Green gram dhal (yellow lentil) payasa recipe

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This dish seems to be unusual for Westerners due to the lentils being used as a sweet rather than a savory. In India we use lentils in our diet because it is rich in protein, more so than any other plant-derived food. In South India we use tuvar dhal for our protein and fiber requirements, hence it is used in everyday meals such as sambar. Yellow lentils cannot be used in sambar and therefore we use it in dishes such as payasas.

This particular dhal has a cooling effect on the body during summer. In one way or another we use a variety of
dhals in our diet to get the benefit of protein, fiber, starch, B-complex, iron, potassium, zinc and other essential

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 cup green gram dhal (skinned & split)
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbs coconut, grated
  • 10 cardamom pods, crushed, discard husks
  • ¼ cup jaggery or 2 Tbs sugar or honey
  • 2 Tbs ghee
  • 2-3 Tbs cashew nuts, halved
  • 2-3 Tbs raisins
How to Make It
  1. Place the green gram dhal and the water in a heavy- bottomed pot or pressure cooker. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover with the lid and cook until the green gram dhal becomes soft, 15-20 minutes in a pot or 3-4 minutes in a pressure cooker.
  2. Stir in the milk and mix well, t hen add the coconut, cardamom and jaggery, sugar or honey. Mix well again and leave to cook over a low heat while preparing the cashew nuts and raisins.
  3. Heat the ghee in a frying pan. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins over a low heat until the cashew nuts turn golden brown. Remove from t he heat and add the cashew nuts, raisins and ghee to the dhal mixture. Mix well. Serve hot or chilled.

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