Rice noodle pudding (Paal Ada Paayasam)


Paal Payasam (Rice and Milk pudding) or Parippu payasam (lentil and coconut pudding) ? When asked to choose between these two at a sadya (a traditional Keralan feast) usually as part of a wedding or during Onam, my unhesitant answer would always be be ‘paal payasam’. Of course! The caramelized sugar mixed with the milk and butter and thickened to perfect creamy consistency with the rice noodles added to give the perfect combination of hard and soft textures.  Just yum! Slurp Slurp!

Now Paal ada was my favorite and I had always had Paal ada paayasam from store bought ‘ada’ (dried rice noodle bits). So my dad surprised me recently when he looking at the leftover plantain leaves from our Onam sadya two weeks ago, said ‘we could make ada using these leaves’. I didn’t quite understand what he meant and he again clarified ‘yes paal ada from scratch!’  Wow! I had never even thought of making the flat rice noodles for the paayasam at home.  And then I forgot all about that conversation until I came home from work one evening to find my dad busy in the midst of ‘ada making’!  Wow! Just wow! I said again! The noodles came out perfect and when cooked in milk to make the pudding the end result was just one fabulous paal paayasam! The fresh home made ‘ada’ made the paayasam so incredibly delicious.  The texture of the freshly made ada pieces in the paayasam was just perfect – a little soft but still hard enough to hold their shape in the paayasam!  And turned out it wasn’t that hard after all! Yes you do need fresh banana leaves or plantain leaves. I am not sure what kind of other leaves could be substituted for those.We buy fresh frozen banana leaves from a Chinese grocers and they are available really cheap!. The rice dough is pressed onto the leaves and then the leaves are rolled and steamed.  Unwrap and then cut into thin strips and further into squares! Bingo! 🙂

So here’s the recipe. The key step here is to slowly cook the milk and sugar to get a thickened pudding. Here I cheated a little bit and used part condensed milk to hasten the process. Btw we had a second Onam Sadya last weekend and made this Paal Paayasam this time!

I am also bringing this delicious Paayasam to Fiesta Friday.


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  1. Wow, how interesting! I have never heard of this but the ingredients together sounds delicious! thanks for sharing at FF! 🙂

  2. Happy Fiesta Friday, Indu!! As I sat here reading your post, I was so impressed with this whole recipe…and all of the work that went into it! What really touched me, was the fact that you and your dad not only made a delicious pudding…but a wonderful memory that you will always have. This is such a lovely post. Thank you so much for sharing… <3

    • thanks Prudy. Yes you are so right – I will really treasure these memories with my dad being here. It’s also so cute that he tries to cook remembering his childhood days. He told me that he remembered making these noodles from his childhood days when he used to help his mom! Btw thanks for co-hosting FF this week. You are a naturally lovely host since you are so kind and sweet always. 🙂

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