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varagu paal payasam - Kodo millet porridge

Varagu paal payasam

Kodo millet porridge as a dessert perfect for Indian festivals.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Desserts, Traditional
Cuisine gluten free, Indian, instant pot, Kids choice, One pot, South indian, tamilnadu
Servings 4 people


  • 1/2 cup Kodo millet varagu arisi
  • 3 cups low fat/ full cream milk
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup unrefined sugar Check recipe notes for swaps.


  • Wash, drain and set aside the kodo millet ( dehusked )
    Kodo millet , varagu arisi
  • Dry roast this kodo millet on a saucepan for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the milk slowly and keep stirring ( check for instant pot version below)
  • Let the milk come up to a boil and don't miss stirring.
  • Ónce the milk starts boiling simmer and stir occasionally to make sure it does not catch the bottom.
  • Once the grain looks cooked, crush a few between ( it will be hot, careful! ) your fingers. If they mash the grain is cooked
  • Add in the green cardamom powder, the sugar and take it off the heat. 
  • Stir well, taste test and serve warm.
    varagu paal payasam - Kodo millet porridge


Change of  sweetener

This recipe is so often made at our place that we have a few swaps we like for the sugar. 
Stevia- this is one of our favorite. 1/2 tsp of sugar per person is plenty to sweeten this palpayasam. 
Condensed milk - If using condensed milk, use 2.5 cups of milk and 1/4 cup sugar ( or even lesser).
Dates - Chopped dates taste amazing in the chilled version of this varagu paal payasam

Instant pot version

Wash and drain the millet. the set the instant pot to saute mode and saute the millet. 
To this add the milk, Set on pressure cook for  10 minutes. 
Let the pressure release naturally. 
Once ready open, stir the cooked millet well, add the green cardamom powder and the sugar.
Mix well and the payasam is ready. 
Keyword Indian desserts, Millet recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!