Chena Payasam

The holiday season is here! Time to sweeten our mouths with some delicious desserts. Starting with a wonderful Kerala dessert, chena payasam, a.k.a yam payasam. Enjoy the lovely flavor of yam, jaggery, and coconut milk in this exquisite payasam. It’s hard to stop with one bowl 🙂


  • Prep time – 30 minutes
  • Cook time – 15 minutes


  • Chena (Yam) – 250 g
  • Jaggery (Add more if you want it sweeter) – 350 g
  • Raisin – 25 g
  • Cashew Nut – 25 g
  • Thick Coconut Milk – 1 cup
  • Thin Coconut Milk – 2 cups
  • Ghee – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Cardamom (Crushed and skin removed) – 5
  • Dry Ginger Powder – a pinch (OPTIONAL)
  • Coconut Slices (Thinly Sliced) – 1 tbsp (OPTIONAL)


  1. Remove skin of chena (yam) and cut in cubes. Boil or pressure cook till soft.
  2. Drain and set aside till cool. Then blend till it is a smooth paste.
  3. Dissolve jaggery in a little water and heat until it melts, strain this mixture to get rid of any sediments.
  4. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot, and add the jaggery mixture. When it boils, add the chena (yam) and keep mixing till it becomes thick. Add a little ghee (1 to 2 tbsp) to the mixture and mix.
  5. Add the thin coconut milk and keep stirring till it becomes thick.
  6. Add the thick coconut milk and mix well.
  7. Add the cardamom and ginger powder at this stage. Mix well and turn off the stove.
  8. Prepare the garnish by frying the cashew nuts, raisins, coconut slices, in remaining ghee. Add this to the cooked payasam and mix well.
  9. Serve warm 🙂



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