For the final day of Cooking from Book, I naturally had to select Sanjeev Kapoor. My first cooking show that I ever started watching was his program and I remember noting down recipes after recipe in every show. Amma and I would be watching it with such concentration that nobody could disturb us. We made sure we never missed an episode and we must have tried almost all of what we used to write down.
With the show always been aired, I never came around buying his books. Earlier it used to be fictions tha I was buying, after a while, without even noticing it, it was changed by cookbooks. I have so many cookbooks that I stopped counting and stopped looking at them as well. I feel so remorse because I have never cooked anything from most of the books.
So when everybody in the group were eager to have this theme always on the list, I was hoping I would atleast take it once and try something. So after I had to refer to his books and lucky for me, he had something for dessert and with Oats on top! Now don’t ask me how come I was making a sweet and not a dessert, even though I clarify it with my own explanation on what an Indian Sweet is and a dessert. When I mostly refer to dessert I exclude our typical Indian Sweet that are prepared during Festivals, but Payasams or other Indian sweets that are serve with meals, will surely fall under this Dessert Category.
Most times I leave lot of things unsaid for it to be interpreted in different ways. I always find it so amazing how what you said and what you didn’t say, can be interpreted in many ways. I love doing this analysis Many years back I used to do this analysis on different things, now it’s all related to food and how people look at something in relation to food. So when I get a mail back from a member, asking if I meant this or that, I get excited to note how they think. Well depending on how close to what I want them to think, they reached I reply. Though it’s time consuming, I love spending time on this discussions with my BM friends. I like their enthusiasm and the energy they show when I throw a challenge at them and end up doing so well.
Now back to this recipe, this calls for split moong dal and Oats. The recipe actually says one must soak the dal for nearly 3 -4 hours. On reading that he talks about Spilt moong dal and why should one soak for so long, I decided not to but in the end, I ended up leaving it soaking for that long.
Anyway I feel you need not soak for that long and if you still feel the split moong dal taste, you can roast it in ghee before using it. I was under the impression that one calls it phirni only when rice is used, maybe I am wrong and would love to know how else this is called. This recipe calls only milk and dal, no rice added at all. he calls it Dal phirni. Maybe because after making it, the texture ends up being like Rice Phirni is. Anyway it tasted great and that’s what matters right.
Split green gram skinless – 1/2 cup
Milk – 1/2 litre
Sugar – 3 tbsps
Saffron (kesar) a pinch
Oats – 2 tbsps
Pistachios, finely chopped handful
Almond – handful
Wash and soak the moong dal in water for 3-4 hours, then drain and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat milk in a non stick pan/ thick bottom pan and bring it to a boil. Add ground dhuli moong dal and whisk well.
Simmer and cook on a low heat till the mixture thickens. Add sugar and mix well. Cook the mixture, stirring continuously. Add saffron and mix well.
Cook for 15 minutes, stirring continuously, till the dal gets cooked. Add oats and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring continuously. Finally add the finely chopped nuts, cook for couple of minutes.
Then switch off and transfer into a serving bowl. Garnish with pista and almond, cool and serve.
If you don’t cook the moong dal for a while, you might feel the raw taste when drinking the payasam. It becomes a thick porridge like, so it tastes good when served chilled. Else microwave again and serve hot.