Moong Dal Payasam (Stovetop + Instant Pot)

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In a Mangalorean household, festive celebrations are incomplete without a delicious serving of Moong dal payasam or payasa. Learn how to make this traditional dessert in half the time without compromising on the taste.

A hand holding a bowl of moong dal payasam served in a black bowl
Instant Pot Moong Dal Payasam

A well-made moong dal payasa just like rice kheer or pudding has texture to it, is infused with freshly ground cardamom, and tempered with homemade ghee. The only difference is instead of sugar, it is sweetened with jaggery. If you have been making South Indian food for some time you probably know that most of the desserts are jaggery based than sugar-based such as this Gatti or this flaky puran poli

Most Mangaloreans make Moong Dal Payasam or Payasa (in Tulu) 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 seviyan kheer probably because she preferred the kheer more. 

Things changed after I got married and I started making this payasa more often because of my husband. With time, I acquired a taste for it so much so that it has become our official dessert for all festivals. 

Fun fact – While the Mangaloreans, particularly the Tulu-speaking community call it payasa, the rest of the states in southern India call it payasam. It is also commonly known as Paruppu payasam. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

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, moong dal payasa is the way to go.

  1. Easy to make and is ready in less than 20 minutes. 
  2. Almost a dump and go recipe. 
  3. Can be made vegan – instead of tempering in ghee, use coconut oil. 

How to make moong dal payasa

Here’s what I learned from my mother-in-law when you make payasa using moong dal, if you don’t pay attention it can cook rather quickly and lose all texture. That is why if you are using your Instant Pot make sure to quickly release pressure after the cooking cycle is complete. This will prevent the moong dal from turning into a mush unless you want your moong dal completely mashed.

An overheat shot of Instant Pot Moong Dal Payasam
Instant Pot Moong Dal Payasam

Here are the steps to make it in an Instant Pot or a stovetop pressure cooker – 

  1. Rinse and soak moong dal in 2 cups of water for about 3-4 hours.
  2. Rinse and soak sabudana separately in 1/4 cup of water for about 3-4 hours as well.
  3. Drain the water from the moong dal.
  4. Pressure cook moong dal on medium heat with 1.5 cups of water and a pinch of salt (I let the vent go off once). Shut the gas off and set aside.
  5. If using an Instant Pot, pressure cook the dal along with the salt for 4 minutes on high. When the cooking cycle is complete, release pressure immediately.
  6. Open the pressure cooker and add the soaked sabudana, along with coconut milk and jaggery.
  7. Heat the mixture on medium-low heat, constantly stirring until the sabudana is cooked (around 4-5 minutes). Use the Saute setting on ‘Less’ if using Instant Pot.
  8. Add water as needed to get it to the consistency you prefer. I added about 1.5 cups of water.
  9. Add cardamom powder and mix well. Turn off the heat.
  10. Heat ghee in a separate pan kept over medium heat.
  11. Add cashews and raisins. Let them sizzle in the ghee for 20 seconds or so.
  12. Add it to the payasa and stir it in.
  13. Serve hot.

Substitutions I made to cut down the cooking and prep time

  1. Used canned coconut milk instead of homemade coconut milk. 
  2. Used powdered jaggery instead of grating or powdering a big chunk of jaggery.

Testers notes

  1. Don’t forget to soak both the moong dal as well as sabudana (sago) before cooking. 
  2. Use the regular coconut milk and not the light version for the best results. 
  3. Start with 1 cup of powdered jaggery and add more as needed. 
  4. You can replace moong dal with chana dal too – don’t forget to soak it!
  5. If you don’t have jaggery replace it with sugar. Start with 1 cup of sugar and add more as needed.
  6. You can mash the moong dal as well but we prefer our payasa to have a bit of texture.
  7. The payasam thickens with time. Use either water or milk to dilute it. 
  8. Also, tempering is optional. My kids do not like cashews in their payasa so I often skip it. 
An overhead shot of moong dal payasam served in black bowls
Instant Pot Moong Dal Payasam

