Moong dal payasam


Sweetened lentils are the stars of this simple, sweet dish. This paruppu payasam is made with yellow moong dal, jaggery, cardamom and coconut bits. It is a special dessert often served during festivals in South India.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients: Yellow moong dal: ¼ cup Chana dal: 3 tbsp Jaggery: ¾ cup Ghee: 3 tsp Cashewnuts: Few Coconut bits: 2 tbsp Water: ¾ cup Milk: 1 cup Cardamom powder: 2 pinches

Method: 1) Take 1 tsp ghee in a pan and add moong dal and chana dal. 2) Roast till there's a nice aroma. Do it on a low flame without burning the dals. 3) Transfer this to a vessel and add ¾ cup water. Pressure-cook till 3-4 whistles. You can soak the mix for 15 minutes in water and also cook. 4) Roast the cashewnuts and coconut bits in 2 tsp ghee till they turn golden brown. Keep it aside. 5) Take ¾ cup jaggery in a pan and add 2 tbsp water. Melt the jaggery and keep it aside. 6) Now mash the cooked dals. 7) Filter the jaggery syrup to remove impurities. 8) Add the mashed dals to the jaggery syrup and mix well. 9) Let this boil for 3-4 minutes. Stir well, otherwise it will stick to the bottom. 10) Switch off the stove. Bring the mixture to room temperature. 11) Now add milk. Let the milk be room-temperature as well. 12) Do not add hot milk. You can use raw milk or boiled, cooled milk. Mix well. 13) Add the cardamom powder and roasted cashewnuts and coconut bits. Mix well. 14) Moong dal kheer is ready.

Notes: a) You can use coconut milk instead of milk. b) Take a thick extract of coconut milk, about 1/2 cup, and add to the paruppu payasam after switching off the flame. c) You can add more milk if the payasam's consistency is too thick. d) Do not use hot milk as the payasam will curdle. e) Do not add milk when the jaggery-paruppu mixture is hot. f) Moong dal payasam tastes nice when chilled.

Jeyashri Suresh runs the vegetarian food website