Sweetened lentils are the star of this simple dessert. The name of the South Indian state of Kerala translates to “the land of coconut trees,” and so it’s no surprise that this traditional moong dal payasam calls for coconut milk. There, they use fresh coconut milk of course, but for simplicity’s sake, my recipe calls for canned coconut milk. If you’ve ever had kheer before, then you’ll find that this is a similar dessert, but made with lentils instead of rice and coconut milk instead of milk.
- ½ cup small yellow lentils (moong dal)
- 1 tablespoon ghee (or coconut oil if dairy-free)
- ¼ cup cashews, halved
- ¼ cup coconut slices*
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 cup jaggery or coconut sugar, adjust to taste!
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk
- Press the sauté button. Add the small yellow lentils (moong dal). Dry roast the dal for 2-3 minutes, or until it turns golden and gives off a slightly nutty aroma. Remove the lentils and rinse them under cold water.
- Press the sauté button. Add ghee to the pot. Once it melts, add the cashews and coconut pieces. Stir-fry until golden. Remove and set aside.
- Add the rinsed lentils back into the pot along with 1 ¼ cups water.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 12 minutes at high pressure.
- Naturally release pressure.
- Mash the lentils with a ladle, then press the sauté button, add the jaggery and cardamom and mix well. Pour in the coconut milk and stir until well combined. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens a bit.
- Serve warm or cold and garnish with the ghee coated cashews and coconut pieces.
- *Find frozen coconut slices at your local Indian grocery store.
- you can always add less sugar to start then add more if needed at the end after pressure cooking. We like our desserts sweet 😉