offered during pooja

Sago, is more popularly known as sabudana in Hindi and are used in to make many dishes like sabudana khichdi, sabudana vada, sabudana kheer and payasam.

Most people make foods with sago during fasting or festivals to offer the deities. Javvarisi payasam is one such traditional dish from Tamilnadu.

About this recipe

Make this javvarisi payasam either on the stovetop or in instant pot with my easy instructions. It is creamy & delicious with lots of traditional flavours that come from jaggery and cardamoms.

This is a simple recipe that can be made in no time during festivals & occasions. Every household has a different recipe to make payasam. So there are a few different ways to make it.

For this recipe, I have roasted sago in ghee until they pop and turn light. This method helps to cook them faster than the regular way.

Traditionally payasam is made with jaggery as refined sugar does not give the real taste. However you can make this with sugar, kalakandu (rock sugar) or even with palm jaggery.

To make the recipe vegan, skip ghee and use light coconut milk, thin coconut milk or almond milk.

sago payasam with ladoos on the side

Javvarisi payasam step-by-step photos

I have shown making this in an instant pot. Follow the same steps to make it in a regular pot.

1. Heat 1 ½ to 2 tablespoon ghee in a heavy bottom pot. Then add 15 cashews and fry until lightly golden. To make in instant pot, press the saute button and add ghee to the steel insert. When the ghee melts, fry the nuts until light golden. Then add 10 raisins and stir until they turn plump.

frying nuts and cashews in ghee

2. Remove the nuts and raisins to a small plate.

transfer nuts to plate

3. Add ½ cup javvarisi/ sago and fry them stirring continuously.

roast javvarisi in ghee to make payasam

4. Spread them evenly and let fry.

popped javvarisi

5. In a minute or so they will begin to pop and turn light. Fry them until all of the sago pops. This takes 3 minutes.

popped sago in a spatula to make payasam

6. Then pour 2 cups water and stir well. Let the water come to a rolling boil and then simmer. Keep stirring in between and cook until javvarisi is completely cooked.

Instant pot: Pour the water and deglaze the pot by scrubbing with the spatula. Cover the Instant pot and position the steam release valve to sealing. Press the pressure cook button and set the timer to 3 mins. I used the regular sized normal sago. If you use smaller sago then you may cut down the time.

pour water to make javvarisi payasam

7. When they are done, they will turn transparent and starchy. If javvarisi is still undercooked then you may add more hot water and cook further.

Instant pot: When the pressure drops naturally open the lid. It will be runny at this stage.

pressure cooked sago

8. Pour 1 cup milk and give a good stir. Cook stirring in between until it turns thick. If you prefer more milk you may add. But I added 1 cup.

Instant pot: Press the saute button and let it cook until thick.

pour milk to cooked javvarisi

9. Within 5 mins my javvarisi payasam started to thicken. It will thicken after cooling so turn off the heat when it is still slightly runny. Add cardamom powder and turn off. I prefer to use jaggery so did not add sugar. If you want, add ½ cup sugar and boil for 2 to 3 more minutes until the sugar dissolves and blends well.

thick javvarisi payasam in instant pot with cardamom powder on top

10. Take off the pot from the heat and set aside to cool. To use jaggery, there are 2 options, you can add powdered jaggery directly after the payasam cools down a bit or make the jaggery syrup.  Javvarisi payasam made with jaggery syrup tastes the best than adding jaggery directly.

I made the jaggery syrup by dissolving 1/3 cup (80 grams) jaggery with 3 tbsps water. Bring it to a rolling boil. Simmer until it dissolves and thickens slightly. Turn off and cool this as well. When the payasam cools down, it turns thick.

cooled payasam in a pot with jaggery cooling on the side

11. Filter the jaggery syrup to the cooked javvarisi and give a good stir. But remember not to add hot syrup to the payasam. I cool down both and mix when they are warm. I didn’t have to add all of the jaggery. So add only as needed.

filter jaggery syrup

12. Add ghee fried cashew nuts and raisins.

javvarisi payasam made in instant pot, topped with nuts and raisins

Serve javvarisi payasam warm or cold as a dessert.

javvarisi payasam served in a bowl to offer

More recipes from Tamil cuisine
Aval laddu
Murukku

Thattai
Aval payasam

Pro tips

Soaking: To cut down the cooking time, soak javvarisi in boiling hot water for 30 mins.  To do this, bring 2 cups water to a rapid boil. Add half cup sago and turn off the stove. Cover and rest for 30 mins. You will see they will soak up the water and swell. After 30 mins cook them until transparent.

Milk: You can add cold, hot or preboiled milk to make the payasam. Using hot milk will save some time.

Javvarisi/sago: I have used normal sago that is of regular size. You can also use the smaller pearls or even nylon sago but cut down the cooking time.

Sweetener: palm jaggery, regular jaggery or sugar can be used. If using jaggery ball or cubes, it is good to dissolve in water to get rid of debris. Then boil it until this thickens. Boiling jaggery syrup makes the payasam very delicious which you won’t get by adding the powdered jaggery directly.  

javvarisi payasam
What is javvarisi made of?

Javvarisi is made of tapioca starch which is obtained from the tuberous roots of cassava plant.

Is sago & tapioca pearls same?

Yes. In India, sago & tapioca both refer to the same thing.

