Indian Jaggery Rice Pudding (Vellam Payasam)

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“This is my mom's recipe for authentic South Indian Jaggery pudding. 'Vellam' is the Tamil word for 'jaggery', while 'payasam' is Tamil for 'pudding'. Jaggery is tan coloured, unrefined sugar, made from the sap of palm trees or sugar cane, and is much more flavourful than granulated sugar. It's often sold in solid cakes, but it should crumble when you squeeze it. Look for it in Indian markets. In this recipe, preferably don't substitute the jaggery with anything else, since the pudding gets most of it's flavour from the jaggery. I've tried this only with jaggery, so I don't know how it would turn out with substitutes. For more information on jaggery, use this link:”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Add rice and water to a pot on a high flame and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower the flame to low and simmer covered until the rice is cooked, about 15 minutes.
  3. Uncover, add jaggery and 2 1/2 tablespoons of ghee and let the mixture simmer on the low flame, stirring every 2 minutes.
  4. When the mixture starts to thicken to the consistency of pourable custard (about 10 minutes), remove from flame.
  5. Sprinkle cardamom powder over the pudding.
  6. In a small skillet, roast the broken cashewnuts in 1/2 tbsp ghee and pour over the pudding.
  7. Mix well, and serve immediately, or cold, after refrigeration.

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