Wishing you all a very Happy Sankranthi and Pongal 🙂
This morning I made Sakkarai Pongal or the traditional Sweet Pongal on this auspicious day of Pongal festival. At my maternal home the Pongal and Sankranthi celebrations are totally different from that of my in-laws home. After marriage, we started celebrating Pongal as per in-laws tradition and keeping up with it, I always make Ven Pongal and Sweet Pongal or the Chakkra Pongal early in the morning, offer it to Sun God and then we relish it 🙂 This year I followed the same tradition – as far as I know the reason Sweet Pongal is made on this day is to celebrate the fresh produce of this season. The newly harvested rice is used in making this pongal along with jaggery that is freshly prepared from the harvested sugar canes. Along with this pongal, my MIL makes a Kootu that includes all the vegetables, to celebrate the fresh produce of this season. All of this is offered to the Sun God, depicting that the Sun is essential to our living in this world. One of the reasons why I love this Harvest festival of Pongal.
This is my MIL’s version of Sakkarai Pongal and everytime it turns out really delicious. The success of this recipe lies in good quality jaggery – to get the perfect color and taste. Luckily I had some Donnai (the make shift cups made from palm leaves) which enhances the taste of Pongal.
To make Sakkarai Pongal | Chakkara Pongal | Sweet Pongal
What I used –
- Raw Rice, 3/4th cup
- Yellow Moong Dal, 1/4th cup
- Jaggery Powdered, 1 cup
- Green Cardamoms, 2
- Cashews, 8-10
- Raisins, 8-10
- Ghee/Clarified Butter, 1.5 tsp
- Fresh Grated Coconut, 3 tbsp
- Water, 4 cups + ½ cup
How I made –
1. In a thick bottomed pan, dry roast the yellow moong dal on medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Remove onto a plate. In the same pan, dry roast the raw rice for 3-4 mins. Remove from heat. Ensure that the rice or dal does not burn. In a pressure cooker, add both rice and dal along with 4 cups of water. Cook for 4-5 whistles. Once the pressure drops, slightly mash the rice-dal.
2. In a pan, heat ½ tsp of ghee. Roast the cashews and raisins until golden brown. Remove onto a plate. Add 1 cup of jaggery and ½ cup of water. Let the jaggery dissolve completely in water. As it comes to a boil, add the mashed rice-dal. Mix well.
3. On a slow flame cook the Pongal until it comes together. Add 1 tsp of ghee and along with it, powdered cardamom and grated fresh coconut. Mix well. Finally add roasted cashews and raisins.
4. Serve hot with ghee on top.
- Traditionally Sakkarai Pongal is made in an earthen pot and slow cooked. This recipe uses pressure cooker, which is an easy and quick recipe.
- Make sure the jaggery is of good quality. Usually Paagu Vellam which is brownish in color yields good result.
- Adjust the quantity of jaggery as per desired sweetness.
- Add more ghee for richer version of sweet pongal.
- The jaggery need not be cooked until 1 string consistency. It’s enough if it just dissolves in water.
- Addition of coconut is something my MIL does and I love it. Its optional though.