Last week’s Quiz question: What is the dominant flavour in this drink? Okay, it’s not a “drink”, but you can drink it if you want to. ;-)


Pradhaman is Payasam with two differences – jaggery instead of sugar, coconut milk instead of milk.

Pradhaman is usually prepared with lentils, or fruit like plantain, mango and ripe jackfruit. The only exception is Palada Pradhaman, which is made of rice, sugar, and dried rice flakes or ada. Why this variety of payasam is called “pradhaman” is a mystery to us. Any insights are appreciated.

Every family from Kerala has two camps – the payasam camp, and the pradhaman camp. Most festivals feature both, but it all depends on personal preference. It’s like asking someone if they prefer Aishwarya Rai or Sushmita Sen, Hrithik Roshan or John Abraham. The fair, cute type or the sultry, smouldering type ??

Ash or Sush? Jai can’t decide who he likes more.

AHrithik or John? Bee will have John with chocolate sauce, please.

Jai loves both, but chakka pradhaman is his favourite Indian dessert. Bee prefers pradhaman to payasam. Palada Pradhaman, however, is the one milk-based dessert she truly loves. That’s probably why this milky payasam is called ‘pradhaman’, ‘cos it’s head and shoulders above the other payasams. :idea:

Jackfruit (chakka) pradhaman is usually made with chakka varatti (Jackfruit jam). In summer, people in Kerala cook down ripe jackfruit with ghee and jaggery to a thick paste. It involves over an hour of stirring in a heavy bronze vessel called uruli that can withstand the high temperature. This paste can be preserved for more than a year, until the next jackfruit season. It is kept in a ceramic jar (bharani) so as not to alter the taste.

At regular intervals during the year, some of this jackfruit jam is diluted with coconut milk. More ghee and jaggery are added to create the sublime chakka pradhaman. It is then garnished with nuts, raisins, and pieces of fried coconut.

In the past we’ve always prepared chakka pradhaman with chakka varatti, when a family member or friend sent it to us. One of the best surprises we received was when our friend Meera sent us some in the mail a few years ago. We’ve known her for a while, and she’s an angel. :)

This time, we prepared pradhaman from canned ripe jackfruit. It took only 2 tbsps. ghee, around 30 minutes, and was absolutely delectable. We’ve resolved to make this more often. Both of us rank this as our absolute favourite Indian dessert.

Pradhaman is the perfect vegan dessert as ghee can be substituted with transfat-free margarine.


Two 20-oz. cans of ripe jackfruit in syrup (or 3.5 cups chopped fresh ripe jackfruit)
One 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk (or 2.25 cups fresh)
1.25 cups of powdered jaggery (1.5 cups if using fresh jackfruit)
3 cardamom pods
pinch of salt
2 tbsps transfat free margarine (or ghee)
10 broken cashews
2 tbsps coconut pieces

1. Drain the jackfruit, preserve the syrup, chop the jackfruit pieces, and puree it to a fine paste.

2. Add one tablespoon of ghee and a tablepoon or two of water. Mix well and cook the jackfruit paste on the stove top, or microwave on HIGH partially covered for 8-9 minutes.

3. While the jackfruit is cooking, bring the jackfruit syrup and jaggery to a boil on medium flame with the salt. If using fresh jackfruit, add 3/4 cup of water to the jaggery.

4. Skim off any foam or impurities floating at the top of the jaggery. Add the cooked jackfruit pulp to the jaggery, and let the whole mix boil on medium for another 10 minutes.

5. Add the coconut milk, whisk to blend well, and taste for sweetness. If you want it sweeter, add more jaggery. If you want it less sweet, add more coconut milk. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Do not let it boil. The coconut milk may separate.

6. Take the pradhaman off the fire. Shell the cardamoms, powder them, add them to the dish. Fry the cashews in the remaining ghee until they turn golden. Separately, fry the coconut pieces until toasted. Add these to the pradhaman, and enjoy it warm (that’s the way we like it) or cold.

Our entry for Jihva for Ingredients – Jackfruit.

Ammupatti’s Pradhaman Primer.
Annita’s Chakka Varatti (Jackfruit Jam)
Maneka’s Nenthrapazha (Plaintain) Pradhaman
Mika’s Jackfruit Pradhaman

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  1. [...] Chakka (Jackfruit) Pradhaman [...]

  2. Suma Gandlur says:

    Delicious. I have never eaten anything cooked with jackfruit. Thx for sharing your recipe.

  3. pelicano says:

    I actually made this about four months ago, and was my first-ever taste of ripe jackfruit… however, the directions I had weren’t the clearest… and so I cooked it with the coconut milk until it was thick-thick like a pudding! I did think it was a bit strong, but who am I to judge? LOL Thank you so much for offering a detailed account of this “dish”… it does keep a very long time! :-)

  4. pelicano says:

    Bee, is dum machali traditionally served with chocolate sauce?

    don’t know about dum machali, but hunks like john abraham are best with chocolate sauce. atleast 70% cacao. – b.

  5. viji says:

    I have tasted once and it is very delicious one. Nice photo. Viji

  6. Bee,

    I’d been thinking of making Chakka Pradhaman ever since, I saw it in Mika’s Green Jackfruit blog. The same goes for Injipennu green jackfruit recipe.

    But, I’ll dash off to the kitchen right this minute(it’s after midnight here), if john abraham comes along to taste it with me. ;) Best scenario would be him serving me. lol.

    btw, I went around town collecting things for JFI-Jackfruit. And most of the things I wanted were available only in S.E.Asian stores. Took my camera with me. Had to go to the incense sticks section to snap a few pics to share with Jai. ;)


    yeah, post them. would love to see your pics. and don’t forget to spray rajnikanth repellant. – b.

