Jackfruit seeds Payasa/Payasam recipe with step-by-step pictures- a South Indian dessert made of cooked jackfruit seeds and jaggery as the main ingredients.
It is known as Halasina beejada payasa in Kannada, and as Chakkakuru Payasam in Malayalam.
This recipe of the jackfruit seeds payasa is vegan and can easily be made without much fuss.
Finding jackfruit at the Indian stores here in Germany is like finding some treasure, that we would run a race for! I also enjoyed my share of jackfruit this season and preserved the seeds to make something unique, apart from our family favorite Brinjal-Jackfruit seeds sambar.
While a lot of people enjoy jackfruit seeds by roasting them on gas/fire, there are many more ways in which you can use them in Indian cooking. Be it jackfruit seeds curry, sambar, stir-fry (palya), rasam, halwa, vada, or this payasam, they all taste wonderful and delicious in their own ways.
When I was thinking of some unique recipes, the idea of jackfruit seeds payasa struck me, only to later find out that it was not really a eureka moment, since it already exists in the coastal Karnataka/Kerala cuisine although not very popular in the other regions.
Anyway, I still tried it in my own style, the recipe that came to my mind, and absolutely loved it. After a few trials and variations, finalized the recipe to share here.
If you love the taste of boiled jackfruit seeds, this is definitely a recipe for you.
What is Payasa/Payasam
Payasa/Payasam is a popular traditional South Indian dessert made of grains (rice, semolina, broken wheat, vermicelli, etc), lentils, seeds, and/or fruits.
The main ingredient is pre-cooked or cooked along with milk or coconut milk, sweetened with sugar or jaggery, and then topped with dry fruits and nuts roasted in ghee, flavored with saffron and/or rose water too at times.
It is known as Kheer in the northern parts of India, but the basic recipe remains the same.
No festivities or ceremonies can be complete without payasa/kheer in the menu, all across India, with so many regional varieties that exist.
About this Recipe
This recipe of jackfruit seeds payasa calls for only two main ingredients- jackfruit seeds and jaggery. Some cashews, raisins, dry coconut toasted in coconut oil/ghee as well, but these are add ons and can be skipped.
I tried this recipe with and without whole milk but found this version to be better.
The reason being, the flavor of the boiled jackfruit seeds is so subtle that the addition of milk would mask its flavor, which was not something I was looking for.
Although many recipes use coconut milk in this, I did not find it necessary as boiled and blended jackfruit seeds make the payasa creamy enough, plus the strong flavor of the coconut milk can potentially mask the flavor of jackfruit seeds.
To make this completely vegan, I used coconut oil to roast the cashews, raisins, and dry coconut. However, you can use ghee for a vegetarian version.
Basically, the jackfruit seeds (preferably sun-dried and skin peeled) are pressure cooked until soft and then blended smooth or slightly coarse. It is then sweetened with jaggery powder or melted jaggery, adjusted in thickness by adding water, boiled for a few minutes, and then topped with fried cashews, raisins, dry coconut, and powdered cardamom.
Note: The above image does not depict the actual quantities of the ingredients used in the recipe, except for jackfruit seeds.
Remove the seeds from the fruit, wash them once or twice and sun-dry them. This will help in removing the white outer skin of the seeds.
The other method is to pressure cook the seeds directly with the outer white skin and then peel it off. I was not aware of this method until recently and have always followed the sun-drying one.
You can try either of the methods, basically, we do not want the outer white skin. The seeds will look as shown in the above image on peeling the white skin.
If you find organic black or deep brown jaggery, it would be the best bet any day. Otherwise, you can use whatever is available.
The color of the payasa will vary based on the color of the jaggery you use.
You can use jaggery powder directly, or slice/chop jaggery cubes, melt them in hot water to strain and remove the impurities, and then use it in the payasa.
Instead of jaggery, you can use sugar or coconut sugar. The taste of the payasa will, however, vary based on the sweetener you use.
Cashews, Raisins and Dry Coconut:
These are not mandatory, especially dry coconut, but are good in payasam. However, if you go a little overboard and use them generously, they will overpower the taste of the jackfruit seeds.