Other delicious Indian Dessert Recipes to enjoy

  1. Semiyan Kheer  -a creamy and delicious dessert that you can put together in a cinch.
  2. Gulab Jamun – India’s most beloved dessert and a favorite at Indian buffets!
  3. Rice kheer – Making Rice Kheer just got a whole lot quicker with this easy Instant Pot Kheer recipe. This Indian Rice Pudding comes out creamy and flavorful, without spending hours in the kitchen.
  4. Gajar halwa (carrot pudding) Gajar halwa or Carrot pudding is a delectable dessert made from grated carrots, milk, and sugar. Learn this (almost) hands-free approach to making one of India’s most beloved desserts using an Instant Pot.
  5. Puran poli This traditional Indian dessert goes by a few names – holigebele obbattu, or puran poli. Chapati like but with a flaky crust and a sweet lentil filling, puran poli is a favorite throughout India.
  6. Instant Pot Sweet Pongal – Learn how to make this authentic-tasting Sakkarai Pongal or Chakkara Pongali (Sweet Pongal) in under 30 minutes using an Instant Pot.


Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  

A hand holding a bowl of moong dal payasam served in a black bowl

Moong Dal Payasam

4.5 from 6 votes
In a Mangalorean household, festive celebrations are incomplete without a delicious serving of Moong dal payasam or payasa. Learn how to make this traditional dessert in half the time without compromising on the taste.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Pressure building time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 8
Diet : Gluten-free
Course : Dessert
Method: Instant Pot, Pressure cooker
Cuisine : Mangalorean

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Rinse and soak moong dal in 2 cups of water for about 3-4 hours.
  • Rinse and soak sabudana separately in 1/4 cup of water for about 3-4 hours as well.
  • Drain the water from the moong dal.
  • Pressure cook moong dal on medium heat with 1.5 cups of water and a pinch of salt (I let the vent go off once). Shut the gas off and set aside.
  • If using an Instant Pot, pressure cook the dal along with the salt for 4 minutes on high. When the cooking cycle is complete, release pressure immediately.
  • Open the pressure cooker and add the soaked sabudana, along with coconut milk and jaggery.
  • Heat the mixture on medium-low heat, constantly stirring until the sabudana is cooked (around 4-5 minutes). Use the Saute setting on 'Less' if using Instant Pot.
  • Add water as needed to get it to the consistency you prefer. I added about 1.5 cups water.
  • Add cardamom powder and mix well. Turn off the heat.
  • Heat ghee in a separate pan kept over medium heat.
  • Add cashews and raisins. Let them sizzle in the ghee for 20 seconds or so.
  • Add it to the payasa and stir it in.
  • Serve hot.

Video

Notes

Substitutions I made to cut down the cooking and prep time
  1. Used canned coconut milk instead of homemade coconut milk. 
  2. Used powdered jaggery instead of grating or powdering a big chunk of jaggery.
Testers notes
  1. Don't forget to soak both the moong dal as well as sabudana (sago) before cooking. 
  2. Use the regular coconut milk and not the light version for the best results. 
  3. Start with 1 cup of powdered jaggery and add more as needed. 
  4. You can replace moong dal with chana dal too - don't forget to soak it!
  5. If you don't have jaggery replace it with sugar. Start with a 1 cup of sugar and add more as needed.
  6. You can mash the moong dal as well but we prefer our payasa to have a bit of texture.
  7. The payasam thickens with time. Use either water or milk to dilute it. 
  8. Also, tempering is optional. My kids do not like cashews in their payasa so I often skip it. 

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 415kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 8gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 63mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 3gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 50IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 3mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

Did you make this recipe?Take a photo and tag @simmertoslimmer on Instagram for a shoutout!
Keyword : Moong dal, Payasa, Payasam

This recipe was originally published on April 20, 2014, and the recipe and photos were updated on April 14, 2020. Moog-Dal-Payasam

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