February 21, 2010

Paruppu Payasam (Moong Dal Kheer)

Paruppu Payasam is a tradtionally important dish in Kerala cuisine. Anyone who has had an Onam sadhya will vouch that the feast is incomplete until you have savoured the steaming paruppu payasam. In our home, it is made on all special occasions, not just Onam. It tastes delicious when served hot, but then, ende Mol1 likes it cold, straight from the fridge. I learnt to make it this way from my sis-in-law Rani, who makes excellent payasams.

Moong dal - 300 gms
(or cherupayar paruppu in Malayalam)
Jaggery - 600gms
Coconut milk - 1 litre (2 cans)
Sabudhana - 50gms
Ghee - 5 tbsp
Raisins -1/2 cup
Cashew nuts - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - 4 cups
Ghee - 5 tbsps

Fry the dal in a kadhai to a golden brown colour.When cool, wash and cook in the pressure cooker with enough water. After 1 whistle, switch off the cooker.

Remove 1 cup thick milk from the packet/can and keep it aside. Into the remaining milk, add 2 cups of water and keep aside. Melt the jaggery in 2 cups of water. Strain to remove impurities and keep aside. Cook sabudana in 1 cup of the diluted coconut milk until it is soft to touch. Keep aside. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in 3 tbsps of ghee and keep aside.

Transfer the dal to a thick bottom kadhai. Add 2 tbsp ghee and saute well for sometime to remove the raw taste. Add the jaggery syrup and boil well. Add the rest of the diluted coconut milk and cook until the dal blends in well with milk and jaggery syrup.

Now add the sabudhana and mix well on low heat. Switch off the fire. Add the cup of thick coconut milk that has been kept aside. Garnish the payasam with cardamom powder, nuts and raisins.

Note: Fried coconut pieces (thenga koth) is also an excellent garnish.

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