Indian Jaggery Rice Pudding (Vellam Payasam)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins

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.
Most Helpful

I was fasting all through today and I made this for evening prayers as 'prasad' and then broke my fast with it. I liked it even though I had halved the recipe and used 1 whole cup of water to cook the rice. Unfortunately, the 1/4 cup rice I used did not cook sufficiently in 1 cup of water. I was helpless as I was fasting and I couldn't taste the rice to check if it was cooked or not. I proceeded with adding the jaggery and with the remaining steps. Made the payasam and served it as prasad to everyone. Only when I tasted it did I realise that I hadn't cooked the rice perfectly. The pudding is tasty even though the rice is 3/4th cooked. I like it, honestly. However, mom and dad didn't like it, because of the rice not being completely cooked. I'm going to add some water and cook the completed payasam in a while on the stove, and, I'll probably review once again if I manage to make it a success. But I must tell you that as a prasad, after my 'Sinful and heavenly divine semolina halwa', this is really good, IMO.

Charishma_Ramchandani December 20, 2002