For similar easy payasam recipes, check
Semiya payasam
Moong dal payasam
Chana dal payasam

Related Recipes

Recipe card

javvarisi payasam

Javvarisi payasam (sago payasam)

Make this javvarisi payasam either on the stovetop or in instant pot with tapioca pearls, jaggery, milk and cardamoms. It is creamy & delicious with lots of traditional flavours.
Pin Recipe Print Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings3
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • tablespoons ghee
  • 15 cashewnuts or as needed
  • 10 raisins or as needed
  • ½ cup Javvarisi (sago, tapioca pearls)
  • 2 cups water (½ cup more if needed)
  • 1 cup full fat milk (½ cup more if needed)
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • cup jaggery (80 grams, or ½ cup sugar or palm jaggery)

Instructions

  • Heat 1 ½ tablespoon ghee in a heavy bottom pot. When the ghee becomes hot, fry 15 cashews until light golden.
  • Then add 10 raisins and stir until they turn plump. Remove them to a bowl and set aside for garnishing later.
  • Add ½ cup javvarisi and fry them in the ghee stirring continuously. Under 1 to 2 minutes they will begin to pop and become light.
  • Pour 2 cups water & give a good stir. Let the water come to a rolling boil. Simmer & cook until javvarisi is transparent meaning it is cooked. Keep stirring in between so they do not stick to the bottom of the pot & burn.
  • When they are done, they will turn transparent and the whole mixture will become starchy. If javvarisi is still undercooked then you may add more hot water and cook further.
  • Pour 1 cup milk and give a good stir. If you prefer more milk you can add another ½ cup. Cook on a low to medium heat until it turns thick.
  • Add cardamom powder and sugar (if using). Cook until the sugar dissolves for 2 to 3 minutes. To use jaggery let the javvarisi payasam cool down a bit. Meanwhile make the jaggery syrup. Alternately you can add the jaggery powder directly after the payasam cools down a bit.
  • Take off the pot from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • To make the jaggery syrup dissolve 1/3 cup (80 grams) jaggery with 3 tbsps water. Bring it to a rolling boil. Simmer until it dissolves and thickens slightly. Turn off and cool this as well.
  • Filter the jaggery syrup to the cooked javvarisi and give a good stir. But remember not to add hot syrup to the hot payasam. I cool down both and mix when they are warm.
  • Add ghee fried cashewnuts and raisins. Serve javvarisi payasam warm or cold as a dessert.

Instant pot sago payasam

  • Press saute button on the Instant pot and add ghee to the steel insert. When the ghee melts, fry the nuts until light golden. Then fry the raisins until they become plump. Remove them to a plate.
  • Add javvarisi and fry them for 1 to 2 mins. They will pop in sometime and become light.
  • Pour water and deglaze the pot by scrubbing the bottom with the spatula. Secure the Instant pot with the lid and position the steam release valve to sealing. Press the pressure cook button and set the timer to 3 mins. I used the regular sized normal sago. If you use smaller sago then you may cut down the time.
  • When the instant pot is done, it beeps. Wait for the pressure to drop naturally. Then open the lid and give a good stir.
  • Pour milk and cook on saute mode until the payasam turns thick and creamy.
  • Add cardamom powder and sugar. Let it simmer for 2 to 3 mins until the sugar dissolves. To use jaggery, remove the steel insert from the Instant pot and cool down slightly.
  • Stir in powdered jaggery until all of it dissolves. You can also make jaggery syrup by dissolving it with 3 tbsps water. Bring it to a rolling boil and then simmer until thick. Cool down and filter this to the payasam. Ensure both these are not very hot.
  • Garnish javvarisi payasam with fried nuts and cashews.

Notes

  • Soaking: To cut down the cooking time, soak javvarisi in boiling hot water for 30 mins.  To do this, bring 2 cups water to a rapid boil. Add half cup sago and turn off the stove. Cover and rest for 30 mins. You will see they will soak up the water and swell. After 30 mins cook them until transparent.
  • Milk: You can add cold, hot or preboiled milk to make the payasam. Using hot milk will save some time.
  • Javvarisi/sago: I have used normal sago that is of regular size. You can also use the smaller pearls or even nylon sago but cut down the cooking time.
  • Sweetener: palm jaggery, regular jaggery or sugar can be used. If using jaggery ball or cubes, it is good to dissolve in water to get rid of debris. Then boil it until this thickens.
  • Boiling jaggery syrup makes the payasam very delicious which you won’t get by adding the powdered jaggery directly.  
  • This recipe has been tested in 6 qt IP with 1x & 2x only.

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)

Nutrition Facts
Javvarisi payasam (sago payasam)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 339 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 78mg3%
Potassium 171mg5%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 132IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 104mg10%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

This post was first published in September 2014. Updated and republished in December 2020.

javvarisi payasam recipe
Javvarisi payasam (stovetop & instant pot)

About Swasthi

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.

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21 Comments
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Hi, there is no need to wash sago initially in water until we get clear water??

5 stars
showed to my mother ,cooked accordingly , it was good in taste , we did not used cashew and raisins, we added ghee after cooking it

Hi Swasthi,
I was just wondering, do I use fresh milk or full cream milk for this recipe? Thanks! 🙂

5 stars
Very well explained.

5 stars
I tried this payasam today, it’s super delicious ???, thank u..

Wow nice mam I am a big fan of you ??

Wow nice mam I am a big fan of you ??

Once I added jaggery, it looked like the milk split. Is it normal?

i like your recipie and it is helpful i need kerala dishes pls tell

5 stars
diwali sweets very nice

5 stars
Really very helpfull n very good recipes tq so much….helps a lot in emergency