Pazham Payasam| Mixed Fruit Kheer

Pazham Payasam is a delightful twist to the regular kheer varieties we make. It is a more decadent version of kheer, with the unique flavour of mixed fruits. You can add whatever fruits are in season to this kheer – every time you make it, it tastes different!

I had been trying out Pazham Payasam for the blog for some time, and recently nailed the recipe after a few trials. It turned out perfectly the last time I made it, and was such a huge hit with the family! In fact, we offered this Pazham Payasam or Mixed Fruit Kheer to our kutti Krishna too, as prasadam, this Janmashtami. In today’s blog post, I am going to share with you all how I made it. Do try it out this recipe this festive season – I would love to hear how you liked it.

Pazham Payasam or Mixed Fruit Kheer

How to make Pazham Payasam

Pazham Payasam is not a very difficult thing to make, but it does need a bit of patience. As in the case of all payasams, milk is cooked till it reduces and thickens. It is sweetened with sugar, and a paste made of soaked and ground cashewnuts is added to make it thicker and richer.

The milk mixture is allowed to cool down completely (or chilled in the refrigerator, if you so prefer). It is served with chopped fruits of your choice mixed in.

I did not use too many ingredients in my Pazham Payasam, preferring to keep it simple. I flavoured it using a wee bit of cardamom powder, and used three basic fruits only. It tasted beautiful as is, but if you want to make it more exotic and rich, I have shared some notes in the ‘Tips & Tricks’ section.

Pazham Payasam or Mixed Fruit Kheer recipe

Here is how I made it.

Ingredients (serves 4 -5):

1. 1 litre full-cream milk

2. 1/4 cup sugar or as per taste

3. 12-15 cashewnuts

4. 2 pinches of cardamom powder

5. 1/2 of a medium-sized apple

6. 1 small banana

7. 1/2 of a medium-sized pomegranate


Top left: Step 1, Top centre and right: Step 2, Bottom left and centre: Step 3, Bottom right: Step 4

1. Soak the cashewnuts in some boiling hot water for about 2 hours. When they are done soaking, drain out all the water from them.

2. Take the soaked and drained cashewnuts in a small mixer jar. Add in about 1/4 cup milk. Grind together to a smooth paste.

3. Take the rest of the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place on high flame. Allow the milk to get heated up and then come to a boil. Reduce the flame to low-medium at this stage.

4. Add in the sugar. Mix well. Allow the sugar to get completely dissolved in the milk. Keeping the flame at low-medium, cook for 4-5 minutes or till the milk has started to thicken. Stir intermittently. Scrape down the cream that forms on the sides of the pan, back into the milk.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom right and left: Steps 7 and 8

5. Add the cashewnut paste to the pan at this stage, constantly stirring.

6. Let the mixture cook on low-medium flame for 4-5 minutes more or till it has thickened nicely. You will need to stir a little more frequently now. Continue to scrape down the cream forming on the sides of the pan back into the milk. Switch off gas when the mixture has thickened up well but not overly so. Remember that it will thicken up more as it cools.

7. Mix in the cardamom powder once the gas is switched off. Allow the mixture to cool down completely. If you want, you can chill the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours (after it has fully cooled down).

8. Mix the fruits into the mixture just before serving. Peel the banana and chop into small cubes. Chop the apple into small cubes too. Separate the pomegranate arils. Add the readied fruit to the milk mixture. Your Chettinad Pazha Payasam or Mixed Fruit Kheer is ready to serve – serve it immediately.

Other Payasam recipes on the blog

I have shared several payasam varieties on the blog so far. You might be interested in checking out the recipes.

Tips & Tricks

1. Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed pan to make this kheer.

2. The kheer needs to be cooked mostly on a low-medium flame, to avoid burning and for a nicer flavour. Stir more frequently after the cashewnut paste is added in, as it tends to settle at the bottom of the pan.

3. Do stir constantly while adding in the cashewnut paste. Otherwise, the paste might not be evenly distributed into the milk.

4. For best results, use only full-fat milk to make the Pazham Payasam. I have used full-cream milk from Nandini here.

5. Adjust the amount of sugar you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

6. I have used only cashewnut paste to thicken the payasam here, and it worked beautifully. You can even use a mix of cashewnuts and almonds. If you are using almonds, make sure you remove the skin after soaking, before grinding them.

7. You can use any fruit of your choice in the payasam. Seedless grapes, orange segments and mango make for wonderful additions. I prefer using crisp Fuji apples and Robusta bananas in the payasam. Glace cherries would also go very well in this dessert.

8. Make sure you add the fruit only after the milk mixture has cooled down completely.

9. This Pazham Payasam tastes best when chilled. Place it in the refrigerator to chill only after it has completely cooled down. Get it out of the fridge a little while before you serve it, and add in the fruits.

10. You may add a few strands of saffron to the milk while it is cooking. Here, I haven’t.

11. If the milk gets too thick, adjust the consistency using a little boiled and cooled milk. If you feel the payasam is lacking in sweetness at a later stage, add in some sugar dissolved completely in warm milk.

12. Do not let the payasam sit for too long after adding the fruits. The fruits should be added just before serving. In case you are using citrus fruits, it can cause the payasam to become bitter if left in for too long.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


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