Vegan Mung and Rice Pudding With Coconut and Saffron

Vegan Mung and Rice Pudding

Here’s a kheer (an Indian pudding) that my Konkani parents make for Makar Sankranti, a celebration in their part of India that falls on the same day as Pongal.

The recipe is very similar to Sakkarai Pongal, except that my parents’ version has some coconut milk, a staple of the Konkan region where coconut trees grow abundantly along the coast. Coconut adds a unique flavor all its own which is particularly great when you remove ghee from the equation, as we do for our vegan version. The coconut also keeps the kheer moist and fluid even after you refrigerate it.

Another flavor boost comes from saffron, those spicy stamens so prized in Indian cooking. The saffron also gives the dish a gorgeous golden color.

Vegan Mung and Rice Pudding

It has been a week since Pongal and Makar Sankranti, but it’ never too late to eat something as delicious as this kheer. On to the recipe. Hope everyone’s feeling well and rested after a long weekend. Have a lovely day, all!

Vegan Mung and Rice Pudding

Mung and Rice Kheer


3/4 cup rice

1/4 cup mung dal

1 cup almond milk

1 cup coconut milk

3/4 to 1 cup grated jaggery

1 tsp powdered cardamom seeds

10-15 cashew nuts, broken into pieces

A generous pinch of saffron, soaked in a couple of tablespoons of almond milk

Boil the rice and mung dal together, preferably in a pressure cooker, until really soft. I added about 3 cups of water to the pressure cooker, which gave me the right consistency.

Add the almond milk and half the coconut milk to the rice-mung mixture and set it on a low flame.

Add the grated jaggery and stir well.

Cook on a low flame until the raw jaggery smell has dissipated. This took about half an hour for me. The pongal should not be dry, but creamy and slightly fluid. If it gets too dry, add some more almond milk. Stir in the saffron with the almond milk it was soaked in and the remaining coconut milk.

Heat 1 tbsp canola oil

Add 1 tsp powdered cardamom seeds

10-15 cashew nuts, broken into pieces

Toss until the nuts are lightly browned. Add to the rice.

Stir well. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. says

    I will take that, please!
    I am not a big kheer lover ( just because of the dreaded ‘malai’) but your version looks creamy and so clean and nice that I just want to dig in. will a tiny pinch of edible camphor make it ‘puja’ ki kheer?

  2. says

    Just now someone mentioned on my site about this version with coconut milk and I thought it was so interesting. And here you are with the real thing, looks awesome and I am sure the coconut milk adds a very interesting taste and flavor to this :)

  3. Anonymous says

    Just curious- why is it that your post always appears at the top of my reading list even though the last time you posted something was 2 days back? Do you keep republishing your post a couple of times so that it stays on top of the list of feeds for the benefit of those who may not have seen it?


  4. FrankieTB says

    Thanks Vaishali!…

    I made it today and it was really yummy…

    In order to get the nutrition more favourable, I :
    1) increased the mung beans to one whole cup
    2) reduced the jaggery to 70 grams
    3) used 100 grams only of coconut milk
    4) used black glutinous rice in place of white rice….

    It was great but i can easily see cutting the jaggery and coconut milk a further half again.

    That may not fly with some of the sweet tooths out there but it works!

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