Payaru Soosiam

Green gram (Payaru/ Moongkatta) is used a lot in Sri Lanka as a nutritious food. It is generally cultivated in between paddy cultivation seasons.

Green gram and Black gram, with skin peeled off

Green gram and Black gram, with skin peeled off

At home, my mother used to occasionally make us the ‘kadalaiparuppu soosiam’ (chickpea soosiam) more than ‘payaru soosiam’. During my undergraduate years at Peradeniya, I became fond of something that was called ‘moongkatta bole’ which was quite similar to ‘payaru soosiam’. It was one of the few things that I liked from what the university canteens offered. During my visits home, I mentioned this to my mother and since then, my mother makes ‘payaru soosiam’ more often than she does the chickpea soosiam.

So today, besides the ulunthu vadai recipe, I will also share my mother’s recipe for payaru soosiam/ moongkatta bole.

Payaru soosiam/ Moongkatta bole

Cooking time: 30 mins + 4 hours (soaking time)

Makes 10 soosiam

Payaru soosiam


  • Green gram – 1 cup
  • Freshly scraped coconut – ½ cup
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Cardamom – 4 or 5
  • Wheat flour – ½ cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Vanilla – few drops
  • Yellow food colouring – few drops (optional)
  • Water, as required
  • Low fat oil, for deep frying


  1. Soak the green gram for about 3 – 4 hours.
  2. Cook the green gram with water for about 10 to 15 mins, until the gram is cooked. Drain off the water.
  3. Mix the boiled gram with scraped coconut, sugar and cardamom and grind.
  4. Make 10 balls out of the ground mixture and keep aside.
  5. Mix the wheat flour with salt.
  6. Add water little by little till a pancake batter consistency is reached.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and optional food colouring to the batter and mix well.
  8. Dip each ball in the batter, coat it thorougly and deep fry.
  9. Serve immediately with a hot cup of tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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