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An Examined Life

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Driftwood

Endlessly Still and Dynamic

Endlessly Still and Dynamic

It is a place of privilege, perhaps? Actually, that is not fully accurate. I am of the opinion (and it came to me one day, right out of the blue) that it is ALL well-deserved. Yes, the agony and ecstasy and glory and ignominy and bouquets and brickbats and self-flagellation and… We earn them all in ways we only recall sometimes, but yes, we earn them all. So, no privilege… It is all earned and deserved, dating back to forever in the past.

So here I am, drifting along, simultaneously enjoying the view and pace and peace, and wondering about direction and progress.

As someone wise told me, (not verbatim), there is nothing static about human existence. Our perspective is limited, making us feel so. That we are stuck, going nowhere. But we are, oh yes, we are.

Maybe a few years (or months) later, I will look upon this period with a smile. Ahh, there I was… chewing over some BIG and small questions. Drinking in the quiet and bliss and contentment, trying to guilt myself (“Achievement! Progress! LAZY!”) but not really succeeding.

Scrawled Keepsakes/Parippu Pradaman

As a child (or a young adult), I never cooked. I did not know how to. I could rustle up a decent cup of instant coffee but that was it. Mummy tried her best to get me to help around the kitchen, maybe learn to cook a few basic things. But I wasn’t remotely interested. Mom, the smart and wise woman that she is, gave up on the obvious-to-be-wasted effort. Her thought? You will learn to cook when you need to.

How right she was. I had to cook when I arrived in the United States, a young and hopeful bride, hopelessly earnest and wondering/wandering. And so I learned. Longtime blog readers may recall some old posts where I described cooking a dal, that I thought was moong and ended up being masoor instead. I used to call Pinch at work asking him to troubleshoot “difficult” cooking situations. Ahh, those were the days.

I started maintaining a notebook of recipes I got from Mom. And that’s how I got hold of the Parippu Pradaman recipe.

Parippu Pradaman Recipe

This is a traditional Kerala dessert made from moong dal, jaggery and coconut milk. Yes, it is vegan. And it is ready in minutes, if you use canned coconut milk. You can fancify it with raisins and toasted cashews, if you like. I love the simple version, so here you go.

Need any further instructions, or will those four lines suffice? 🙂

Ingredients

3/4 cup moong dal
1/2 cup jaggery (or to taste)
2/3 cup canned coconut milk (full-fat)
powdered/crushed cardamom, dried ginger (optional)

Method

  • Roast moong dal in a pan until lightly toasted. Let it cool. Rinse with water a couple of times to wash off any dust, etc.
  • Cook moong dal in a pressure cooker.
  • Mash the cooked moong dal with the back of a spoon until it has a somewhat uniform consistency (no lumps).
  • Place jaggery in a pan. Add boiling water so you can mix the jaggery evenly. Cook on medium-low heat until the jaggery melts and turns syrupy.
  • Add moong dal to the jaggery syrup. Mix well.
  • Pour coconut milk into the moong dal-jaggery concoction. Stir well. Turn off the heat.
  • Sprinkle crushed cardamom and dried ginger on top. Serve warm or cold.

Parippu Pradaman

Notes

If you wish, you can add more (or less coconut milk), so as to get a medium-thick consistency. I think you might also be able to get away with using low-fat coconut milk but then you will miss the incredible creaminess of the preparation. 🙂

You can also vary the amount of jaggery you use, if you would like the dish to be more (or less) sweet.