Mathanga Payasam (Pumpkin Payasam)

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 6
Author: Maria Jose Martin
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  • 550 gms Pumpkin measured with skin, grated
  • 1/3 cup Sago refer notes
  • 3-4 tbsp Pumpkin chopped in bite size pieces
  • 250-300 gms Jaggery
  • 2.5 cups Medium thick coconut milk
  • 1.25 - 1.5 cups Thick coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup Coconut bits (Thengakothu)
  • 10-12 Cashew nuts
  • 3 Cardamom crushed
  • 3 +2 tbsp Ghee


  • Soak sago in water for half an hour. Drain the water. Cook the soaked sago in 1.5 - 2 cups water till it becomes soft / glassy. It will take around 10 mins. Drain the water and rinse under cold water to remove the starch. Keep it aside.
  • Melt jaggery with 1/2 cup water. Strain and keep aside.
  • Heat ghee (3 tbsp) in a wide and deep pan. Add grated pumpkin.Cook on lowest flame for 12-15 mins, till it becomes tender.
  • Add melted jaggery to cooked pumpkin. Mix well. Continue to cook on low flame, till the mixture i almost dried and starts leaving the side of the pan, around 10-12 mins.
  • Add medium thick coconut milk, bring to boil. Simmer and cook till it's reduced in qty and it becomes thick in cosistency. Add cooked sago and mix well.
  • Add thick coconut milk and mix well. Continue to cook on low flame for another 7-8 mins. Add crushed cardamom and remove from fire.
  • Heat ghee (2 tbsp) in a small frying pan and add the chopped pumpkin pieces, till it becomes golden in colour. Drain and fry the coconut bits, till it becomes golden, followed by the cashew nuts.
  • Garnish the payasam with fried pumpkin pieces, coconut bits and cashew nuts.


Though Sago is not a necessary ingredient, I suggest you add it since it gives a texture to the payasam.
I used around 260 gms of jaggery. You can adjust the qty to suit your requirements. Also, if the pumpkin is sweet, adjust the qty of jaggery accordingly.
Keep in mind that the payasam tends to thicken as it rests, so adjust the consistency accordingly.
It keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days.
I use Maggie Coconut milk powder. For 1 cup thick coconut milk - I use 3-4 tbsp coconut milk powder and 1 cup water. For medium thick, 2-3 tbsp of coconut milk powder to 1 cup water. You can take this as a base and adjust it to suit your preferences.