Moong Dal Payasam also known as Paruppu Payasam or Parippu Payasam is a traditional South Indian payasam variety made with yellow split and skinned moong lentils, jaggery, coconut milk, ghee and nuts. Paruppu Payasam is delicious, healthy, creamy, can be made vegan and is gluten-free. Make this crowd-pleaser for any occasion like festivals, parties or when the dessert-cravings kick in. This moong dal payasam is protein-packed, uses no refined sugar and easy to make.
In India you are likely to find, a zillion versions of Kheer and Payasam dishes. For the uninitiated, Kheer and Payasam are traditional Indian puddings mostly cooked with milk. They can be made with grains, flour, lentils, semolina and even with Semiya/Vermicelli.
These are the simplest dishes that can be made with little effort. The South Indian version of these puddings are known by the name “Payasam” and are mostly made with jaggery, an unrefined sugarcane sweetener.
Moong dal payasam is one such kind and you will find this most commonly in the Malayalam & Tamil speaking homes.
About Moong Dal Payasam
Paruppu Payasam is a Traditional South Indian Pudding where soft cooked moong lentils are simmered with coconut milk, sweetened with jaggery and flavoured with cardamoms. The dish is tempered with ghee in which nuts, raisins and sometimes chopped bits of coconut are fried.
Coconut milk is the star of this dish that provides a nutty flavor and creamy taste. However the dish can simply be made with dairy milk, if you do not coconut milk or it does not fit into your diet.
Here are a few tips & tricks that will help you make the best out of this recipe.
- Roasting moong dal brings out an aroma. So do not skip that. You can roast it anytime ahead, cool down and store in a air tight jar at room temperature for about 1 month or in the refrigerator for 6 months.
- Use generous amount of ghee as it enhances the taste and aroma of the dish.
- We usually do not cook the dal to mushy texture. So cook it according to your taste. It has to be soft cooked but must still hold shape partially.
- If your jaggery is pure and has no impurities you may add it directly without making the jaggery syrup.
- You can also fry coconut slices in ghee until golden and garnish. Frying them at lower temperatures will harden them.
- Use fresh good quality coconut milk. If you do not have coconut milk, you can also replace it with regular milk but with caution.
How to Make Moong Dal Payasam (Stepwise Photos)
1. Dry roast half cup moong dal until aromatic & golden. You can directly roast in pressure cooker or pot as well.
2. Pour water and rinse the lentils a few times. Pour 1½ cups water and a teaspoon ghee to the pot/ cooker. Pressure cook until soft, for 2 whistles on a medium flame. If you want to cook on stovetop, pour 2 cups water and bring to a rolling boil, reduce and let the lentils simmer until tender. You may skim off any froth that comes over the dal.
3. Skip this step if your jaggery is clean. If your jaggery is not clean, add the grated one to a bowl with 3 to 4 tbsps of water. Heat it until it melts & turns slightly thick. It should be still runny & of pouring consistency. Cool this if you are using normal milk and not coconut milk.
Make Paruppu Payasam
4. When the pressure releases, open the lid and check the dal. It should be cooked fully and turn soft. Mash it slightly.
5. Add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder, ¼ teaspoon ginger powder & ½ to ¾ cup thin coconut milk or milk and stir well. Cook on a low flame for a while or until it begins to bubble. Filter the cooled jaggery syrup (only if using coconut milk) & mix. Note: Here thin coconut milk is the second extract /pressed coconut milk. If using canned, mix 1/3 cup thick milk with water to make it 3/4 cup.
If using regular milk, turn off the stove first and then filter the cooled jaggery syrup. Your dish is ready, cool down and serve
6. If using coconut milk only – bring it to a gentle boil. Then pour 1/4 cup of first extract or thick coconut milk. You can also use canned coconut milk. Turn off the stove. If it is too thick pour some more coconut milk.
7. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee until medium hot. If using sliced coconut, add them and fry on a medium high flame until light and golden. Remove them to a small bowl. Add 10 cashews (20 split) and fry until light golden. Add 10 raisins and stir until plump. Turn off and pour to the moong dal payasam.
Serve Moong dal payasam when it cools down a bit.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup moong dal (pasi paruppu)
- 1½ cup water
- ½ to ¾ cup thin coconut milk (or regular milk) refer notes
- ½ to ¾ cup jaggery or sugar
- ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon dry ginger powder (optional)
- 10 cashews
- 10 raisins
- 2 tablespoons dried coconut slices (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Ghee as desired
- ¼ cup thick coconut milk
- Add moong dal to a cooker or pot. Dry roast on a medium heat till you get a nice aroma.
- Then rinse the dal very well and pour 1½ cup water. If cooking in a pot you may need to add more water.
- Pressure cook on a medium flame until soft for 2 whistles.
- Optional – Skip this step if the jaggery is clean. While the dal cooks, grate and add jaggery to a small pot with 3 to 4 tbsps of water. Boil it on a medium heat until slightly thick yet runny & of pouring consistency. When done set this aside to cool down.
How to make Moong Dal Payasam
- When the pressure releases, mash the cooked dal slightly. If you prefer smooth payasam then mash it well.
- Dal must be fully cooked and should not be even slightly hard. If it is aldente then cook for some more time until soft adding more water if needed.
- Pour the thin coconut milk or milk to the dal and bring it to a gentle boil on a low flame.
- Add cardamom powder & ginger powder (optional).
- Place a filter over the pot and pour jaggery syrup through it to the payasam. Mix it well.
- Bring the paruppu payasam to a gentle boil. Optionally pour ¼ cup thick coconut milk.
- Turn off the stove. Do not boil any longer.
- If using regular milk – Cool the jaggery syrup completely before you add here. If you pour the hot jaggery syrup to boiling payasam, it will curdle most of the times. So make sure you cool it. Also turn off the stove and cook no longer.
- Heat ghee in a small pan. Fry coconut on a medium high flame until slightly golden. Remove to a small bowl and add cashews to the ghee. Fry until light golden. Then add the raisins and stir until they become plump.
- Pour this to the paruppu payasam.
- If you do not have coconut milk use regular milk. But ensure you add only cooled jaggery syrup to the cooked moong dal payasam else it will split/curdle.
- You can directly add the grated jaggery and skip making the syrup if your jaggery is clean.
- Traditionally only coconut milk is used to make paruppu payasam. First extract, second extract and third extracts of the fresh coconut are added at 2 different times.
- If you prefer to make it that way, then blend half cup fresh coconut with 1/4 cup water and extract the thick coconut milk. Set this aside & pour this towards the end, just before you turn off the stove. Boiling paruppu payasam any longer after adding the first extract may curdle the payasam. So avoid boiling.
- To make the second and third extracts, pour another half cup water to the same coconut and blend it. Extract the coconut milk and pour this just before adding the jaggery syrup.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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