Kasa Kasa Payasam

Poppy Seed Payasam is a nutty and creamy sweet dish made with white poppy seeds, coconut and saffron simmered in milk and topped with toasted cashews. Payasam is a typical Indian traditional sweet usually made for festivals and as a sweet treat in homes.

Poppy seeds are tiny seeds known as kasa kasa in Tamil. Indian recipes usually use white poppy seeds rather than the black ones, so look for them in your Indian supermarket. They are used for their flavour, texture and thickening qualities.

Did you know that poppy seeds calm the mind and stimulate the digestion? In Ayurveda the taste is pungent, astringent and sweet. Its heating action acts as a vata calmer. Used with nutmeg or valerian they can induce relaxing sleep.

Similar recipes include Char Grilled Stone Fruit with Scented Yoghurt, Sago Payasam, Vermicelli Payasam, and Besan Payasam.

Browse all of our Payasam recipes, and all of our Desserts. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Roasted Cumquats with Flowering Thyme on Besan Custard (Payasam) and Passion Fruit Syrup

One of our cumquat trees is hanging heavy with fruit, looking gorgeous in the Autumn sun. The other one is covered in flowers! Go figure the timing! It is a different variety though, so perhaps that accounts for it.

We use a lot of cumquats, loving cumquat tea, poached cumquats, cumquat jam, cumquat pickles and  many other ways of using them.  I saw a house with a cumquat tree hedge recently, and I have just gone wild thinking about how I can do that at my place!

Today we are roasting the cumquats, and using them with some of our thyme that is flowering in the garden, and the seeds and juice of passion fruit, and sitting it all on an eggless custard type mixture that I love to make. I call it Indian custard, but its real name is Besan Payasam.

BTW, In Australia we spell passionfruit as one word. They are abundant here and we take them for granted. We eat them fresh from the garden, we use the pulp for our national dish Pavlova, and we used to drink Passiona soft drink by the litre back in the day.

Similar dishes include Kasa Kasa Payasam, Cumquat Mango Chutney, Sago Payasam, Pandan Rice Pudding with Lime Syrup and Fruits, and  Cumquats and Gin.

Browse all of our Cumquat dishes and our Dessert Recipes. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Sago Payasam | South Indian Dessert

A classic dessert of Tamil Nadu

Sago Payasam is a classic dessert in Tamil Nadu in South India, along with Vermicelli and Rice Payasams. Payasams are sweet desserts, the milk condensing and thickening as it cooks and the sugar sweetens this thick mixture to a level almost beyond the experience of cooks outside of India. Hold back on the sugar to begin with if you do not have a sweet tooth.

Similar dishes include Kasa Kasa Payasam, and Sago Pachadi.

You might also like our Payasam recipes here. Or our Sago recipes are here. Explore our Indian Desserts here, or the more general Dessert recipes here.

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Vermicelli Payasam

I have had this recipe since forever. It is the kind of dessert you want to eat on a night you are feeling a little vulnerable and out of sorts with the world. It will make you feel great again.

It is so easy, so simple, very wonderful, especially after a hot Indian meal. Given to me by an Indian friend, I believe this recipe is much much better than one published in a recent popular large book on India and Indian food. It is very special.

Nachi made this often and taught me to make it, although he was never too keen to have me cook it for him. He was very particular, and I was still learning, particularly about the precision needed in traditional Indian dishes. One cardamon pod either way, and you could spoil the dish. I had to lose my free-form, flexible Australian ways. We also often made his favourite vegetable dish, Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Madras Curry.

Are you after more Payasam recipes? Try Kasa Kasa Payasam, Besan Payasam, Sago Payasam, Nachi’s Payasam, and Bengali Rice Kheer. You get two Payasams for one, here – Sago and Vermicelli.

You might like to browse our Payasam recipes here. Or our other Desserts here. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or simply explore all of our Late Winter dishes.

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Sevai Kheer | Vermicelli Payasam

A delicious dessert from a Parsi lady.

There is a fabulous cook in Sydney, a Persian (Irani) lady from the North of India, who cooks a mean yoghurt curry and this lovely dessert. She is an Ayurvedic healer and Bowen therapist and I love her work. You will enjoy this dessert.

You can browse our other Payasam recipes, and the Dessert recipes here. Explore our Summer recipes.

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Indian Essentials: How to Make Payasam | Two Payasams | Indian Vermicelli and Sago

Indian Desserts are something else! Especially Payasam.

Indian Desserts are something else! Especially Payasam. Payasam is the South Indian version of Kheer.

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

You might like to browse our Payasam recipes, or our other Desserts. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or simply explore all of our Late Winter recipes.

Feel free to also browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Lemony Sago in Coconut Milk | Sabudana Coconut Payasam

Sago is back in fashion!

Sago is back in fashion! It is wonderful when it is paired with enough lemon juice that it is tangy, and enough jaggery that it is sweet, and swimming in coconut milk. A truly delicious and cooling dessert, just made for hot weather. It can be served hot, cold and at room temperature.

Are you after other Sago dishes? Try Sago Pachadi, Sago Payasam, and Sago Pilaf.

You might like to browse all Sago recipe and explore all of our Dessert recipes. See the complete set of Indian recipes too.  Or be inspired by our Late Spring dishes.

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Bengali Rice Kheer

This dish can be made at any time, and it is also a favourite sweet at Diwali.

This beautiful Indian dessert is a favourite dish made at Diwali, but it can be made at any time. It is quite wonderful, an Indian take on a rice pudding. One of the beautiful traditions of Diwali is the making and sharing of sweet things.

Similar recipes include Warm Rice Pudding with Star Anise Sauce, Pandan Rice Pudding with Lime Syrup, Sago Payasam, and Greek Rice Pudding.

You might like to browse our dessert recipes here, or our Indian recipes too. Find inspiration in our Mid-Spring recipes.

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Indian Custard | Besan Payasam

This Payasam is better than custard.

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.

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