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Parippu Pradhaman – Mung Dal Payasam For OnaSadya

Happy Onam !!!  So today is  the first  day of  Onam – Onnam Onam  or  Utradam  –  the  start  day of  4  days of  festivities.  Clean up  and  get  ready  for  the  main festivities the next  day  – the  Thiruvonam.  No major  sadya  today,  just a   couple  traditional dishes  and  of  course  the  desert is a  Payasam.  Today the paysam of  choice  is   Cheru Parippu Payasam,  specifically  Parippu Pradhaman. Parippu Payasam - A dessert made with mung beans , jaggery and coconut milk

If  you are  new  to Indian food  –  think of  payasam or  kheer  as a soupy desert!  It is a  sweet  dish served  in a  semi liquid  form.   I always  start out  thinking  that  I should  make payasam on  all 4  days of  Onam, but  usually by the  3rd  day  the  sugar  overload  tajes  over:-) .  Moderation   when it  comes  to payasam  is  something  I have  yet  to  master !

Pradhamans  fall into a  special category  of  payasams that are  very vegan  friendly ! The  sweetener  is  jaggery,   the  liquid  base is  coconut  milk  and  the  star  ingredient  could  be  fruits, nuts ,  beans, rice or  wheat. Today it is split mung  beans or  cherupayar parippu.    The only non vegan ingredient is  ghee – used  for  frying  the  garnishes .  This is  an easy fix – swap  out the  ghee  for  coconut  oil or  any flavorless oil , or  dry roast  the  garnishes. Coconut milk , beans,  jaggery (evaporated  pure cane  juice) these are all ingredients that  the nutritionists love.  So  who can  blame  you  if you indulge a  bit ?  It  is  all good  for you.

Pappadam , pazham (banana), payasam  this  is  how  it is  served  traditionally. Pradhamans  are  extremely sweet   and  the  addition of  bits  of  fresh banana  and  and  the  savory crunch of  the  pappadam  is a  welcome  change.  But let  me  tell you,  there is a  whole  world  of  conspiracy behind  all this,    it makes  payasams so addictive that  one  floats into a  sugar induced  coma . But  right  now  my taste buds  are  in  need  of  immediate  attention.

Mung Beans

Split Mung Beans

All right  I am   back, after a  well deserved  nap my  brain cells  seem to be  recovering  from the sugar induced  stupor!  If  I make  any mistakes – well you  know   where  the  blame  lies .

These tiny beans are the star of this desert. There is a little prep work involved. Wash and dry the beans on layers of kitchen towels. A quick wash is all you need, and absolutely no soaking. You can skip this step if very sure of the quality of the beans. The other step is to extract the coconut milk. I prefer to use fresh coconut milk, especially during special occasions, but you can get away with canned or powdered versions as well. If using canned, use the full fat variety. Do not shake the can, and skim off 1 tbsp of the solids and mix with 1 C water for thin coconut milk. Mix 2 to 3 Tbsps of the cream with 1 C water to make medium coconut milk. Reserve the remaining cream for later.

Parippu Payasam Steps 1

Cook  1 C  mung  beans  with thin  coconut  milk   and  2 C  water to until  it  is  almost  all the  way cooked.   It  used  to be  slow  cooked over  wooden  fires, but I prefer  my way –  pressure  cook  for  1  whistle.  You could use any thick bottomed  pan  at least large  enough  to contain  3 times  the  volume (about 12 C in this case). Use a large  pot   for  this  dish to  avoid  accidental  spills, boiling  over  etc. .

While  the  beans  are  cooking  break the  jaggery into  small pieces.  In a pan  add the  jaggery  with 1/4 c  water  and  bring  to  slow  boil.  Let  it  caramelize a  little before  adding  1/2  to 3/4 C  more  water.  Stir to help all the  jaggery dissolve into the  water.  bring  it  to a  slow  simmer  and  turn off the  heat. Keep warm.  Crush the  aromatic  spices and  set  aside.  I prefer to use  whole  spices, rather  than  powders.

Parippu Payasam Steps

Mash the  cooked  dal lightly  and  add the  medium  thick  coconut  milk  and  half  the  melted jaggery  into it. Since  it  is  unprocessed and  raw, the  sweetness of jaggery  varies.  I start  with  1/2  the quantity and add the  left  over as  needed.   Bring  it  back to boil  and  slow  simmer  for  10 minutes  .Taste  and  add more  jaggery  as  needed.  Simmer  until  it thickens  to desired consistency.

Add  the  spice  mix  stir  and  add  the  thick coconut milk.  Mix  well   and  bring  to a  slow  simmer, do not  boil . Turn off the  heat.  Fry  the  coconut pieces,  cashew nuts  and  raisins   one  by one in  a  little  ghee (or coconut oil for  vegans).  Add the  fried  pieces  into the payasam  reserving a  few  pieces  for  garnishing.  Stir well  and  cover with a  lid  and  let  rest  for 20 to 30 minutes.  Pradhaman tends  to  thicken a  little  as  it  rests.

