kadhan – a jaggery and moong dal kheer

I have a weakness for jaggery-based sweets – and kadhan, a jaggery-and-moong dal kheer, comes out tops in this category.  In fact, in my family, I am very rarely asked for suggestions on what sweet to make – ‘cos the answer is always kadhan 🙂

Today is one of those special days when we made Kadhan at home. Today is rather special too – as it is the first monday in the month of Shraavan (as per the Hindu calendar) and it is the festival of  Nag Panchami  as well. My mom always makes something sweet on every monday in the month of Shraavan – so we all quite look forward to these days. And since I have this oh-so-satisfied, all-is-well-with-the-world feeling that comes from having had something wonderful to eat, I decided to pen down the Kadhan recipe without further ado.

This recipe uses Haldi (Turmeric) leaf for added flavour – like in the Shirshira recipe I had posted earlier. The thing about Haldi leaves is they don’t have to be fresh. You can get them whenever you come across them, dry them for a few days in the sun and store them in a dry place. They easily last for a year or so. I know of folks who take dry haldi leaves with them to the US etc too.

Ingredients:

  • Moong Dal (green gram) – 1 cup
  • Jaggery – 1 to 1.25 cups
  • Milk or Coconut Milk (thick) – 1 to 1.5 cups
  • Cashew pieces – 1 tablespoon
  • Cardamom (Elaichi) Powder – 1/4th tsp
  • Haldi (Turmeric) Leaf – 1, cut into 2 or 3 pieces.
  • Salt to taste

Procedure:

Roast the moong dal in a pan till it turns a light pink in colour. Keep aside and let it cool. Wash it thoroughly then add 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt, the cashew pieces and haldi leaf pieces and pressure cook. Usually, about 3 whistles suffice to cook the dal. It is important that the moong dal remains granular even after it is cooked – should not get ‘mashed’.

Allow the cooked dal to cool down. Then remove the haldi leaves and add the jaggery. I’ve said 1 to 1.25 cups so you can adjust how sweet you want the kadhan to be. Boil this till the jaggery is completely dissolved and blended with the dal – stirring occasionally. But take care that the jaggery is not allowed to thicken!

Once the jaggery is dissolved, add the milk / coconut milk and cardamom powder and bring to a light boil. Do not do a ‘heavy’ boil or the milk curdles.

The coconut milk gives it a unique taste that, IMHO, is unparalleled. However, not all of us have coconut milk at hand, so ordinary milk also works fine.

Kadhan can be eaten nice ‘n hot or even chilled.

To paraphrase Nike, JUST DO IT!! 🙂

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