Cottonseed milk dessert

Cottonseed milk is one of the best vegan milk traditionally used by people in the villages near my home town, Madurai, for making nutritious desserts. As a part of my college education, I served as a NSS (National Service Scheme) volunteer. We used to camp in the surrounding villages during summer vacation to understand the living conditions of the people and to help them improve their standard of living. We were always greeted with a glass of delicious cottonseed milk dessert in almost every household in these villages. Normally they used to grind large quantity of cottonseeds everyday and used as a fodder feed particularly to milking cows.


Apparently cottonseed milk is beneficial to lactating mothers as well. Besides it is useful to take cottonseed milk during summer to keep our body cool.


Before moving onto the recipe for paruthi paal payasam, lets see how cottonseeds milk is extracted. I used 1 cup (200 ml) of seeds and extracted 400 ml of thick milk and 400 ml of thin milk. But I have used 200 ml of thick milk only for this recipe.


  • Wash & soak cottonseeds overnight.
  • Discard the soaking water and grind seeds into smooth batter after adding enough water.
  • Pour the batter through a fine sieve and squeeze thick milk out.
  • Take the remains back to the grinding jar and grind again to squeeze thin milk out.
  • Discard the waste and pour the milk again through a filter to remove any residue.


Now the recipe for paruthi paal payasam: Here I have used foxtail millets (thinai) to prepare payasam (dessert), but authentic recipe calls for millet flour (thinai maavu) to prepare thin koozh (porridge).

Time taken: 30 min.

Yields: 800 ml


  1. Foxtail millet (thinai) – ¼ cup
  2. Powdered palm jaggery (karuppatti) – little more than ¼ cup*
  3. Thick cottonseed milk – 200 ml
  4. Thin cotton seed milk – 400 ml
  5. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  6. Coconut – 5 pieces (each 1″)
  7. Dried ginger – 1 No. (½”)
  8. Cardamom – 1 No.

*Since cottonseed milk is not as sweet as any other milk it is better to add the sweetener liberally.


Mise en place:

  • Powder cardamom seeds & dried ginger using mortar & pestle and keep aside.


  • Heat a small pan with ghee in medium flame.
  • Fry the chopped coconut pieces in ghee and leave aside.


  • Heat a sauce pan with thin cottonseed milk in medium flame.
  • Add powdered palm jaggery into the milk.
  • Remove from flame when jaggery is completely dissolved.


Cooking method:

  • Boil millets in a cooking pan in high flame.
  • When the water begins to boil reduce the flame to medium.
  • Pour thin cottonseed milk into the pan and cook until soft.
  • Now turn off the heat and mash cooked millets using potato masher.
  • Stir in jaggery syrup and cook for a couple of minutes in low flame.
  • Add powdered dried ginger & cardamom seeds and mix well.
  • Pour thick cottonseed milk (200 ml) into the pan and combine together.
  • Add fried coconut pieces into the pan and mix well.
  • Serve paruthi paal payasam warm or chilled.






98 Comments Add yours

  1. 3C Style says:

    A new thing for me as well. I wonder where I could get cottonseed here in Quebec… Will have to investigate. 😉

    1. Megala says:

      Wish you could find a source nearby. 🙂 Thanks so much.

      1. 3C Style says:

        Thanks to you. I will look for it. Have a great day.

      2. 3C Style says:

        I’m working on it! 😉

  2. Lili says:

    Wow! New to me too and really interesting. Sounds so refreshing and delicious. 🙂

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks much !

  3. We tried paruthi paal aka cottonseed milk for the first-ever time on our trip to Madurai last year, and all of us absolutely loved it. I bought back home a packet of ready-to-use cottonseed milk – I wonder if I could use that to make this recipe. 🙂

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, you can very well use this for making paruthi paal. And I still remember your posts on Madurai. 🙂 Thanks much.

  4. Wow, I learned a lot about cottonseed milk from this post. I have never made it before. I am sure it is delicious! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, indeed. Thanks so much for reading this post !

  5. Interesting … Never seen cottonseed

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, I do get these whenever I visit my home town. 🙂 Thank you!

  6. Fantastic post and glad to know a bit more about you. This recipe is a treasure, totally loved it with that gorgeous colour.

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much. 🙂

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