Make this sweet Sakkarai Pongal or Chakkara Pongal for the festival of Sankranti. It’s easy to make and can be done in a pressure cooker. Use this Iyengar style recipe to make it in an authentic way for your Sankranti or Pongal celebrations.
I love festivals, and more than that I love to celebrate it, be it a North Indian festival or a South Indian. Along with the rituals and traditions, my way of celebrating them in a right way is cooking some delicious traditional delicacies that is popularly made on that particular occasion.
Because what is festival without food, isn’t it? One of my favourite among them is Pongal or Makar Sankranti, which is celebrated in the month of January. It is celebrated on the same day, but it is called Makar Sankranti in North India, whereas Pongal in South India, as a festival of harvest.
About This Recipe
On an auspicious occasion, this recipe is made in every South Indian household, just like Til Ki Chikki is made in North India. It is offered as naivedyam to the Sun God as a part of the Thanksgiving ritual or puja.
It is a simple sweet dish that is made with rice, dal and sweetened with jaggery, which is usually offered in temples as Prasad. To get the temple type flavour, I have also added a tiny pinch of edible camphor while cooking it.
You can also add sugar as a substitute, but jaggery is traditionally used in this recipe and is a healthier choice too. Also as this festival comes in Winters, jaggery is really good for your body too.
It is then flavoured with cardamoms and cloves. Once it is cooked, it is topped with cashews and raisins which makes it even more tastier.
Traditionally, it is served along with Ven Pongal, which is a savoury version of this recipe and other preparations on a banana leaf.
To make this, fry the moong dal in ghee till it is slightly browned. Make sure you add only ghee to make this recipe, it gives you the authentic and best sweet taste.
Cook the fried dal and rice in a pressure cooker until they are soft. Meanwhile, melt the jaggery in water. Once done, strain the jaggery mixture and add it in the rice dal mixture along with cardamom cloves and camphor. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and then top it with fried cashews and raisins. Yes, your easy and delicious recipe is ready to serve for your special occasion. Easy, right?
There are many versions to this sweet dish, as every home their own way of making it. Some South Indian homes also add saffron mixed with milk to their preparation, which gives it a delectable flavour. If you want to add milk in this recipe, add it while adding cardamom. Cook till the milk comes to boil and then top it with fried dry fruits.
Step by Step Recipe
Wash the rice and keep aside. Add 1 tbsp ghee in a pressure pan.
Add the moong dal and fry till slightly browned.
Now add 3 cups of water and washed rice. Cook till the rice and dal is done. ( I cooked for 1 whistle on heat heat and then reduced the heat on low and cooked for 2 more whistles ). Meanwhile, add jaggery and 1 cup water in a pan.
Cook till jaggery is dissolved and the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Strain the mixture.
When the dal and rice is done, open the pressure pan. Add the jaggery mixture, cardamom, cloves and camphor. Mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the remaining ghee in a pan and heat.
Fry the cashew nuts till they are browned. Add them in the pongal. Fry the raisins till they swell up. Add the raisins and the ghee in the pongal. Mix well. Serve hot.
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- ½ cup Short Grain Rice (I used Sona Masuri )
- 3 tbsp Dhuli Moong Dal
- ¾ cup Jaggery (Crushed)
- 4 cups Water
- 3 tbsp Ghee
- 12-15 Raisins
- 8-10 cashew Nuts
- 2 Cardamom (Crushed)
- 2 Cloves (Crushed)
- 1 pinch Edible Camphor (Optional)
- Wash the rice and keep aside.
- Add 1 tbsp ghee in a pressure pan.
- Add the moong dal and fry till slightly browned.
- Now add 3 cups of water and washed rice.
- Cook till the rice and dal is done. ( I cooked for 1 whistle on heat heat and then reduced the heat on low and cooked for 2 more whistles ).
- Meanwhile, add jaggery and 1 cup water in a pan.
- Cook till jaggery is dissolved and the mixture comes to a rolling boil.
- Strain the mixture.
- When the dal and rice is done, open the pressure pan.
- Add the jaggery mixture, cardamom, cloves and camphor.
- Mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the remaining ghee in a pan and heat.
- Fry the cashew nuts till they are browned.
- Add them in the pongal.
- Fry the raisins till they swell up.
- Add the raisins and the ghee in the pongal.
- Mix well.
- Serve hot.