Ambalapuzha Pal Payasam

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We are starting the final week of BM#52, this week I will be doing Temple Prasadams. This theme will feature three interesting temple prasadams from different parts of India. I tried not to repeat the state and gather as much as information as I could.This theme is quite a challenge in many ways. One I am not a great temple goer, two I have given  company to people who think that temple visits are meant to be vacations. So you can imagine I have visited lot of temples all through my growing up years. And continuing now with Hubby dear. I know those are contradictory statements, however these are things that has made me what I am.

Growing up, I have seen two different beliefs, one that begins and ends with daily long hours of prayers and traditional customs. The other that says one does not have to go to temple to pray, or to be religious to be pious.Ambalapuzha Pal PayasamMy parents have never really forced either of their beliefs on me. I have arrived at my own beliefs and stand. However I have been a willing company to all their beliefs and doings. Result is, I have visited lot of temples along with Amma and then with Hubby dear, while still holding on to my beliefs. That has resulted in me gathering much more than what I might otherwise achieved.

Well that’s for another post, my beliefs and my spiritual hold can run for pages and this is not really the space to talk about it. Its just that I never do anything in half measures and it goes on to say, these posts were enlightening as much as I could expect.

First in the series is Ambalapuzha Pal Payasam, from the Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple.
I am sure many would agree that replicating the same taste of a temple prasadam at home, is almost next to impossibility. Even though what we make will taste great, it still would not be the same.

Ambalappuzha  is a small town in the Alappuzha district of Kerala state, south India. The town is noted for its Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, one of the three important Sri Krishna temples in the state of Kerala.

According to the legend, Lord Krishna, in disguise of a sage, won a game of chess against the king and the prize was every square would have double the number of grains. In the end, it meant even if the entire kingdom grains was poured, it wasn’t enough. Seeing the king’s dilemma, Lord Krishna appeared in his true form and told the King to pay off his debt by offering paal payasam made of rice and milk, in the temple freely to the pilgrims every day until the debt was paid off.
This sweet pudding is made of rice and milk and differs slightly from the regular Rice Kheer that we make. Traditionally Chemba Rice is used, however recent adaptation uses Basmati as well. I was all for getting Chemba rice, but couldn’t get it in the last moment. So went ahead with
Basmati rice for this pudding.

Ambalapuzha Pal Payasam

Ingredients Needed:

Chemba rice / Basmati Rice – 1/2 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Milk – 1 1/2 cup
Cashew and raisins – handful each
Ghee – 4 tbsp
A pinch of cardamom powder

How to make Pal Payasam

Wash and soak the basmati rice for 30 mins.

Pressure cook the rice and keep aside.

Heat a non stick pan with ghee, fry the cashew and raisins till it turns golden brown. Keep it aside.

Next add 2 tsp of sugar and keep stirring continuously until the sugar melts and the colour of the ghee changes to brown. The sugar also caramelizes.

Add milk to it carefully and slowly from sideways and bring it to boil.

Once the milk starts boiling add the cooked rice to it and again allow it to boil. Now add the remaining sugar.

Continue to boil till the mixture becomes bit thick.

Now add the fried cashews and raisins and cardamom powder. Mix well and switch off.

Offer as prasadam to Lord Krishna before partaking.


When you are trying to brown the sugar, don’t wait for long as it will hard.

Simmer before adding the milk, else it might curdle.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM

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Ambalapuzha Pal Payasam
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  1. This is my favourite. We go to this temple just to get this payasam and we get it in litres!!! We can actually see the place where they make this payasam. They make it in a very large chembu – the milk is directly taken from the cows over there. Just a small correction. The rice is cooked in the milk. So first boil the milk – add rice, keep stirring until rice is cooked and then add sugar. This is how they do at the temple. At the temple only cardamom powder is added – no cashews/raisins and final payasam will be pink in color which is from the milk itself it seems.

  2. Ruchi Thanks for writing on the temple preparation. Yes I too wanted to boil the rice in the milk. However for ease I boiled it first and then boiled it again in milk. Its wonderful to know about your experience. Thanks for sharing..:)

  3. Thanks for the theme valli, though i m not well, i really wanted to do this theme!!
    Payasa prasadam looks delicious and the story behind is very interesting. Thanks to Ruchi, for giving more info on the prasadam.

  4. This is the first time, i heard about this temple & this prasadham..sounds interesting.Immediately searched in google and the city & temple are very scenic..The payasam looks tempting and the story behind this prasadham is interesting. Loved the idol in the first picture..

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