It is not very often that recipe desserts feature on Healthy Indian. There are several reasons for this. For one, desserts are not something one should be eating daily. They are an occasional treat, to be eaten in moderate quantities, on special occasions. For another, desserts that are prepared at home with minimal ingredients are waaay better than the desserts purchased from outside sources. You can control the amount of sugar (or sugar substitute) you use. I’ve found that by eating fresh fruits regularly and restricting desserts, one doesn’t need too many desserts to satisfy one’s sugar craving. Even a juicy piece of fruit or a small piece of dark chocolate sends satiety messages to the brain.

Sugar – the Villain?

Cited for such evils as distracting youngsters from more nutritious foodstuffs, enhancing obesity, ruining teeth and causing diabetes and heart disease, sugar has become the most maligned of the main components of the American diet.

Sugar, like starch, is a carbohydrate. The many type of sugars includes sucrose (table sugar refined from sugarcane or beets), lactose (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), glucose (blood sugar), dextrose, maltose and galactose.

Seventy percent of the sugar in today’s American diet is “hidden” in processed foods. Check the labels of the packaged soups, cereals, salad dressings, soft drinks, ketchup, sauces, peanut butter, dessert mixes and what-have‐you in your pantry and see how many list sugar (or corn syrup) as one of the ingredients.

According to an article in the New York Times, “At the turn of the century, the average American consumed about 77 pounds of sugar a year (65 of them as sucrose) and starches formed two-thirds of American dietary carbohydrates; today, sugar consumption hovers around 126 pounds per capita (95 of them as sucrose) and sugar represents more than half the carbohydrate calories and about 20 percent of the total calories eaten by Americans – 600 calories of sugar each day. Even the widespread use of artificial sweeteners has done little to curb America’s appetite for sugar.”

But there’s good news – just because we are eating healthily doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to desserts. You can still satisfy your sweet tooth using healthy ingredients like nuts/seeds (oh, do check out the Chia Seed Pudding!), dried fruit (try our yummy Almond-Date Boats recipe!), avocado, fresh fruit, whole grains, nut butters and even lentils. I Promise.

We, at Healthy Indian, do not believe in denying the body of desserts – especially desserts that have very few (hopefully organic) ingredients, and are (preferably) homemade. More importantly, we feature desserts that do not yell SUGAR!! I normally use the 85:15 Rule. Eat whole, real foods 85% of the time and cheat 15% of the time. Keep Life in balance.

Did I just promise that lentils can satisfy one’s sweet truth? Here goes the how’s and the why’s…

Mung beans are slowly becoming a household name in most health-conscious homes. And with good reason. Mung beans are high in protein, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. They have many health benefits, including helping lowering inflammation. Mung beans are one of the healthiest sources of plant protein there is when you consider how many other nutrients they contain in addition to amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). As the Journal of Chemistry Central puts it, “mung beans have biological activities including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, lipid metabolism accommodation, anti-hypertensive and anti-tumor effects.” Enough said, right?

If you love coconut and jaggery recipes, check out Gasagase Payasa and Mango Rasayana. Want to try yet another rice-mung recipe? Then Sweet Huggi may be for you.

If you love sugar free desserts, be sure to check out our party-pleaser – Date-Almond Boats.

Why is this Healthy?

Made with real and whole foods like mung beans, coconut milk, jaggery (unprocessed sugar), cashews, raisins and aromatic saffron, this easy homemade dessert is high in protein and good fats. If you have a sweet craving, this recipe will satisfy it, without adversely affecting your health. As always, eat desserts in moderation.

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Print Recipe
Hesarubele (Split Mung) Payasa - A Lip-smacking Dessert!
Finish off your nutritious dinner with a decadent treat that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. This payasa is a traditional South Indian dessert and is made with mung dal, coconut milk, jaggery, cardamon, cashews, raisins and aromatic saffron. It is simple to make, tastes divine, has no chemicals, and to top it off, even your kids will love it!
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Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian, South
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian, South
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Add to Meal Plan:
This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
Add to Shopping List
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Share this Recipe
Instructions
  1. On a medium flame, dry roast the mung until the raw smells goes away, but before it starts to brown. Don't skip the roasting of mung dal. Roasting makes it very aromatic.
  2. Wash mung dal, place in container in the Instant Pot (IP) with just enough water to cover the dal. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Wait for pressure to release. If you are doing this on a cook-top, cover the dal with enough water and cook on medium flame, stirring frequently, until it is fully cooked. The dal should be holding its shape.
  3. Switch IP to Sauté mode. To the cooked dal, add coconut milk, jaggery (see notes on jaggery), cardamom powder, saffron strands (save a few strands for garnish) and cook until the contents come to a gentle boil. Keep stirring gently, so the bottom doesn't burn. Follow the same procedure for cooktop on medium-low flame. Vary the jaggery based on how sweet you want it; vary the coconut milk depending on your preference for consistency.
  4. Meanwhile on a low flame, roast cashew nuts and raisins in ghee until the cashews are browned and the raisins become plump.
  5. Add cashew nuts and raisins to the payasa and mix well. Decorate with the remaining saffron strands. Serve hot, warm or cold.
Recipe Notes

Note on Jaggery: Jaggery is extracted from sugarcane. It is unrefined sugar and known as Bella in Kannada; it is made without filtering molasses. Traditionally, jaggery was made in rural areas and there tends to be small amounts of impurities in them, but nowadays there are industrial plants that make jaggery out of sugarcane and the produce is reasonably clean. If in doubt, add 1 cup water to 2 cups jaggery, and let this concoction slowly melt over a low flame. Stir frequently. You can filter this liquid using a sieve or a cheese cloth to make sure there is no residue.

*Use organic ingredients wherever possible

Nutrition Facts
Hesarubele (Split Mung) Payasa - A Lip-smacking Dessert!
Amount Per Serving
Calories 322 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Potassium 632mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 34g 11%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 12g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 7%
Iron 28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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