Kujje Payasa (Jackfruit Dessert)

“There are many kinds of payasa (also known as payasam) made in Karnataka in South India, where I am from. This one is made with the yellow flesh of the jackfruit, is seasonal, and not usually made as a holy offering. The taste, however, is fabulous and it remains one of my favorite. It is said that jackfruit is somewhat an acquired taste, but what an acquisition! Here in the USA, I was able to find canned jackfruit in syrup in oriental stores. So I have adjusted this recipe to use ingredients that are available to me.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut milk.
  2. The jackfruit I buy comes in 8oz DRAINED weight, and 20oz net weight. Drain, rinse and dice the jackfruit if using canned.
  3. Now add the diced jackfruit and sugar to the coconut milk.
  4. Cook on medium low flame, stirring often until jackfruit is tender (about 40 minutes).
  5. In the last five minutes of cooking, stir in the cardamom.
  6. Serve either warm or chilled.
  7. NOTE: If you're able to find it, there's nothing like fresh juicy ripe jackfruit. For this dish, use firm fruit not the floppy one. Don't throw away the seeds - they can be roasted and taste somewhat like roasted chestnuts.
  8. For a more authentic flavor, use homemade coconut milk and jaggery in place of brown sugar.

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