In my mind, Godamba Payasam is inextricably linked with fond memories. It is cooked often in my home in Thalassery on festivals and other important events. I remember the effort my grandmother used to put into getting the right quality of wheat berry since it is a hardy grain and to get the right texture, you need to soak it diligently. I find it difficult to source the tender variety of wheat berry, so I often substitute it with broken wheat.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



  • 2 cups thin extract of coconut milk
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • ½ cup wheat berry
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced coconut
  • 180 gm jaggery, melted
  • 4 cloves
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • Ghee for frying coconut slices


  1. Soak wheat berries overnight in water. Don’t scrimp on this because the berries take time to cook.
  2. The next morning, pressure-cook the wheat berries with enough water, cinnamon and cloves, until the berries are done. This should take almost 14 whistles.
  3. Next, boil the wheat berries in a pan with thin coconut milk extract, all the while stirring it.
  4. Pour in melted jaggery and continue cooking on slow fire, while stirring frequently.
  5. Once it attains a creamy consistency, tip in the thick coconut milk and let it gently simmer on low flame. Do not cook on high flame or the coconut milk might curdle.
  6. Stir in the cardamom powder, before taking the payasam off the flame.
  7. Fry the coconut slices in ghee until golden. Garnish the payasam with them.

Note: To make jaggery syrup, cook ¾ kg jaggery in ½ cup of water on slow fire until it melts. Once cool, strain it out to remove impurities.

Marina Balakrishnan

Marina Balakrishnan

Marina Balakrishnan is a certified plant-based chef who trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. Marina’s gourmet sensibilities are rooted in her childhood in the Malabar, perfected by her technical chef training, and influenced by her work at various restaurants. She has staged at Gaa, an Indian-inspired Michelin star restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand. She has also done pop ups in Geneva and Italy . She currently chefs for private dinners. Apart from her forte cuisine from the Malabar, she is passionate about baking, experimenting, understanding local and seasonal produce, reading and travelling.

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