Paruppu Payasam (Sweet Moong Dal and Cashew Pudding with Cardamom and Jaggery)

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5 min


1 h 5 min



Paruppu Payasam (Sweet Moong Dal and Cashew Pudding with Cardamom and Jaggery)

Photography by Erik Putz; Food styling by Ryan Barclay; Prop styling by Madeleine Johari

Using lentils in desserts has always been common across India. This payasam can also be cooked with butter instead of coconut oil for a non-vegan version.


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves
  • 200 g moong dal , (husked and halved yellow mung beans)
  • 4 3/4 cups warm water , divided
  • 200 g jaggery , or soft dark brown sugar
  • 8 cardamom pods , seeds only, ground to a powder
  • 6 cashews , roughly broken
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk


  1. Heat the coconut and vegetable oils in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the cloves and fry for a few seconds, then add the moong dal and fry, stirring well, for 8 to 9 min. The colour will deepen as it
    fries. Slowly add 3 1/2 cups water, making sure it doesn’t sputter. Increase the heat slightly, bring the mix to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 50 min, stirring well a few times during cooking.
  2. While the moong dal is cooking, in a separate saucepan, dissolve the jaggery in 1 1/4 cups water and simmer gently for 10 to 15 min. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Take the lid off the moong dal and mash to thicken the mixture slightly. Cook for a further 5 min, stirring well to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the jaggery water to the moong dal, along with the ground cardamom and cashews. Stir well and simmer without the lid for 10 min. Add the coconut milk and simmer for a further 2 to 3 min. Turn off the heat and serve in bowls, warm or cold. The payasam will thicken as it cools.


This unrefined sweetener is often sold in chunks or blocks. It’s made from sugar cane juice and/or date palm sap, and has a molasses-like flavour.