Paalada is the most common payasam in Kerala and is given as prasadam at many temples. It is also a must-have at weddings where only vegetarian food is served. The key to it is slow-cooking milk with sugar, which gives it the characteristic caramelised flavour. If you prefer, rice ada, or rice flakes, can be replaced with well-cooked boiled rice.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



  • 2 tbsp rice ada
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water 


  1. Boil the milk with sugar and water for at least 1 hour on slow flame, until it thickens. Set aside.
  2. Wash and drain the readymade ada.
  3. In a pan, bring water to a rolling boil. Switch off the flame and soak the ada in this water. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Drain the ada and thoroughly rinse twice or thrice under cold water to remove excess stickiness.
  5. Mix boiled milk with ada and cook for 30 minutes on low flame. Your Paalada is ready.
Regi Mathew

Regi Mathew

Regi Mathew, co-owner and culinary director of Kappa Chakka Kandhari in Chennai and Bengaluru, is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for September. His culinary career, which began with the Taj Group of Hotels, has taken him to several countries, where he has learnt many cuisines. After 25 years in the F&B industry, he decided to closely explore the cuisine of his home state, Kerala. For three years, he travelled through the state, researching its food, and working with 265 housewives and 70 toddy shops, some of whom are now part of the restaurant’s kitchen. He has won several accolades in his career, including being adjudged the Chef of the Year at the Times Food Awards, Chennai, in 2018.

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