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Chowari Payasam / Sabudana kheer / Sago Payasam with condensed milk

Onam is ahead and it is a special onam recipe. Today we will see a very simple and easy payasam,
the chowari payasam. The chowari is the malayalam name of tapioca pearls or sago which is popularly known as sabudana in North India. I posted jaggery payasams earlier and this is a post on paal payasam (paal is the malayalam name of milk ).

The tapioca pearls ( chowari / sabudhana) cook much faster when soaked in water. So soak with sufficient amount of water before use.

I used both sugar and condensed milk. Condensed milk is itself sweet,  do a taste test while you add condensed milk, and adjust the quantities.

The payasam thickens as it sits, if it thickens, mix some warm milk before serving and also never reboil the payasam after adding raisins, there is a chance to curdle. Why should we take chance, better not to do this.

Now we can go to the recipe, you will also like my other payasams, kadalaparippu payasam and cherupazham pradhaman.

Let us see how to make chowari payasam

  • Take 1 cup tapioca pearls in a pan.
  • Add 2 cups of water and keep aside for one hour.
  • The chowari will absorb all the water and will increase its size and will turn soft.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pan.
  • When hot, add soaked tapioca pearls and mix well.
  • Add 2 cups of milk, and cook for three to four minutes with continuous stirring. The pearls will cook and thickens faster and there is a high chance to stick on the bottom. So start stirring when the mixture begins to thick. Stir in one direction only, otherwise the milk will curdle.
  • Once the tapioca pearls turned soft, we can add sugar and stir well and wait till the sugar melts.
  • Stir continuously till you reach a consistency as shown in the picture. As I said in kadala parippu payasam, the mixture should coat the spoon thickly or while stirring, the mixture should move towards the side in such a way that the bottom should be clearly seen.
  • Add remaining milk, mix well and cook on low flame till the milk reduces to half.  Since the payasam will thicken as it sits, do not reduce more.

  • Add 3/4 tin (between 1/2 to 3/4 tin) condensed milk and mix well. The quantity of condensed milk used depends on the amount of sugar used.  So do a taste test before adding condensed milk.
  • Add crushed cardamom or cardamom powder and mix well. Switch off the stove once started boiling.
  • Fry cashews and raisins separately in ghee. Pour on top of payasam and mix well. 
  • Serve hot or cold, enjoy....

 Chowari payasm recipe

Author: Anju Aneesh
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian, South India, Kerala
Preparation time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1 cup tapioca pearls | chowari | sabudhana | sago
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 liter hot milk
  • 3/4 tin condensed milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 to 4 cardamom, crushed

To garnish

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 10 to 15 cashews
  • 10 to 15 raisins

Direction of preparation of chowari payasam

  • Soak tapioca pearls with 2 cups of water for 1 hour or until turn soft.
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add tapioca pearls and 2 cups of milk.
  • Once the tapioca pearls cooked well and the milk is reduced, add sugar, mix well and wait till the sugar melts.
  • Add remaining milk and cook till it reduce to half.
  • Add 1/2 to 3/4 tin of condensed milk and mix well.
  • Add cardamom powder or crushed cardamom and switch off the stove when it starts to boil.
  • Heat ghee in another pan, fry cashew till golden brown, add raisins and fry till it puffs up.
  • Add in the payasam and mix well.
  • Serve hot or cold.

My notes on chowari payasam

  • Soak chowari for one hour before cooking.
  • I used condensed milk for this recipe, if not available, try this with normal milk.
  • Do a taste test before adding condensed milk, as we have already used sugar in this recipe.

Happy cooking
Anju Aneesh

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