  7. Reena says:

    bee, i don’t like pradhaman :( i didn’t even taste the one we had on my wedding ;) i know what a keralite i am!!
    the picture of chakka pradhaman is tempting though. i don’t know how i missed this quiz. am still in search of jackfruit. send me some so that i can cook up something for JFI :lol:

  8. Swapna says:

    I have never tasted chakka pradhanam..It looks tempting though..
    One John with chocolate for me too..P just hit me:))

  9. Sig says:

    Love chakka prathaman, have never even thought of making it here… I bought a can of jackfruit last week to make something for JFI, but the content disappeared within five minutes of opening it, so today picked up three more cans just to be safe… I could use one to try the prathaman recipe.

    BTW I will take John with nothing at all… on second thought can I have a side of Hrithik as well?

  10. Smita says:

    “Hrithik or John? Bee will have John with chocolate sauce, please.”

    I laughed out loud :)

  11. pelicano says:

    b- couldn’t agree more!

  12. richa says:

    i like sweets with jaggery, will try this with plantain. what lentil’s can be used, chana dal?
    bee, why do you want to waste the precious choc sauce?

    you can use chana dal or moong dal. toast it first until golden. – b.

  13. Asha says:

    I like Ash and Chakka stuff!:))

    what happened to your weekend ‘no comment’ policy? we’re special, i know. :-D – b.

  14. Anita says:

    Don’t go near the payasams…here comes Manisha. Trust Pel to have already made it!

    Sultry and smouldering – get’s my vote too!

  15. Aruna says:

    Oh My !! Pradhaman in any form is delicious!! Havent eaten/tried this version. Thx for bring us this :)

  16. Sreelu says:

    Not sure about pradhaman, If I can ever eat canned jackfruit.You have raised a million dollor question how can you ever choose between Hritkik and John its like which eye do you like the best left or right :)

  17. musical says:

    Did you really have to give tough choices!! I love prathaman and payasam, both, the only condition being moderate sweetness!

    and really looking at that picture, nobody could have made a guess :-D

    John Abraham and chocolate :) ))))

    Nupur came close, correctly identifying the gooey texture…don’t know how she figured it though. -jai

  18. Priya says:

    i have never tasted this . looks nice :)

    u have a very old pic of hrithik . he looks even more hot in Krish & dhoom2 .. and where is salman ..i’m mad:(

    salman is old and has too many court cases aginst him. he’s better than abhishek, though. – b.

  19. Manisha says:

    I heard you call my name…

    You guys have it all wrong when it comes to chocolate sauce.

    I’ll take both Hrithik and John, one at a time. And there will be chocolate sauce. Whipped cream is even better. :P

    Paayasams rule. And they should be made with four white ingredients. Yellow is not white. And they should be stirred to get complete satisfaction of all senses.

    white ingredients are pretentious ingredients. real rice and real sugar are not white and should not be. whipped cream is the only exception. – b.

  20. beens says:

    that was jackfruit!!awsome!!i never knew there was any difference between payasam and pradhaman! thanks for the info!!i am going to make chakka payasam now,with a little left over canned chakka:)

  21. Manisha says:

    Tch! Still, yellow is not white. :lol:

  22. Sukanya says:

    Gorgeous recipe for jackfruit. Never tried this before…Great pictures…..Nice cup…

  23. roopa says:

    wondefull recipe Bee, we make payasam with rice this is really worth to try recipe. thks !

  24. Coffee says:

    SIGH!!!! I would have never thought of that!! :)

  25. MALLUGIRL says:

    I too make this with chakka vartiyathu..some people add ginger to it but i didn’t find that so nice. where did u guys get a jackfruit from?

    we used canned for this, but we get fresh in a thai store near our home at some times of the year. – b.

  26. pelicano says:

    Manisha…you’re against white things now?! [rolls his eyes and sighs] and Anita… dear friend, I just have just one thing to say to that comment [sticks out his tongue]

  27. Manisha says:

    I am for all things pure and white. Which is why I keep saying yellow is not white. And jackfruit is yeller. :twisted:

  28. Cynthia says:

    This must be jackfruit season. I just saw a dish of jackfruit dry curry on Sharmi’s blog :)

  29. pelicano says:

    Manisha… not if you bleach it! ;-)

  30. [...] Chakka Pradhaman ~ jugalbandi [...]

  31. Hi Jai and Bee

    I tried you Chakka Pradhaman recipe a few weeks ago- mine was a big shortcut tho, because I already had pre-prepared Chakka Varatti from India….instead of the traditional fried coconut pieces or cashew nuts, I used almonds (since I only had those on hand!!)…it was sooooo good….your presentation of the pradhaman is really cool…


  32. [...] milk-based ones. There were two desserts I adored, though. One was puran poli, the other was pradhaman. My mom – she of the gigantic sweet tooth – would prepare one of these in addition to the mandatory [...]

  33. purplesque says:

    Just made this with canned jackfruit/toddy palm. Oh My God. John Abraham doesn’t even begin to come close to this.

  34. Orumalayali says:

    Nice Recipe!! By the Way Pradhaman means the First One –
    Traditionally – In Kerala – all the festive occasions must have naalu kari (4 types of dishes). These are Pradhaman, Kaalan, Olan and Erissery. Pradhaman takes the First place among the 4 dishes – why the first place ? I dont know – that is why it is a Pradhaman :)

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