We make Moong Dal Payasam or Payasa as we call it in Mangalore on auspicious occasions such as New Year (Ugadi), Dassera or birthdays. I don’t remember my mom making the Moong Dal Payasa as often as she would make Sev Kheer and I don’t think I particularly cared about it as a kid. Things changed after I got married and I started making Moong Dal Payasam more often and acquired a taste for it so much so that it has become our official kheer or payasa for festivals. I like this recipe for multiple reasons – it is pretty straightforward and very hard to goof up so if you are new to the kitchen and looking for a go to dessert to begin with..Moong Dal Payasa is the way to go…
You need only a few ingredients to get this on the table and I use store bought coconut milk in lieu of squeezing the milk out of freshly grated coconut – such a time saver! and I will be honest I don’t know whether it is leads to a huge taste difference. I have always made it with store bought coconut milk and in my humble opinion it still brings back the good old memories of growing up in a Mangalorean house hold.
- 1 cup Moong Dal, rinsed and soaked for 3-4 hours
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup Sabudana or Sago, rinsed and soaked for 3-4 hours
- 1 can (~400 ml) coconut milk
- ¾ cup powdered jaggery
- ½ teaspoon cardamom (elaichi) powder
- ½ teaspoon ghee (optional)
- ¼ cup mixed nuts (cashews,raisins,almonds) (optional)
- Water as needed to dilute
- Pressure cook Moong dal on medium heat with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt (I let the vent go off once). Shut the gas off and set aside.
- Once cooled, open the pressure cooker and add Sabudana and coconut milk and heat the mixture on medium heat, constantly stirring until the Sabudana is cooked (around 8-10 minutes).
- Add water as needed to get it to the consistency you prefer. I added 1 cup of water.
- Add powdered jaggery and cardamom powder and continue to cook till the jaggery dissolves (another 5 minutes). Reduce heat to low.
- Heat ghee in a separate pan and add cashews and other nuts. Let them sizzle in the ghee for 20 seconds or so. Take off gas and add it to the Moong dal-Sabudana mixture. Stir it in and take it off heat.
- Serve hot.