Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sabudana-Chana Dal Kheer | Payasam | Sago-Lentil Milk Pudding

Diwali or the Festival of Lights is celebrated every winter across the Indian Subcontinent. Endless varieties of sweets and special savoury foods are prepared in homes, offered as Prasad or Neivedyam in prayers and then shared with family, friends, and neighbours!! One such sweet is Kheer or Payasam.

Kheer is very simply an Indian milk pudding. However, apart from high fat milk, which forms its base, its many variants contain a multitude of different ingredients, from grains and lentils, to dry fruits, nuts and spices. Sabudana Kheer was a staple at my grandmother's home when I was a child. My great-grandmother was a great believer in its nutritive value. Usually a light version of it was made with little sugar but plenty of cardamom, cashews, and golden raisins. My Mum makes it the same way and I loved it when she made it for me a few weeks ago.

Having already enjoyed that lovely treat, I decided to make try a slightly different version of this kheer as a Diwali Treat this year. I added Chana Dal (split Bengal Gram Dal) and sweetened the Kheer with Palm jaggery.

3/4 cup sago pearls (I used Nylon sago as it has larger pearls)
1/2 cup chana dal (split Bangal Gram Dal)
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Palm Jaggery (or per taste)
1 tsp rice flour
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup cashews,broken
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)

  1. Soak the sago pearls in a cup of water overnight. If you use the Nylon Sago, you will find it does not puff up like the regular sago, but will just soften overnight.
  2. Soak the chana dal in a cup of water for a couple of hours. Drain.
  3. Place the soaked dal in a pressure cooker and pressure cook to just one whistle with half cup water and half cup milk. Allow the pressure to drop, then open the cooker.
  4. In a separate pan, cover the sago with water and cook until transparent. Drain and set aside.
  5. Take a heavy bottomed pan, pour the pressure cooked chana dal with the liquid into it. Add the remaining milk and sago.
  6. Cook until the kheer begins to thicken, stir in the rice flour, blend well. Cook another 5-10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Stir in the cardamom powder and the jaggery. Turn off the heat once the jaggery had melted.
  8. In a separate frying pan, pour the ghee. Fry the broken cashews and raisins in the ghee.
  9. Pour the cashews, raisins, and ghee into the kheer. Mix well.
  10. The kheer can be enjoyed warm or chilled.
Like this recipe. Tried it. Leave me a comment:)
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  1. I have never heard of a lentil sweet! Happy Diwali everyone, how long does it last?

  2. hi,
    love the combination. i just know the individual preparations of kheer from chana dal and sago, would keep the combo in mind.
    Have a bright festival of lights!
    Wishing u and ur family prosperity, health and happiness!

  3. payasam looks yummy n delicious..

  4. Delicious payasam..sago n chana daal combo is awesome..loving it!
    Happy Diwali to you n your family dear!

    US Masala

  5. Thanks for the visit and the wishes! Yummy kheer recipe...


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