My 305th recipe, "Paruppu Payasam | Moong Dal Payasam", an Onam Special. A rich and classic South Indian dessert shining with the flavors of moong dal, coconut and aptly sweetened with jaggery. Perfect to celebrate any special occasion.
Happy Onam to my friends who are in the celebration mood this week. When people are split and keep fighting for petty issues, hope that traditional festivals such as Onam brings in unity among diversity. While Pongal festival is Tamils' Harvest festival, Onam is Keralites' very own version of the harvest festival.
Among a whole bunch of festivals celebrated in India, Onam finds a special place in my life. It is not because I celebrate it with grandeur, but it is for different reason. Onam coincided with the day I got married. Even though Onam doesn't reoccur every year on our anniversary day, it still has a special fondness in my heart forever. While the festival itself is spread across multiple days, my favorite day is when the Sadaya is made. An elaborate feast of some of my very favorite dishes. I have had my fair taste of Sadaya dishes from our friendly neighbors 🙂
I just had a short thought on the dish I had to cook today. It had to be either one of my favorite snack or sweet. I then decided to honor one of my long time recipe requests, the Paruppu Payasam. The recipe request did not come from one of my readers, rather it came from RK. Since it is one of his favorite desserts, he has been asking me to make it for a long time now. I always postponed making it, waiting for the right occasion. And finally RK got his wish granted today.
This paruppu payasam is a very easy dessert to make. The only thing to pay attention to is the consistency of cooking the moong dal. If you get that right, there is nothing else you would need to worry about. The cooked moong dal and coconut milk adds a nice bit of creaminess to the payasam. Unlike refined sugar, the jaggery added in traditional recipes such as this paruppu payam, imparts a lot of flavor and color in addition to the sweetness. And the bits of coconut and cashews fried in ghee takes this paruppu payasam from great tasting to simply yum 😉
- ½ + 1 ½ tsp Ghee
- ⅓ Cup Moong Dal
- 2 + ⅔ Cups Water
- ⅔ Cup Jaggery
- ⅛ tsp Cardamom
- ⅔ Cup Coconut Milk (neither thick nor thin)
- 5 Cashew (chopped)
- 1 Tbsp Dry Coconut Flakes (finely chopped)
- First, heat ½ tsp of the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the moong dal and roast until a nice aroma arises and turns slightly golden.
- To the roasted moong dal, add about 2 Cups of water and cook it in medium flame. Cook until the moong dal is just done. It should neither be mashed out nor undercooked. If needed, you can add about ½ - 1 Cup of additional water for cooking.
- Meanwhile, melt the jaggery along with the remaining ⅔ Cup of water. Filter the jaggery syrup through a fine metal mesh strainer and add it to the cooked moong dal. Stir well and cook until the jaggery syrup bubbles up and thickens a bit. Now add the cardamom powder and stir well.
- Add the coconut milk, stir well and cook for about a min or two. Turn off the flame.
- In a separate pan, heat the remaining 1 ½ tsp ghee and saute the cashew and coconut flakes until nicely golden. Add the cashews, coconut flakes along with the ghee to the payasam and mix well.
- Serve hot.