Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam Recipe: Divine Kerala Dessert for Festivals & Sadhya

by - June 12, 2018

Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam, a renowned dessert offered at the Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple, served in a brass uruli alongside a brass container of uncooked rice and peacock feathers, symbolising Lord Krishna.

Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam - Divine Offering


Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam Recipe: A Traditional Kerala Ari Payasam

    Discover the rich and creamy delight of Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam, a traditional Kerala rice pudding that’s as simple as it is sublime. This iconic dessert, made with Kerala Rose Matta rice (also known as Unakkalari or Chembavu Ari), offers an authentic taste that sets it apart from its contemporaries.

    While many variations of rice kheer use Basmati rice, the classic Paal Payasam recipe adheres to tradition by using Rose Matta rice. This not only enhances the flavour but also contributes to the dessert’s signature pink hue and creamy texture. The secret to achieving this perfect blend of taste and texture lies in the slow-cooking method. Gently simmering the pudding on a low flame allows the rice to cook uniformly, absorbing the milky sweetness and transforming into a rich and velvety treat.

    Whether you’re a novice or an experienced cook, making Paal Payasam in your own kitchen is a rewarding experience. This dish isn’t just a treat for the taste buds; it’s a piece of Kerala’s culinary heritage, promising a taste of nostalgia with every spoonful.

Easy 3-Ingredient Paal Payasam Recipe: A Must-Try for Onam and Vishu

    Experience the simplicity and sweetness of Paal Payasam, a beloved Kerala dessert perfect for any festive occasion like Onam or Vishu. Made with just three basic ingredients—rice, milk, and sugar—this Payasam recipe is a quintessential dish in any Sadhya, (but only next to the prestigious Palada Pradhaman).

    For those who love a bit of texture and extra flavour, adding nuts and cardamom is optional but recommended. This version of Paal Payasam, also known as Vella Payasam or White Payasam, is uniquely prepared in a pressure cooker, simplifying the cooking process without compromising on taste.

    Whether you're celebrating a festival or just craving a sweet, creamy treat, this Paal Payasam recipe is sure to impress. It’s not only quick and easy but also ranks at the top of the list for most cherished festive desserts during major celebrations.

Discover the Divine Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam: A Culinary Gem from Kerala

    The legendary Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam is not just a sweet treat; it's a revered Naivedyam (offering) at the Sree Krishna Temple in Ambalapuzha. Known for its unique preparation and divine taste, this dish has a devout following.

    The secret to the unmatched flavour of Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam lies in its traditional cooking method. The recipe calls for milk, slowly reduced over six hours, combined with water drawn from the temple well and milk sourced directly from the temple's Goshala cows. Cooked in a traditional bronze Uruli, this method infuses the payasam with a heavenly essence that makes it more than just food—it's a taste of spirituality.

    While I have yet to experience this heavenly dessert first-hand, the storied reputation of Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam is enough to inspire any culinary enthusiast to try recreating it at home, bringing a piece of Kerala’s divine flavour into their own kitchen.

For more Payasam/Pradhaman/Kheer Recipes, Click here...

Cuisine - Kerala (India)
Recipe Type - Pradhaman/Payasam, Dessert
Difficulty - Easy
Serves - 4-6
Author - SM

Preparation Time - 15–25 Minutes
Cooking Time - 30–45 Minutes

Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam Recipe: A Traditional Kerala Dessert

Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam, a renowned dessert offered at the Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple, served in a brass uruli alongside a brass container of uncooked rice and peacock feathers, symbolising Lord Krishna.

Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam - Divine Offering

Ingredients for Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam:

Kerala Rose Matta Rice/Unakkalari - 4 tablespoons
Sugar: 10 tablespoons
Milk: 2 litres
Cardamom Powder: 1 teaspoon (optional)
Cashew Nuts: A few (optional)



Preparing the Rice:

  • Clean, wash, and soak the Kerala Rose Matta Rice in 1.5 cups of water for about 20–30 minutes.
  • Once soaked, drain the rice and discard the soaking water.

Prepping Add-ons (if at all you're adding it!):

  • Chop the cashew nuts into small pieces for later use.
  • Optionally, grind the cardamom along with a few teaspoons of sugar into a fine powder for enhanced flavour.

Cooking Method in Uruli (Traditional Bronze Vessel):

  • Heat the Uruli on medium-low heat and ensure it is clean and dry before use.
  • Add soaked rice, sugar, and a small amount of milk to the Uruli, stirring constantly.
  • Gradually add the rest of the milk and cook on low heat, stirring continuously to prevent sticking.
  • Once the rice is cooked and the milk reduces to a creamy consistency, add cardamom powder and chopped cashew nuts.
  • Continue cooking on low heat until desired thickness is achieved, stirring occasionally.

Cooking the Payasam in Pressure Cooker:

  • Combine the soaked rice, sugar, milk, cardamom powder, and chopped cashew nuts in a clean pressure cooker.
  • Secure the lid and cook on high heat until you hear the pressure release, then reduce to the lowest flame.
  • Continue to cook on low heat for 30–45 minutes, ensuring the flavours meld beautifully.

Final Steps:

  • After cooking, turn off the flame and allow the pressure cooker to naturally release steam and cool down completely.
  • Once cooled, gently stir the Paal Payasam to mix all the ingredients well.


  • Serve your Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam hot or chilled, as preferred.

Explore More Sadhya Recipes here...

Additional Tips & Notes for Perfect Paal Payasam:

  • Ensure the payasam is cooked on a very low flame to avoid any spills or burns.
  • For a different variation, you can use Basmati rice, which requires less soaking and cooking time.
  • Traditionally, this payasam is cooked in a bronze vessel (Uruli) for an authentic taste and texture.
  • If using a normal pan, ensure consistent stirring to prevent the payasam from sticking to the bottom.
  • Slow cooking is essential for achieving the rich, creamy texture and the signature pink hue of the Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam. 
  • Adjust the sweetness and toppings according to your taste, and enjoy this heavenly dessert from Kerala's culinary repertoire.

Crafting Tradition in Every Spoonful

    Each spoonful of this delightful dessert isn't just about savouring its creamy richness; it's about embracing a cherished piece of Kerala's culinary heritage. Whether you choose the traditional slow-cooked approach in an Uruli or opt for the modern ease of a pressure cooker, this Paal Payasam is a testament to the timeless allure of Indian sweets.

    Perfect for any festival, family gathering, or a quiet moment of reflection, this Paal Payasam promises to transport you straight to the heart of Kerala with its authentic flavours and soothing texture. So, why wait? Dive into the divine experience of making your own Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam and let your taste buds revel in the symphony of simplicity and sweetness.

    For those enchanted by the flavours of Kerala and inspired to try more, my blog has a treasure trove of traditional recipes that are as fulfilling to cook as they are to eat. Explore Essence of Life - Food and transform your kitchen into a festival of flavours!


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