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.

16 thoughts on “Vegan Mung and Rice Pudding With Coconut and Saffron

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 21, 2013 at 11:00pm

    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?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Vaishali Honawar

      January 22, 2013 at 5:28pm

      Manasi, yes, we usually add edible camphor to the Pongal version and it tastes quite unique. I cannot find edible camphor here in the Indian store.

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    January 21, 2013 at 11:06pm

    Wowwwwwwww.. looks absolutely perfect and inviting.. awesome clicks too :)

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 22, 2013 at 1:11am

    My Aayi makes Muga God Khichdi in a similar way.. liked your kheer version with saffron !

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 22, 2013 at 7:42pm

    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 :)

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 23, 2013 at 10:42am

    One of my favourite pudding,irresistible and delicious.

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 23, 2013 at 11:58pm

    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?


    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Vaishali Honawar

      January 24, 2013 at 6:57pm

      Didn’t realize that and not sure why that happens. I don’t republish the post unless I have a significant edit/correction to make.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 28, 2013 at 2:53pm

    ThankĀ“s for this recipe, it looks delicious and very easy to prepare!



  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 3, 2013 at 10:54am


    Looks great!

    Is it Green or brown cardamom seed powder please?

    Thanks in advance.

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 4, 2013 at 12:41pm

    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!

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 14, 2014 at 11:56pm

    I bet I missed this last year but wanted to say it looks fantastic. And also wanted to wish you a very happy new year Vaishali, and happy Pongal too!

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