Onam 2023: 5 mouthwatering desserts from Kerala you must try this Onam - Hindustan Times

Onam 2023: 5 mouthwatering Kerala desserts you absolutely must indulge in this Onam

Aug 24, 2023 04:14 PM IST

Onam 2023: Check out some delicious traditional Kerala desserts that not only celebrate Kerala's rich cultural heritage but will also tantalize your taste buds.

Onam is a major harvest festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the most important cultural events and is celebrated with much fanfare and fervour by the Malayali community in Kerala, India. The festival also marks Kolla Varsham, the beginning of the Malayalam calendar year. It is celebrated during the month of Chingam, which falls in either August or September on the Gregorian calendar. This year, it extends over a period of 10 days, beginning on August 20 and ending on August 31. The 10-day Onam celebrations, also known as Thiru-Onam or Thiruvonam, are marked with great pomp across Kerala as people honour the return of the mythical King Mahabali, who is woven into a web of stories and myths. (Also read: Onam Sadhya 2023: From history to traditions, here's everything you need to know about this grand feast of Onam )

As the festive season approaches, it's time to embark on a delectable journey through the delightful sweets that grace Onam feasts across Kerala. (Pinterest)
As the festive season approaches, it's time to embark on a delectable journey through the delightful sweets that grace Onam feasts across Kerala. (Pinterest)

Grand feasts are an essential part of every Indian festival, and Onam is no exception. On the last day of the festival, families prepare and partake in Onasadya, the grand Onam feast. And when it comes to the feast, it is impossible not to indulge in mouth-watering desserts. Here are some must-try sweet delicacies that capture the essence of Onam's festive spirit.

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Must-Try Kerala Desserts for This Onam

1. Paal Payasam

(Recipe by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor)

Paal Payasam recipe (Pinterest)
Paal Payasam recipe (Pinterest)


1/8 cup Kerala matta rice

4 cups milk (full-fat milk)

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp cardamom powder optional

Method :

1. Grind-washed Kerala rice coarsely.

2. Heat 4 cups of milk in a casserole and bring it to a boil.

3. Keep stirring to avoid burning.

4. Add Kerala matta rice.

5. Cook until the rice is mushy and completely cooked.

6. Add sugar.

7. Add cardamom powder and cook until it's thick and creamy.

8. Pal Payasam is ready to be relished.

2. Ada Pradhaman

(Recipe by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor)

Ada Pradhaman recipe(Pinterest)
Ada Pradhaman recipe(Pinterest)


1 cup ada

¼ cup ghee

10-12 cashew nuts

2 tablespoon raisins

1 cup thin coconut milk

½ cup thick coconut milk

200 grams palm jiggery

A pinch of green cardamom powder


1. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a deep non-stick pan. Add cashew nuts and raisins and fry till light golden in colour. Keep aside.

2. Heat 1 tbsp. of ghee in the same non-stick pan. Add the ada sauté till light golden brown in colour. Add 1 cup water and mix.

3. Add thin coconut milk and mix well.

4. Cover and cook till the ada is soft taking care not to mash it.

5. Add jaggery and continue cooking till the mixture is thick.

6. Add the thick coconut milk and mix. Reserve a few cashew nuts and raisins for garnish and add the rest to the pan. Stir well and heat through without boiling the mixture.

7. Sprinkle the cardamom powder.

8. Transfer into a serving bowl. Garnish with remaining fried cashew nuts and raisins and serve hot.

3. Elayappam

(Recipe by Chef Tarla Dalal)

Elayappam recipe (Pinterest)
Elayappam recipe (Pinterest)


For The Jaggery Filling

1 cup chopped jaggery (gur)

1 tsp ghee

1/4 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder

1 cup grated coconut

For The Rice Flour Dough

1 cup rice flour (chawal ka atta)

1/2 tsp ghee

salt to taste

Other Ingredients For Ela Ada

1 banana leaf, cut into 75 mm × 75 mm. square


For the jaggery filling

1. Combine the jaggery and ¼ cup of water in a broad non-stick, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

2. Add the coconut and cardamom powder, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 4 minutes, while stirring continuously.

3. Switch off the flame, add ghee and mix well. Keep aside.

For the rice flour dough

4. Combine the rice flour, salt and ghee in a deep bowl and knead into a soft dough adding enough hot water using a spoon then once cooled slightly use your hands and knead well. Keep aside.

How to proceed

5. Divide the jaggery stuffing into 6 equal portions. Keep aside.

6. Wet your fingers with a little water and divide the dough into 6 equal portions.

7. Place a banana leaf on a clean, dry surface, put a little water on it and spread it evenly. Place a portion of the dough on it and pat the dough to flatten it to make a 150 mm. (6”) diameter circle. If you find it difficult to spread it you can lightly dip your fingers in water and then continue.

8. Place a portion of the jaggery stuffing in the centre of the circle.

9. Fold along with the banana leaf to seal it and make a semi-circle.

10. Press the edges well by pressing with your fingers to seal it completely.

11. Repeat steps 3 to 6 to make 5 more ela adas. Steam 2 ela adas in a steamer for 12 to 15 minutes or till done.

12. Remove the ela adas from the steamer and cool slightly.

13 Repeat steps 8 and 9 to cook 4 more ela adas. Serve warm.

4. Parippu Payasam

(Recipe by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor)

Parippu Payasam recipe (Pinterest)
Parippu Payasam recipe (Pinterest)


250 grams skinless green gram (moong dal)

250 grams jaggery

2 cups thick coconut milk

A pinch green cardamom powder

2 tablespoons ghee

1 tablespoon dried coconut pieces

5-6 cashewnuts

1 tablespoon raisins


1. Dry roast green gram till fragrant. Transfer in a cooker.

2. Add sufficient water, stir, cover and pressure cook till the pressure is released three times.

3. Heat a non-stick pan. Add jaggery and sufficient water, stir and let the jaggery melt completely. Remove from heat and strain.

4. When the pressure settles completely, open the cover and stir. Place the cooker back on heat, add the strained jaggery water, mix and cook for 5 minutes.

5. Add coconut milk and mix. Add cardamom powder, mix and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

6. Heat ghee in a non-stick pan. Add coconut pieces and fry till browned. Add cashewnuts and raisins and fry for a minute.

7. Add the fried coconut and nuts alongwith the ghee to the payasam and mix well.

8. Serve hot.

5. Pineapple Pulissery

(Recipe by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor)

Pineapple Pulissery recipe (Pinterest)
Pineapple Pulissery recipe (Pinterest)


500 grams pineapple, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp sugar

1 cup scraped fresh coconut

3-4 green chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 cup yogurt

Salt to taste

1½ tbsps coconut oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

A pinch of fenugreek seeds (methi dana)

3-4 dried red chillies, broken

1 sprig of curry leaves


1. Heat an earthen pot. Add the pineapple pieces, 1½ cups water and turmeric powder and mix well. Add sugar, mix well and bring it to a boil. Continue to cook for 10-15 minutes.

2. Put the coconut in a mixer jar. Add green chillies, cumin seeds and ½ cup water. Grind to a fine paste.

3. Take yogurt in a bowl. Add salt, and mix till well combined.

4. Add the ground paste into the pineapple mixture and mix well. Cook for a minute.

5. Stir in the yogurt mixture, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour ½ cup water, mix and cook for 4-5 minutes.

6. For the tempering, heat coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add fenugreek seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.

7. Transfer into serving bowls. Serve.

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