Food / Recipes

Mountbatten Mani Iyer’s Vegetable Payasam

Veg Payasam
Watching one of South India’s most celebrated cooks at work, was truly a dream come true. He taught me how to make watermelon rasam and this fabulous Vegetable Payasam or Kheer. This is a sure shot hit. Here’s the recipe. If you need step by step instructions – watch the video link provided down below:
Also, this margazhi season (2016) he is going to be teaching some heirloom recipes on Dec 24th in Chennai. If you would like to participate, reserve your spot here
  • Finely chopped carrots – 1/2 cup
  • Finely chopped potato – 1/2 cup
  • Finely chopped cauliflower – 1/2 cup
  • Finely chopped beans – 1/2 cup
  • Milk – 2 ltrs
  • Almond paste – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 – 1 cup (to taste)
  • Roasted mixed nuts – 1/2 cup
  • Saffron – 1 pinch
  • Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Ghee – 2 tsp for garnish
  1. In a pan (preferably a heavy bottomed vessel), add equal parts water and milk and bring to a boil.
  2. Add chopped carrot to the boiling mixture as it takes  longer to cook
  3. After a few minutes add the chopped potatoes and boil. To check if they’ve cooked, take some on the spatula and press vegetables. (It should not be mushy)
  4. At this stage, add the beans and let it boil and later add the cauliflower. Strain and set aside.
  5. On another stove add 500 mls of milk to a heavy bottomed vessel and let it boil (this is to reduce the milk in half its size)
  6. Once the quantity reduces, add the remaining 1.5 ltrs and let it boil. To this add crushed saffron, and continue to boil
  7. Make sure you incorporate the cream sticking on the sides of the pan while boiling the milk
  8. Add the cooked vegetables (that you set aside) to this boiling milk
  9. Add the almond puree and stir continuously (if you do not stir, almond puree tends to settle at the bottom of the pan and get burnt)
  10. Add the cardamom powder and sugar (to your liking) and stir
  11. Switch off stove and garnish with roasted mixed nuts
  12. This tastes best when served hot as you can still get the crunch of the vegetables and the roasted mixed nuts.


  • The method of adding equal parts of water and milk to boil the vegetables is to ensure the milk does not get burnt and stick to the bottom
  • Also, adding a small silver coin to the milk while boiling it will prevent the milk from overflowing.

Photo courtesy – A good friend and a fabulous cook Mrs. Hazeena Seyad of Saute, fry n bake after trying and testing this recipe. She’s got some fabulous recipes on her blog. Check it out. Saute,fry n bake

About Author

The musings of two Chennaiites seeking to discover the world through food and travel. As they open themselves up to adventure, the accompanying puliyogare, travels well and ensures that the idea of home is never lost


  • friedsig
    January 14, 2016 at 4:40 am

    What kind of beans do you use?

  • Roopa
    February 11, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Rakesh, i envy you… You get to taste some scrumptious food and manage to stay soo fit. what is the secret?… Anyways, love your show… You are doing an awesome job…. Cheers!

  • Satheesh Manoharan
    December 10, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Super combo….Mani Iyer/ Rakesh and Payasam.👍🏼

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