Come to think of it, I should have started my first post for the New Year with a recipe for something sweet. After all it is customary isn’t it? I followed this protocol the previous 2 years, but then this year I strayed away and started off with this, something savory, sinful yet delicious. So am I trying to be different this year and break some grounds? Nah, the pictures for the payasam were not ready on time and hence I could not make this the first post to kick start the New Year. 

The source of this recipe is Indira’s Chana Dal Payasam. I love this recipe for its simplicity and ease of preparation. But don’t be tricked, the taste is just delicious and divine. Another factor that interested me is that this payasam does not use coconut at all. Prior to this I had not seen traditional payasams made without the coconut. The addition of sago and vermicelli gives it the carbs and the thickness. I prepare this payasam when I am low on coconut or not in mood for grinding the coconut for the regular Chana Daal Kheer. Also as a bonus the addition of Chana daal gives me feeling that I am eating something healthy. Thanks Indira for sharing this wonderful recipe. 

I have made some small changes to the recipe, but mostly stuck to the original one. I like my payasam consistency to be thick and creamy. But if you prefer it thinner then feel free to add more liquid.

 On an ending note, I am not very thrilled with the pictures. The tube light in the room in which I take pictures went kaput. So I took the pictures with what ever options I had. Much to my dismay the white counter tops appear grey mostly because of the absence of bright light. 



  • ½ cup chana daal/ Bengal gram daal (soaked in water for 4-5 hours)
  •  ¼ cup vermicelli
  •  ¼ cup sago/sabudana (soak for 1 hour)
  •  Milk (preferable 2% or even more)
  •  1/2 cup sugar
  •  ½ cup jaggery (powdered, preferable light colored)
  •  2 tsp ghee
  •  ½ tsp Cardamom powder 
  •  5-10 cashew pieces
  •  10-15 raisins

Recipe Source: Indira’s Chana Dal Payasam



  •  This is the most important part. Pressure cook the soaked chana daal along with ½ cup water and ½ cup milk.
  •  Make sure the chana daal does not over cook and become a paste. But on the same note, make sure it is cooked and does not have a bite to it. The cooked daal should melt in your mouth. It is good if the daal disintegrates a bit, as it blends well with milk and jaggery. Otherwise the taste of milk and jaggery is overpowering.
  •  Take another pan, heat some ghee and lightly roast the vermicelli.
  •  Take a heavy bottom pan, pour the milk, water in the pan and bring to boil. Add the jaggery and let it blend well.
  •  Reduce the flame and then add cooked chana daal, soaked sabudana, vermicelli, sugar, and let this simmer for about 20 minutes ( or until it thickens up a little). 
  •  Stir this whole thing in between, so that it does not settle at the bottom.
  •  Meanwhile separately heat the ghee(please do not substitute with oil) in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat and fry cashews till golden brown, next add raisins and fry until they plump up. Keep them aside.
  •  Remove from flame and then add cardamom, cashews and raisins. Cool to room temperature. Note that after it is cooled the entire thing will thicken a lot. 
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