If you don’t care about this, feel free to use them as much as your heart desires. 🙂
Use cold-pressed pure coconut oil for a vegan version or good quality ghee for a vegetarian version.
If you do not want to roast the cashews, raisins, and dry coconut, you will not need coconut oil or ghee.
I used a really small pinch, less than 1/4 tsp since I crushed them fresh and they have a really strong flavor.
You can skip it completely though, or use a generous pinch if you like. But warning you, it can overpower the taste of jackfruit seeds!
I know I have been mentioning this way too many times, but this is the lesson I learned after doing these mistakes during my recipe trials.
Health Benefits of Jackfruit Seeds
If you were not aware that jackfruit seeds were edible until you came across this recipe, here is some good news, they are not just edible but are also highly nutritious.
The seeds contain nutrients like protein, resistant starch, fiber, B-complex vitamins, and antioxidants.
This research article talks about how the seeds help lower the risk of heart disease, prevent constipation and improve gut health due to the presence of resistant starch.
Next time you get jackfruit, do think twice before discarding the seeds!
You can serve this jackfruit seeds payasam hot or warm or at room temperature. I have not tried it cold, but it should be good all ways. I like this best warm or at room temperature.
The payasam gets thicker as it cools, so you might want to add a splash of water before serving in case you find it too thick.
It sure will be a lovely dessert for any occassion or as a post-meal sweet something as well. Not to forget, a great pre-workout meal too.
How to make Jackfruit Seeds Payasa: Step by Step with Pictures
Note: 1 cup = 250 ml
You will need around 25 jackfruit seeds (approximately 3/4 to 1 cup), you can add 5 to 10 more also. Remove the outer skin of the sun-dried jackfruit seeds.
You can cut it open using a knife and then peel, or gently crush it using a heavy stone. Follow the same procedure for all the seeds.
Transfer the seeds into a pressure cooker with 3/4 cup water and pressure cook upto 5 whistles.
Once the pressure releases naturally, check if they are cooked soft. When you cut it with a fork or a knife, it should cut easily.
They can instead be cooked in an Instant pot for 4 to 5 minutes.
Once they cool down, transfer them into a mixer jar along with the remaining water plus more water if required and blend them into a smooth or a slightly coarse paste.
I added extra 1/2 cup water and blended retaining few small pieces of the seeds since I like it that way.
Transfer the paste into a pan or the pressure cooker in which you had cooked the seeds. Rinse the mixer jar with 1 cup water and transfer this also into the ground paste.
In another pan, take 3/4 cup (~100g) fairly chopped jaggery. Pour in 1/2 cup water and heat this so that the jaggery melts. Alternately, you can directly add in hot water and let the jaggery melt. No need for any string consistency, it just has to melt.
This is required so that the jaggery water can be strained to get rid of any impurities in jaggery. You can directly add the cut jaggery or store-bought jaggery powder directly if you are sure it is clean.
Once the jaggery has melted, strain the jaggery water.
Pour in this jaggery mixture into the jackfruit seeds paste, give a good mix and let the payasa simmer until it starts to boil. You do not have to boil it for too long.
Then turn off the heat and keep it aside.
In a small frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil (or ghee). Add in 1 tbsp of chopped dry coconut and immediately add in 10 to 15 cashews broken into halves. They both need almost the same time to turn brown. If the coconut slices are too thin, fry the cashews first and then these.
Let them both start turning brown and at this stage add in 2 tsp raisins and let it swell. Transfer the roasted ingredients into the hot payasa.
The quantity of the dry coconut and cashews shown in the pictures below is more than mentioned above, please do not refer to the pictures but stick to the quantity mentioned above.
Lastly, add a small pinch (1/8 tsp) of cardamom powder.
Mix everything well and serve hot or cold.
More Indian Dessert Recipes
For the step-by-step instructions with pictures, please refer to the method available above the recipe card.
I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed preparing it and writing it down for you all.
If you have any questions about the recipe, kindly post them below under comments.
I would love to see your recipe recreations. 🙂