September 21, 2021

Payatham Paruppu Payasam | Moong dhall kheer - Mahalaya / Amavasaya Special

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 In Hindu Tradition,  Amavasya(New Moon Day) / Amavasai / Amavaas(अमावस्या) is considered very important day to pay obeisance to all the departed souls in the family.  The forefathers are called  as "Pithrus" and the oblation ritual is called "Shraadh/ Tharpanam" . There is a mild difference in the way the shraadh is offered in North and South  India . When I say difference, the difference is in terms of the Prasad offered and also the way the ritual is performed.  In my post ,I will quickly describe the way Tharpanam is done in a typical South Indian Brahmin household .

Black sesame seeds (karuppu ellu ) and water are offered as oblation to the forefathers.  The oblation is offered to Father ,grandfather, great grandfather likewise ,mother,grandmother and great grandmother.  The oblation dates back to 3 generations .  Devout and traditional Brahmins perform this Amavasya Tharapanam every month all round the year .

If one is unable to do it every month ,there is a rule that he must perform the shraadh atleast  on Mahalaya Amavasya, during the Mahalaya Paksha / Pithru Paksha which is a period of 15 days starting from Full Moon to New Moon . This special fortnight falls in the month of September- October and generally corresponds to the Tamil Month of Purataasi.  This year in 2021 Mahalaya Paksham has started on 21 /9/2021. 

Mahalaya Amavasya also known as Sarva Pithru Amavasya will be observed on 06/10/2021.

An elaborate meal which is very satvik in nature (sans Onion and Garlic)  using basic native  vegetables will be prepared and offered to the fore fathers .

Moong Dhall / Split yellow lentils are used while cooking a Shraadh meal and native vegetables like cucumber ,arbi(taro root) , snake gourd (podalangai /padwal) , raw banana (vazhakkai),cluster beans(kothavarangai/gawar) , broad beans (avarekkai/paapdi) , bitter gourd (karela/pavakkai) , ginger ,curry leaves ,coconut are used . Jaggery is used for making sweets and not sugar.  The Amavasya meal is more or less  standard in every household with some minute changes here and there . Jeera/cumin,Pepper and dry red chillies are the only spices which are used .Turmeric is avoided in most homes but some families use fresh root turmeric and not turmeric powder. Mustard seeds and Udad dhall are used for seasoning along with asafoetida.

Today I shall share a very simple but tasty kheer or paysam made using moong dhall .In my home,this payasam is made only during the days when we offer obeisance to Pithrus. On other special occasions we prepare other payasams or kheer . It is customary to prepare Medhu Vada and Moong dhall paysam along with Vazhakkai (Raw Banana) Curry  on every Amavasya even if one is unable to prepare an elaborate spread.

Preparation Time - 20 mins
Cooking Time - 10 mins
Complexity - simple 
Serves - 2 to 3 

1/2 cup moong dhall/payatham paruppu 
1/2 cup powdered jaggery .
5 to 6 tablespoons grated coconut 
1-2 pods elaichi /cardamom 
1 tsp ghee (skip if vegan) 

**you can increase the quantity of jaggery depending on the level of sweetness you like .


  • Grind the coconut and cardamom with some water to a fine paste and keep aside .
  • Wash the moong dhall and pressure cook with sufficient water for 3 to 4 whistles or until mushy.  Release the pressure and mash it well with a ladle .
  • In a thick heavy bottomed vessel ,melt the jaggery with 1/2 cup water . If you see any impurities , filter it through the sieve .
  • To this melted jaggery add the coconut paste ,1/2 cup water and cook until the raw flavor of coconut is lost . Keep stirring as the coconut has the tendency to stick to the bottom .
  • Now add the boiled and mashed moong dhall to the above and mix it well . The dhall should blend well with the jaggery coconut decoction. 
  • Continue cooking on medium flame with occasional stirring until it comes to a rolling boil.
  • Turn off the stove and add the ghee . Delicious paasi paruppu /hessaru bele payasam is ready .

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  1. payatham parippu payasam is my father's favorite recipe. He will have it even instead of coffee in the morning. Your recipe remined me that it is ages since I made it.

  2. Payatham Paruppu payasam we called it moong dal kheer was something that mother made with chapati every second day for breakfast. Been ages since i made it. Sounds delicious and thanks for the reminder.

    1. Kheer with chapathis sounds interesting. Must try :-)

  3. Pitru Paksha is definitely observed in different ways by different communities. Payatham Payasam looks tempting. I've not tried out a moong dal payasam. With jaggery must be really tasty.


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