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Neyypaayasam - Rice Pudding With Brown Sugar And Ghee

This is one of the recipes which we have been given permission to reproduce by a fascinating site about India, The site is the work of Ammini Ramachandran who grew up in the part of India known as Kerala and the site tells you about its history and its traditions and cuisine. This is a sample of one of the recipes you will find on the site where there are also many interesting articles.

If you would like to know more about its creator, Ammini Ramachandran, take a look at her Biography page <click here> or by visiting her web site <click here>

Neyypaayasam is a temple sweet, believed to be the favorite of Durga, the Hindu goddess of strength. The texture of neyypaayasam is a creamy and closely bound mass of rice grains. It is very sweet and enriched with ghee, cashew nuts, coconut, and raisins. It is so rich with ghee and brown sugar that it stays fresh for several days even without refrigeration.


2 cups medium or short grain rice
2 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3 cups ghee
1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted cashew nuts
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh coconut
2 tablespoons seedless raisins
1 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds


  • Wash and rinse the rice.
  • Heat 3 1/2 cups of water and when it starts to boil, stir in the rice. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 18 minutes, until the rice is completely cooked but not mushy. (Once the brown sugar is added, the rice will stop cooking.)
  • Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and melt brown sugar along with 3 tablespoons of water. When all the sugar has liquefied, transfer it to the rice pot along with two tablespoons of ghee and keep stirring gently. Reserve 3 tablespoons of ghee for frying the garnishes.
  • Keep adding the remaining ghee to the rice, a couple of spoons at a time, stirring until the rice absorbs all of it. When it is well cooked, the neyypaayasam will start to leave the sides of the pot as you stir. This could take another 15 to 20 minutes.
  • When it reaches this stage, remove the pot from the stove.
  • Heat the remaining ghee in a small frying pan over medium heat and add the cashew nuts. When they start turning golden brown, add the coconut slices and the raisins and keep stirring. The coconut will also turn golden brown and the raisins will become plump as they soak up the ghee.
  • Add fried garnishes to the neyypaayasam, sprinkle cardamom on top and stir gently. It tastes heavenly hot or cold.

Serves 6 to 8