Kadalai Paruppu Payasam (Channa Dal Kheer/Dessert)
It is usually only on Fridays that I make dessert and as far as possible I try to use ingredients that can supplement any lacuna in the rest of the meal. This could be a vegetable, fruit, pulse or a grain. For this dessert, it was a dal that I picked. The dish itself is a very traditional dessert and my mother-in-law makes it for most festivals although it is not common in my mom’s household. This time though I barely had any time to make it the traditional way and just took a modern short cut. Well, it certainly is not an unhealthy shortcut but just clever use of ingredients. I will describe at the end of the recipe how it is traditionally done. As I always try to make quick and healthy dishes so I get more time with my wee one outside the kitchen, I think I will stick to my way of doing…
1/3 cup kadalai paruppu (channa dal), pressure cooked
2-3 cups milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons dessicated coconut
Few raisins fried in ghee
Grind most of the cooked dal to fine paste and add the remaining dal at the end and pulse. This gives a nice texture to the dessert.
Boil it with milk and once it just begins to boil, add cardamom, dessicated coconut and sugar.
Boil until desired consistency is achieved, add more milk if needed. Put few drops of ghee on top to help it not solidify too much when it cools.
Add the raisins and serve. Tastes great warm or cold
Traditionally, it is done pretty much with coconut milk and not much of cow’s milk is used. Also, instead of brown sugar, jaggery is used but you may have to dissolve the jaggery, fliter it to remove the grit and use the jaggery syrup. Some tend to cook the dal in coconut milk and some people cook it in cow’s milk and add coconut milk when boiling the ground dal. As I do not usually make fresh coconut milk and also tend to use it in moderation, I cooked the dal in water and then added cow’s milk. The dessicated coconut gives a nice subtle flavour but traditionally they use freshly grated coconut. Ofcourse you can add some fried cashews to garnish. As you can see, I tried to just combine ingredients off the shelf, thereby reducing cooking time but not the taste!