There is a wide variety of payasam (a sweet dish) in South India, and Payasam pineapple is one of them. Ingredients common to all payasams are milk, ghee, and sugar, but Pineapple Payasam is made with pineapple, rice flour, and coconut milk, making it a vegan dish. To make payasam a bit healthier, jaggery instead of sugar is used to prepare it.

The sweet and sour flavor of pineapple gives a unique taste to payasam, while rice flour, used as a binder, thickens the dish. Coconut milk pairs well with the taste of pineapple and jaggery, while roasted cashews add crunch to the dish.

Two types of consistencies of coconut milk are used in the dish: thick and thin. Both are prepared from a single coconut, but each has a particular technique. To save time, one can also use ready-made coconut milk from the market – and make the coconut milk thin by adding water – but homemade coconut milk has its own charm. The different types of coconut milk add texture to the dish. Pineapple Payasam is a melt-in-your-mouth, healthy and tasty dessert. Payasam is similar to North Indian kheer.

Here is a recipe for Pineapple Payasam.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 coconut
  • Jaggery
  • Rice flour
  • Cashew nut
  • Ghi

Method:

  • Cut the pineapple into small cubes.
  • Put the cubes in a mixie and grind it to make a puree.
  • Grate the coconut and put it in the mixie, add half a cup of water and grind it to make a coarse paste.
  • To make thick coconut milk, strain the coconut paste by squeezing and extracting the coconut milk. You can also use a cloth for this by tightly binding the cloth with the coconut paste inside and then extracting the milk.
  • To make the fine coconut milk, put the leftover pressed coconut in a blendie, add half a cup of water and grind it.
  • Squeeze the coconut and extract the liquid milk.
  • Pour the fine coconut milk into a saucepan.
  • In a bowl, put two tablespoons of rice flour and half a cup of water, and mix well to make a paste.
  • Add the rice flour paste to the fine coconut milk and cook over low heat, stirring. Let boil.
  • Once the mixture thickens, add grated jaggery and mix until all the jaggery bits dissolve.
  • Add the pineapple puree and cook for two to three minutes.
  • Add the thick coconut milk and mix well, bring to a boil.
  • Add a pinch or half a teaspoon of cardamom powder and stir.
  • Remove the payasam from the flame.
  • In another pan, put two teaspoons of ghee, add one tablespoon of cashews and roast.
  • Place the roasted cashews in the payasam.
  • You can also put small pieces of pineapple as a garnish, giving the dish a good taste.