Serve !!

Parippu Payasam - A dessert made with mung beans , jaggery and coconut milk

Parippu Pradhaman

By Syama
A  thick and  creamy desert  made with  jaggery and  mung beans. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine India
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 C Mung Dal Split
  • 500 g Jaggery 1lb (See Notes)
  • 1 Coconut ( or equivalent see notes )
  • 1/4 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 Inch Dry Ginger About 1 Tsp Powdered
  • 4 Cardamom
  • 15 Cashew Nuts
  • 2 Tbsp Raisins
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Pieces
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp Ghee / Coconut Oil


  • Grate 3/4 of the the coconut and extract coconut milk - 1/2 C first extraction, 1 1/2 C second and third extractions. See notes if using canned milk.
  • Heat in a heavy bottom pan or in a pressure cooker. Add the Parippu (mung dal) and dry roast for a few minutes until it changes color and gives off a nice roasted aroma. Add enough water to the thin coconut milk to make up 3 cups. Pour this over the roasted parippu , cover with a lid and cook till done. In a pressure cooker cook for 1 whistle.
  • While the dal is cooking, crush the jaggery. Put it in a thick bottomed pan along with 1/4 C water. Heat over low heat and let the jaggery melt and begin to caramelize (avoid this step if lighter colored pradhaman is desired or if the jaggery is already dark colored). Add about 1/2 c water to the melted jaggery and stir well. Heat over medium heat until the jaggery is dissolved completely. If needed add more water. Turn off the heat strain and keep warm.
  • Add half of the jaggery liquid to the cooked parippu along with the second extraction of coconut milk. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in between to keep the pradhaman from sticking to the bottom .
  • Taste and add as much more of the remaining jaggery liquid as per your taste. Add more water if the pradhaman seems thick. Simmer for a few more minutes, until the pradhaman has reached desired consistency.
  • Take a mortar and pestle and crush the cumin, dry ginger and cardamom to coarse powder.
  • Add the thick coconut milk, mix well and turn off the heat . Do not boil the pradhaman. Add the spice mix to the pradhaman and let rest for a few minutes. Pradhaman tends to thicken a little as it rests.
  • Heat Ghee in a kadai or small frying pan. Fry cashew nuts till browned evenly. Drain and reserve. Repeat the process with raisins and coconut pieces. Reserve a little of the fried pieces for garish and add the rest to the pradhaman. Mix well and rest for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to serve , transfer to serving containers and garnish with the remaining fried bits.


  • If using canned milk - use full fat variety.
  • If  using  canned  milk use  the  cream  settled  on top  as  follows -  thin 1 Tbsp coconut cream with 1C water and  use as the 3rd extraction coconut milk. Thin 2 to 3 tbsp coconut cream with 1C water for 2nd extraction coconut milk. Finally use  the  cream  as  thick coconut  milk. 
  • Adjust spices to your taste, the ginger and cumin  are   traditionally added  to help  with  digestion.
  • For  vegan  version  use  coconut  oil,  though  traditionally  ghee is  used.
  • When  Jaggery is  not  available  use a  mix  of  brown  sugar  and  molasses. Sweeten  as  needed  with brown sugar   and   add  about  1  Tbsp of  molasses  for  the  recipe  above. 

Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.

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The  idea  is to  get  the  same  slow  cooked  taste   in  less time .  Now  obviously there is no  substitute  for the   slow  cooked  feel over  the  wood  burning  stove , but a  few  tips  and  tricks  will  approximate  the  taste.  The traditional  pan for   making  pradhaman is Uruli –   a  thick  shallow  wok  without the long  handle.  Uruli is  designed  to perform   best over  traditional  wood burning  stoves  where  the  flames  could  dart  all around  the  base.  A pressure  cooker  gets  the job  done in much less  time.

  • The  design of  the  Uruli makes  it  easy for  the  solids  to get  attached  to  the  sides   caramelize a  little ,intensifying  the  flavor  profile.    The repeated  stirring  scrapes  the  bits   that  stick  to the  sides  back into the   liquid. This is  the  reason I recommend   letting  the  jaggery  melt  first.
  • While  melting  the  jaggery a little  bit of  water is  added  initially to prevent burning.
  • Cook the  dal in  thin  coconut  milk  –  this  helps with the  flavors  to meld  more uniformly.
  • Restaurents  add  sago  or tapioca pearls  to the pradhaman as a thickener.   This is not a   standard   practice  for  traditional Kerala  celebrations .
  • The  same  recipe  can  be   used  with  other  dals – kadala parippu payasam or chana dal (split  peas) is  very popular  as well.   Add  1 to 2 tsp  ghee/oil  while roasting  split  peas.

Parippu Payasam

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