One thing about Indian food that never fails to amaze me, is the diversity in the cuisines of individual states and sub regions. How we all share the love towards food and let our lives revolve around it.. How we all love to celebrate our culture and traditions weaving around this eternal love and how we keep our basic dishes the same yet they all are so different in taste and textures. Isnt it absolutely amazing?
If you are from north side of India, you must have had the most popular and common dessert of all- Kheer. Kheer or kheera or kheerni as it is called in different regions, is an Indian rice pudding made using, well rice and milk. Some add nuts to it, some add saffron or cardamom, just to bring in extra flavours and make it more rich than it already is.
Some more South Indian recipes-> Chana dal Dosa | Curd rice with cucumber | Onion uttapam | Instant spinach Idli | Cauliflower sambhar | Beetroot Sambar | Lemon rice | Shallot sambar | Soft sponge dosa
Payasam is for south India what kheer is for us northerners. Basic rice pudding where they use jaggery instead of sugar (in most cases) and usually any type of lentil is added to make it healthier and richer in texture and taste. There is a wide range of payasams with different recipes and lentils. One such payasam is this green moong dhal payasam which is as healthy as it is tasty. And it gets ready in under 30 minutes.
Adding lentils make payasam rich in proteins and since jaggery is added instead of sugar, it is high in iron as well. Coconut milk also contributes in the sweetness, making this dessert a fairly healthy dessert with a balanced mix of carbs, proteins and iron. This is the reason I love to have payasams for breakfast time when the metabolism is high and eating sweet do less harm to the body.
Payasams are usually prepared for Pooja/Neivedhyam purposes or festivals like Diwali, Navratri, Pongal, Onam etc. You could also add some milk to the recipe or skip coconut milk entirely as per your taste and preference. This is a Tamil speciality and is known as Arisi paruppu payasam in local language.
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South Indian Payasam with dal, rice & coconut milk | Arisi paruppu payasam
- ¼ cup rice
- 2 tbsp Moong dal
- 1 tbsp chana dal
- ½ cup jaggery powdered or crushed
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 4-6 cashews halved
- A pinch of cardamom powder
- 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
- 1 ½ cup water or more
Rinse rice properly and soak for 20 minutes. Roast cashew halves in a tsp of ghee/coconut oil and keep aside.
Heat ghee/coconut oil in a pressure cooker. Roast moong dal and chana dal at low gas till they lentils turn golden. Add rice and roast for about a minute.
Keep stirring so it doesnt stick at the bottom.
Add water, mix and cook till 3-4 whistles at medium gas. Open the cooker once the pressure eases off and mash slightly.
Add jaggery powder and adjust the water quantity. Simmer for a few minutes until jaggery dissolves.
Turn the flame to low, add coconut milk and cardamom powder. Simmer further for a few minutes. Turn off the gas, add roasted cashew halves and serve hot.
Coconut milk can be replaced with milk but traditionally coconut milk is added to get the best flavours.
DO NOT boil the payasam after adding coconut milk as it may break, so just heat it up at low gas.
This payasam becomes thick as it cools down so you could add more coconut milk/milk at the time of serving incase if it becomes very thick.
You can also add some grated coconut along with the coconut milk.
More kheer recipes-