Wheat Berry Payasam ~ A Vegan Indian Dessert!

I went and got this bag of whole wheat berries and you can see that’s the reason for all wheat related dishes coming up. I basically bought it to make the Wheat Halwa. I used just about a cup and there were no quarter kg bags available. And its not enough to grind into flour. Well we have come up with the sprouts. Though that’s a very good healthy option, was wondering what other way to use it up. We came out with the salad. Then we were generally talking about the wheat and how it can be used, when Athamma recollected her Mom making Payasam with Whole Wheat berries. Wow, that sound really tasty. More and more I heard about it, I was sure that’s what I wanted to try next. Wheat berries are nothing but the whole wheat grains.

Amma was also talking about the same. It seems her mom also used to make this payasam. I really wonder why those age old recipes got lost track. I wanted to learn and see how its supposed to be prepared. Its very similar to the paruppu payasam. But it was completely so different to taste and should I say the bowl was empty in flat 5 mins. We made it for the neivedyam and so didn’t know the taste until we actually tasted it. But believe me, it was simply superb. The process may seem little complicated with soaking and cooking it for long time, but then hey what’s pleasure without pain. If I am assured of such divine taste, I would take up the task without hesitation.


Ingredients Needed:

Whole Wheat Berries – 1 cup
Jaggary – 1 cup
Cashew Nuts – 10
Raisins – 10
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
Water – 2 cups
Ghee / Butter – 2 tbsp (optional)

Method to prepare:

Wash and Soak wheat berries for 2 days. You can soak them during the day and drain and store in fridge. We did this because we weren’t sure if they will stay without getting spoilt in room temperature for so long. Next time, I am going to experiment with that too.

Before pressure cooking this, wash well. Add about 2 cups of water and pressure cook for nearly 5-6 whistles. Check if the berries are soft. If not, put them back again.

Meanwhile, melt the jaggary with little water. Remove if any scum. Then add the jaggary water, cardamom to the wheat berries and pressure cooker again. Once done, remove the lid and cook on high flame to get the desired consistency. For more richness add cashew paste.

Update:
You can leave out the nuts roasting part in the ghee as the payasam as such was quite creamy and tasty.

Roast the cashew nuts and raisins in ghee and add to the boiling payasam.

The combination was ultimate, the berries being cooked in jaggary made them little hard on the outer but soft in the inside. It was a complete new experience. When you bite on the berries, its goes little dunking inside. You can get to chew on them and with jaggary all the way, it was divine!

Cardamom adds such taste and aroma, that its not really the same without it!

Sunita celebrates the spices with her event Thick Spice. Her themes have always given me opportunity to understand more about spices. This month marks the 1st year anniversary of starting this wonderful event. And its my pleasure to send in my favorite spice, Cardamom!

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26 comments

  1. The payasam looks so delicious, Srivalli. Lovely pictures. It’s not quite vegan because of the ghee/butter, though. I guess one could just substitute with some vegetable oil?

  2. I’ve never cooked with wheat berries before because, as you said, they take too long. But now, with so many berry dishes up on your blog, I think I am going to! πŸ™‚

  3. Thats a real lovely payasam Valli. You can soak them at room emperature but change the water (wash it once before changing the water) everyday. Keepingit in fridge actually makes them numb and this increases cooking time too. This way th outer skin won’t be hard after makinf the payasam.

  4. Thank you ppl for your lovely comments. Wheat berries are whole wheat grains. Do try this if you get a chance, really very tasty.

    Vaishali, Yep, I was thinking I should mention that..but as habit wrote ghee. The raisin and nuts can be roasted in regular oil too. Have updated the post. Thank you!

    Nirmala, thank you for the excellent tips, I thought the same but didn’t want to take chances. So will do this next time. As you said, it become little hard because of storing in fridge

  5. can you ask your grandma and mom for more wheat berry recipes and post?

    can you grind the wheat berries
    and then cook them instead of having to soak it? i have tried soaking things before like millets and the water gets so smelly.

  6. AnonWill surely post more, just got another bag of these berries.

    I didn't quite understand your question. Did you mean to ask if you can cook directly without soaking? Since these grains are hard, may not be an easy task to cook them to soft texture. Soaking aids to cook faster.

    We can use ground paste for the payasam also.

    When you tend to soak the grains, it's always advisble to change the water in between. Hope I have answered your query.

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