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Gluten free, vegan moong dal payasam is an Indian sweet or pudding prepared with green gram (moong dal), jaggery and coconut milk.
What is payasam?
Payasam is a milk based South Indian sweet, a close cousin of North Indian kheer. Payasam is similar to western rice pudding, though the consistency may not be as thick as rice pudding. Payasam is usually prepared with vermicelli and/or sabudana (sago), at least in my family circles. There are many variants of payasam, replacing vermicelli with moong dal, chana dal, beaten rice ~ poha, to name a few.
Theme – Gluten Free Dessert
This week’s theme is gluten free desserts and moong dal payasam is a gluten free dessert. When I made it last week, I made it using milk. I also recorded a video of the preparation. By the time I recorded the video, the sun was setting resulting in less natural light. I shot the video in a weird angle and had to redo it again. Hence, I lost all the enthusiasm to shoot photos.
Vegan & Gluten Free Dessert
Since I was happy with the recipe, the second time I made moong dal payasam to record a video, I experimented with the recipe. I made it vegan using coconut milk. I am unsure whether I like it or not. However, I ate everything all by myself. If dairy is not an issue, I highly recommend using milk or any non dairy milk of choice. I am not vegan and am partial to dairy products 🙂
Story Behind this Recipe
The first time I made moong dal payasam was last Ugadi. It is a tradition to make poornam for Ugadi in many households. Poornam is cooked dal, sweetened with sugar or jaggery to stuff flatbreads such as pooran poli, bobattlu, bakshalu. It is also used to make boorelu, batter coated poornam fritters. The lazy me decided to make payasam instead, using moong dal and jaggery, the two key ingredients in poornam. Since then, this recipe was on my to post recipes list.
Sticking to my New Year Resolution, I made moong dal payasam in Instant Pot. It is a mess free easy recipe and making it in Instant Pot is a breeze. Most of all, using an Instant Pot frees up one of the burners on cooking range, specially on special occasions & festivals, when one is busy cooking up a storm or has to attend 101 tasks!
Here is my first recipe video. I am still learning how to record and edit videos. Feedback is welcome.
How to make Moong Dal Payasam ~ Green Gram Pudding
Total Time: 20 – 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3 – 4
- ¼ cup Moong Dal ~ Green Gram
- ⅔ – ¾ cup Water
- ⅓ cup chopped Jaggery or sweetener of choice
- 1 – 2 tsp. Oil or Vegan Butter (I used olive oil)
- 8-10 Whole Cashews, broken into pieces
- 1 tbsp Raisins
- 1 cup or ½ can Coconut Milk (I used Goya light coconut milk)
- ⅛ – ¼ tsp. Cardamom Seeds, powdered
- Dry roast moong dal on medium flame until light brown. Let it cool.
- Wash and add dal to instant pot inner pot. Add water and cook on manual, vent sealed for 5 minutes and let pressure release naturally, NPR.
- Meantime, chop jaggery to small pieces.
- Roast cashews and raisins in oil, and keep aside.
- Once instant pot pressure is naturally release, open the pot and mix to lightly mash the dal.
- Press ‘cancel’ on Instant Pot, then press ‘saute’.
- Add coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to boil, let it boil for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add jaggery, cashews, raisins and cardamom powder and give a good stir.
- Press ‘cancel’. Stir payasam intermittently until jaggery melts. Though the Instant Pot is off, the pot plate/base is still hot and jaggery will melt and payasam will continue to thicken.
- Once jaggery is melted, payasam is ready to serve.
- Serve it warm or chilled.
- Coconut Milk – I used coconut milk and am not sure if I really like it. It was ok. Can substitute it with any other non dairy milk of choice. I personally prefer dairy milk and highly recommend if one is not a vegan.
- Non Vegan – Is using dairy, use 2% milk (I use 2%) or whole milk. Roast cashews & raisins in 2 tbsp butter/ghee. Add the ghee to payasam along with cashews & raisins.
- Stovetop – When preparing moong dal payasam on stovetop, use a pressure cooker to cook dal. Then follow rest of the recipe. I pressure cook dal for 3-4 whistles. OR cook dal in a saucepan until soft and follow the above recipe.