South Indian Sweets Payasam

Looking for South Indian sweets? Want to know about all the different types of South Indian sweets available? Read our guide for more information on choosing the right sweet for you…

One of the favorite South Indian sweets is Payasam. This Indian sweet is a traditional dish that is often served during celebrations. According to tradition, no South Indian wedding is complete without the guests being served Payasam. This sweet dish is made by boiling broken rice, sugar and coconut with various condiments. It is served after meals or can be taken on its own. As a staple of weddings and feasts, Payasam is also made from vermicelli. This South Indian sweet is served in cups or on banana leaves during traditional meals.

A Delicious South Indian sweet like Kesari, is deep orange in color and very sweet. Made primarily from coconut milk and semolina, this sweet confectionery is cooked in ghee and topped with almonds. The mixture is pressed onto a dish and sliced into portions like a cake for serving.

Laddu ranks with Payasam as the gems of South Indian sweets. Round balls of flour are cooked in oil and coated with syrup. The texture is somewhat bumpy and the sweet flakes off when bitten into. Laddu is given as ‘prasadam’, or ritual offering to devotees in most South Indian Hindu temples honoring the  deity of the supreme Godhead Lord Vishnu in His various incarnations. It is regarded as Lord Vishnu’s favorite food.

South Indian Payasam

The word Payasam is derived from two Sanskrit words – Ksheer – meaning milk, and Peeyusham – meaning nectar. This lovely South Indian sweet is a favorite offering to the deities during Hindu rituals and rites in temples. It is also served to the presiding deity, Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth, during a fire ceremony or homa, done in a private home to invoke the Goddess’ blessings. The temples of Guruvayoor and Ambalappuzzha in India serve Payasam which is renowned throughout the region. On sacred full moon nights, sweet South Indian Payasam is cooked and served to the household deities as part of the propitiation ritual.

South Indian sweets are made mainly from milk and sugar with ghee in some mixtures. Payasam is a favorite South Indian sweet offered to Hindu deities during rituals and ceremonies. These sweets are delicacies that are much loved by the local population of India and have become a staple of their festivities and religious ceremonies.

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