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Friday, August 20, 2021

Chakka Pradhaman(Payasam) | Chakka Varetti Payasam | Chakka Mani Payasam ~ Happy Onam !!

Onam is a festival of all Keralites irrespective of caste or religion or status, and it's the beginning of a Malayalam calendar year too. This year Onam is quite early and so kids are on vacations early as well. Though the situation in Kerala is not that favourable of celebrating Onam as a gathering but still family members are getting together to celebrate. Last year's Onam also vanished in covid lockdown and so this year people are trying to celebrate how much ever possible. We also are celebrating Onam at home and there are no elaborate celebrations, just the regular sadya preparations this time.

I have posted most of the regular payasams that we make for sadya - ada pradhaman, palada, ari payasam, parippu pradhaman, paal payasam and many other varieties which you can view below. But this time I thought to make pradhaman using chakka varetti. Chakka varetti is the easiest available ingredient now at home as I prepared and preserved chakka (jackfruit) in the season to enjoy the fruit throughout the year till next season. Though every season, I do prepare this payasam but I wasn't fully satisfied with the making as this payasam was just plain with full of jackfruit flavors.

 You can try making it without adding anything. But I needed something to chew other than the fried cashews, coconut bits and raisins, and so I tried adding small rice balls or made mani payasam with chakka varetti, sounds interesting ?? These looked super cute and lovely in the payasam to bite here and there, and everyone loved this idea. The only extra time needed in making this payasam is the making of small balls with the rice flour. I have used idiyappam flour(roasted smooth rice flour) and made very small balls (see pic) and these balls do swell up when cooked. Do give this a try and enjoy if you have chakka varetti ready at hand !!

Check out the below listed payasam / pradhaman that you can prepare this Onam-

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 40 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6 bowls of payasam
Author ~ Julie
jaggery 150-200 gms
water 1/2 cup
sliced coconut bits(thenga kothu) 1/2 cup
raisins 2 tbsp
cashews 2tbsp
cardamom powder 1 tsp
*dry ginger powder 1 tsp(optional)
ghee 4 tbsp  

to make mani(balls)
roasted rice flour / idiyappam podi 1/2 cup
water 1/4 cup
salt to taste
ghee 1 tsp


  • Extract the coconut milk from grated coconuts s given in this link here. If using canned coconut milk, dilute and keep accordingly.
  • Take the rice flour in a bowl, add salt(a pinch). Mix well and add boiling water to this, make a dough like for idiyappam or kozhukatta dough and add the ghee (a tsp) to this. Then make very small smooth balls out of it, place on a plate till use.

  • Add the jaggery cubes in a bowl and add the water. Melt on heat and strain to remove impurities. In another bowl, mix the chakka varetti (thaw to room temp before use) with third coconut milk till use.
  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add the strained jaggery syrup and add the rice flour balls and mix well. Let the balls come to a boil and cook well(second method listed in notes). 

  • As the balls cook and the jaggery mixture thickens, add the third milk mixed with chakka varetti. Cook again to reduce considerably and then add the second coconut milk. Combine and cook till the desired thickness of the payasam is achieved (takes about 15-20 minutes). 
  • Add in the cardamom powder, dry ginger powder and mix well without lumps.

  • In another pan, add ghee and fry the coconut bits, followed by cashews and raisins. Pour over the payasam and mix well.   Finally, add the first coconut milk, when you see bubbles in the corner or sides, switch off flame. Serve warm or chilled.

* Second method-You can cook the rice flour balls in a bowl of water. Bring to a boil and once cooked, strain and remove the balls. Add these balls to a bowl with cold water so that it doesn't stick together till use. This way the starch in the rice balls reduces, and then you can add these balls to the jaggery syrup, proceed further as listed above.
* You can even make this payasam without adding these rice balls, in that case just proceed with the chakka varetti mixed with third coconut milk to be mixed with jaggery syrup and the next steps remain the same as above with the making.
* Extract all the three milk of the coconut. I used 3.5 cups of grated coconut to extract the three. Refer this link to know how to extract the coconut milk in this post here. OR Dilute and use canned coconut milk.
* I have used about half a cup of small balls prepared which cooks to get swelled up, and they were not much crowded in the payasam. If you like more of them, take a little more rice flour and prepare the balls and use.
* It's always better to melt a little more jaggery than required just in case if the sweetness is not your desired level you can always add that extra strained jaggery syrup.
* If you are using fresh jackfruit bulbs, then use around 30–40 bulbs for this measure. Grind the bulbs to a smooth paste and make payasam or chop the bulbs and then directly sauté in ghee and use if you like small pieces to eat.
* As chakka varetti has jaggery and ghee in it, I have reduced the measure of ghee and jaggery but if you are using fresh jackfruit bulbs then, increase jaggery and ghee accordingly.
* Add the sabudana (1/2 cup) to uruli or heavy bottomed pan instead of making the mini balls, pour in the third coconut milk(2 cups). Add 1 cup more water and cook the sabudana till translucent (takes about 7–8 minutes). OR You can cook the sabudana separately in a bowl with enough water, strain once cooked and drain off the cooked water. This way reduces starch from sabudana if you don't like the payasam thick. We love the payasam thick, so cooked the sabudana with the water. (I used sabudana in the video).
* Dry ginger powder is added in the chakka varetti recipe so can omit adding in the payasam.

1 comment:

Angie's Recipes said... Best Blogger Tips

Happy Onam to you, Julie!
This is an exotic dish for me and I see that it requires lots of work, but definitely worth all of the labours.
Thank you for sharing it with us!