Sakkarai Pongal is a sweet, rice based dish cooked mainly during harvest festival ‘Thai Pongal’ (in mid-January of the year) in Tamil Nadu. It is also offered to god during Friday puja in Tamil months of Aadi and Thai. Sakkarai pongal is considered as the best offering to goddesses. Rice, split green gram and jaggery are the main ingredients of sakkarai pongal. Milk is also added to get good texture and taste. Traditionally it is cooked in earthen pots. Sakkarai pongal is a healthy rice pudding as jaggery is used for sweetening.
Sakkarai Pongal can be compared to Meetha Chawal of north India.
- Raw rice – 1 cup
- Split green gram – ⅓ cup
- Jaggery chopped – 1 cup (adjust as per your taste)
- Ghee – 1 table spoon
- Cardamom powder – little
- Salt – pinch
- Cashew nut and raisins – few for garnishing (optional)
- Dry roast green gram in a pan till golden in colour and nice aroma comes out; now add this with rice.
- Wash and cook with a pinch of salt in a pressure cooker or in a pan (I did this in a pressure cooker with rice and water proportion as 1:3).
- Fry cashew nut and raisins separately in few drops of ghee; dissolve jaggery in two cups of water; filter and boil it for 5 to 10 minutes or till the raw smell leaves.
- Add cooked rice, dal and mix well.
- Add cardamom powder, ghee and mix well; let all boil together for 5 to 8 minutes; remove and add remaining ghee, fried cashew nut, raisin.
- Serve hot or cold.
- Pongal has the tendency to be thick after cooling down. So remove pongal when it is little semi-solid to get right consistency after cooling.