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  • Moong Dal Payasam

    YIELD: 5 cups / 1.2 L
    TOOLS: You’ll need a heavy-bottomed, 3-quart / 3-L stockpot or Dutch oven with a lid; a mortar and pestle; a slotted spoon; and a small sauté pan.

    I was introduced to this dessert on an overnight cruise down the backwaters of Kerala. I was there to shoot cooking segments with chefs from across the state. I was completely amazed at the complexity of the flavors in the dishes made in the tiny kitchen at the back of the boat. This is one dessert you’ll never feel guilty eating.

    • 1 cup /220 g sabut moong dal (dried whole green dal with skin), picked over, washed, soaked overnight, and drained
    • 4 cups /950 mL water
    • 4 cups /950 mL milk (whole or lowfat) or milk alternative (soy or coconut)
    • 1 tablespoon ghee, vegan margarine, or vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup /35 g raw, unsalted cashews
    • 1/4 cup /40 g golden raisins
    • 1/4 cup /40 g granulated or raw cane sugar, such as Sucanat, or agave nectar
    • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder, ground as finely as possible in a mortar and pestle, hulls discarded
    • 1 tablespoon grated coconut, for garnish
    1. In a heavy-bottomed, 3-quart / 3-L stockpot over medium heat, combine the moong dal and the water. Bring to a boil.
    2. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, until the dal softens. Drain and discard the water. You’ll have 3 cups / 710 mL cooked.
    3. Return the drained moong dal to the same stockpot over medium–high heat. Add the milk and bring to a boil.
    4. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 13 minutes. During the cooking process, use a slotted spoon to remove ½ cup / 120 mL of the dal from the stockpot and mash them. Return the mashed dal to the stockpot. If a light film forms on the milk, collect it with a slotted spoon and discard it. Remove from the heat. As with my kheer recipe, I think using soy milk in this recipe instead of dairy milk makes it even better, because it gets thicker and creamier.
    5. In a small sauté pan over medium–high heat, warm the ghee. Add the cashews and raisins and sauté for 1 minute, until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to the stockpot containing the moong dal. Stir until well combined.
    6. Add the sugar and cardamom powder to the stockpot and stir until well combined. Transfer the mixture to small bowls and garnish each with the coconut.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

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