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Pesarapappu Payasam / Yellow Moong Dal Kheer

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Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

Prep Time:5 mins    Cooking Time:25-30 mins   Cuisine: Indian

Payasam is the Telugu (a  South Indian Language) word for a an age old traditional Indian sweet dish/dessert, that is made with any rice or lentil cooked with milk , sweetened with sugar or jaggery, and then topped with dry fruits & nuts fried in ghee or butter.

It’s the quickest dessert prepared by any Indian, among all other desserts, might be as an offering to God or for parties or for guests  or for kids snack.

This Payasam or Kheer (as called in Hindi) is a lentil based one which is my favourite among other varieties of the same.

This dessert is fully packed all in all. Lentils/Dal provide necessary protein, minerals and vitamins in diet. Also, this recipe has milk in it which is a great source of calcium. 

This dessert is what I prepared as an offering to Goddess Saraswati  (Goddess of knowledge) during an auspicious day called Vasant Panchami.

Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips which I mentioned at the end.

You can see my other dessert recipes here⇒ Desserts / Mithayi

Related Posts⇒ Miriyam Garelu / Peppery Lentil Fritters  , Saggubiyyam Payasam / Sabudana Kheer / Sago-Milk Pudding

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  • Pesarapappu/Split Yellow Mung Beans/ – 1 cup
  • Milk – 3 cups
  • Saffron – few strands
  • Sugar / Jaggery – 1½ cup
  • Ghee / Butter – 3 tablespoon
  • Cardamom pods – 3
  • Dry fruits – ½ cup

Special Ingredients

  • Saffron
  • Ghee


  • First, take the pesarapappu /dal / lentils and wash them twice.
  • Cook them with enough water just to soak the lentils / dal. Follow pics below.
  • Chop the nuts you prefer to add. 
  • Put a thick bottomed pan / vessel on stove under a medium flame.
  • Add one tablespoon of ghee / butter and add all the dry fruits & nuts to suit your taste.
  • Fry them until they turn light brown in colour.
  • Take them aside into a separate plate.
  • In the same pan add the milk and let it boil. I measured the milk using the same cup with which I measured the lentils/dal. 
  • While the milk is boiling, the dal/lentils might have been cooked and ready.
  • And take 3-4 tablespoons of the cooked dal / lentils and put aside, to use them later.
  • Mash the rest of the pappu/dal/lentils to paste.
  • Once the milk is boiled, transfer all the mashed dal/lentils/pappu into the milk.
  • Now add the cardamom powder and saffron strands.
  • Slowly, mix everything well, take care not to spill the milk.
  • Close the pan with lid and let it cook under medium flame for 3-4 mins.
  • After 3-4 mins open the lid, add the fried dry fruits & nuts that we kept aside.
  • Add the 3-4 tablespoons of un mashed dal/lentils which we kept aside.
  • Add the remaining ghee. You may avoid this if you don’t prefer much ghee/butter.
  • Now, add the sugar / jaggery.
  • Gently mix everything and let the flame be on, until the sugar/jaggery melts and bubbles form while boiling. Just as shown in the pic.

    Final stage of Payasam/Kheer before switching off the flame
  • At this stage switch off the flame and serve. It’s Done!!


  • These are Yellow Split Lentils with skin removed. See the first pic under the Procedure for reference.
  • Whatever might be the size of your cup, the ratio of the ingredients would be the same.
  • If you are using pressure cooker to cook the dal/lentils, let it cook upto 4-5 whistles.
  • Let the gas be released and then mash.
  • You can eliminate adding the ghee to the recipe (except for frying the dry fruits).
  • If you are a vegan you can use a non-dairy (plant based) milk , butter.
  • I read in an article, that coconut milk goes best for puddings. But you can expect subtle taste of coconut in the dish.
  • And date syrup or maple syrup or jaggery instead of processed sugar. I used jaggery in this recipe.
  • Don’t worry if you have added more milk, the lentils would absorb the milk and make the outcome thick and creamy after a while.
  • You can add either sugar or jaggery as sweetener, either of them taste good.
  • You can add any dry fruits and nuts of your choice.I added Cashew Nuts, Almonds and green raisins.
  • This sweet dish can be served hot or chilled too.

Result :

  • You would just adore this Payasam/ dessert for its lovely colour and creamy texture with the mashed lentils/dal and milk, topped with dry fruits and nuts.
  • Yellow Split Mung Lentils or Pesarapappu itself has a natural sweet flavour, this adds up more to the sweet dish / dessert.

    Pesarapappu Payasam / Moong Dal Kheer / Split Yellow Mung Lentil Dessert

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