Indian Custard | Besan Payasam

This Payasam is better than custard.

Besan Payasam | Indian Custard | Indian Recipes | Desserts | Vegetarian | Eggless | A Life Time of Cooking

Often called Chickpea Porridge, this dish is not a porridge in the traditional sense, nor a custard. It is a South Indian Besan Payasam.

The recipe is simple. Take some chickpea flour. Add some saffron, sugar, cardamom, cashews and maybe some dried or fresh fruit and you have something sent directly from heaven, I am sure. And it is made in under 10 minutes. True instant food.

This is a dessert, but it is also great for breakfast. It can form a replacement for egg custard in lots of recipes. Imagine it layered trifle like with fresh fruit.

I like to call this dish a custard, despite being a payasam.

Are you after more Payasam recipes? Try Sago Payasam, Nachi’s Payasam, and Bengali Rice Kheer.

Other recipes that use Besan include: Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa, Farinata with Onions and Tomato, and Eggless Pasta and Noodles.

You can browse all Payasam recipes here, and all Besan recipes too. Or explore all of our Desserts. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or simply explore all of our Early Winter dishes.

Indian Eggless Custard Recipe

You might like to browse our Indian Desserts, or all of our Indian recipes here. And find inspiration in our easy Autumn recipes here.


Indian Eggless Custard Recipe

Besan Payasam | Indian Custard

This makes only a small amount – you may need to double or triple it depending on your use.

ingredients for each serve
just under 1 Tblspn ghee
200 ml milk
1 Tblspn chickpea flour
1 – 2 Tblspn sugar or jaggery
5 cashew nuts
a few raisins
3 or 4 strands of saffron
0.5 tspn cardamom powder, or seeds from 2 or 3 cardamom pods

Add the saffron strands to the milk and allow to stand for a few moments.

Roast the cashew nuts in ghee in a heavy pan on the stove. When they turn golden remove them from the ghee and keep aside. Roast the raisins in the same ghee till the colour changes slightly. Remove the raisins and keep aside.

Roast the chickpea floor in the same ghee until it is toasted – it becomes slightly darker and emits a lovely roasted aroma. Add the milk with the saffron and mix well, ensuring that there are no lumps. Add the sugar and cardamom, and boil gently for 5 minutes or until it thickens to a custard consistency. Add the cashews and raisins. Allow to for 5 mins. The consistency will thicken slightly.

Indian Custard Recipe

recipe notes

The cashews, saffron and cardamom are essential.

A note on sugar. The recipe says 1 – 2 Tblspns of sugar. If you have a sweet tooth or are eating this after a very hot curry, err towards the 2 Tblspns of sugar. If you prefer things not so sweet, stay around the 1 Tblspn. Both are nice. It is a personal choice.

Leave out the raisins and cashews and instead add star anise to the milk and serve the dish with sliced summer fruits topped with toasted coconut.

Roasted Cumquats with Flowering Thyme on Besan Custard (Payasam) and Passionfruit Syrup.

Jaggery sugar gives a lovely flavour, but it does darken the mixture. If you prefer a lighter dish, use white sugar.

File 13-02-2016, 10 05 08




27 thoughts on “Indian Custard | Besan Payasam”

  1. I would never, ever, have imagined this could work. But it looks and sounds incredible.

    Recipe bookmarked immediately!

    I know! It is like a little miracle in milk and chickpeas…. Lovely.

  2. It sounds and I am sures tastes delicious, would have never ever thought of it. If only I had known about this earlier. I have a huge box of custard powder sitting in my fridge, rarely being touched after the first use.

    Oh no! Donate the custard powder to a friend and bring out the besan!

  3. chickpea porridge…this I should try…

    Rachel, what a beautiful painting you are offering as a prize in CLICK! Yellow for Bri this month. It is beautiful.

  4. I would never have thought of using chickpea flour in a dessert! 😀

    Awesome photo you have done for Bri, TBC. I love it.

  5. I make payasam with besan flour in the same way. So the consistency will be runny. Loved the twist given to it.

    Oh, good to know it is like payasam. I think the consistency is dependent on the amount of besan that you use. I made mine like thick custard. But you could use less and have it more liquid.

  6. Custard with besan..sounds innovative and looks too good..hats off to you for trying out something like this…on my to-do list!!

    Great, Divya. I look forward to hearing about the results.

  7. This is very handy – I have a large batch of beasan waiting to be used up – maybe I’ll try the single-serve first and then make more of this.

    Great! Happy to be of assistance. I laughed a lot at your Concave Butt post.

  8. I’m also an Indian, but never heard/tasted this recipe earlier. It definitely looks very good. Will try it out very soon.

    Oh, I wonder why it is so unusual. So delish though.

  9. My god – that is incredible! Will definitely try this.

    Hi A-Kay. Yes it does seem to be from the inner worlds. I am glad that you will try it.

  10. Did try it and got an credits as well. i literally stumbled upon your blog
    sharing the Kreativ Blogger award with you
    pl pick it up from my blog

  11. Never had custard like this before so gave it a go. My pic doesn’t anywhere near this good, but the custard was excellent.

    Thanks, again.

  12. yummy! just awesome and infact i had never ever thought this way also a Besan could be. great. thanks

  13. reallllyyy intresting…. i am going to try it… like righhtttt now!!!!
    hey .. & i must say…. awesomeeeeeeeeeeee sitee

  14. Hi, interesting recipe. Thinking of trying it sometime…jus that none at home has a sweet tooth,but my son may enjoy. pls visit my blog when u find time.

  15. This just might work…I need a custard replacement for one of my favorite recipes since I can’t eat eggs any longer. Thanks for the idea!

  16. I’m curious whether you think this would work with fava/garbanzo bean flour (I have Bob’s Red Mill brand). Maybe I’ll just wing it and report back.

  17. Love your recipes, hubby dear loves anything I make..even my experimental dishes..lolz.
    I tend to visit your blog but dont always leave a comment..but thank you, really appreciate the time and effort you put in!!!
    Alizeh, Brisbane

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