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Sakkarai Pongal (South Indian Sweet Rice)

Sakkarai_Pongal_Indian_Sweet_Rice_1 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 cupSakkarai_Pongal_Indian_Sweet_Rice_2
  • 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.

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  • 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).

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  • 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.

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  • Add cooked rice, dal and mix well.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Swapna Raghu Sanand May 7, 2010, 10:39 am

    This terrific post took me back to the days when my Grandmother used to make delicacies like this to mark festivals and important family occasions. She used to spend hours in the kitchen and sarkarai pongal was one of the best she used to make. Somehow, seeing this post, I longed for my grandma’s soothing presence.

  • Sushma Mallya May 7, 2010, 10:57 am

    Lovely sweet dish…

  • Valarmathi May 7, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Love this, looks yummy yumm.

  • Priya May 7, 2010, 12:58 pm

    I can have this sweet pongal anytime, my favourite..

  • Manju Rajender May 7, 2010, 6:25 pm

    You made me crave for some….very eye-catching :)

  • shamanags May 7, 2010, 10:11 pm

    delicious recipe..thanks for sharing

  • Jyoti V May 7, 2010, 10:50 pm

    So yummy…nice step by step pics.

  • swathi May 8, 2010, 12:27 am


    Sakkarai pongal looks really good. I want to taste now.

  • bharathi December 13, 2011, 5:07 pm

    I am the favorite of chef dhamotharan dishes,its too good.

  • ishwarya October 14, 2013, 10:08 pm

    Hi aunty,

    What is the gram dal you are using for this pongal aunty. Is green gram same as bengal gram .

  • Kamala October 15, 2013, 5:22 pm

    Green Gram is Paasi Paruppu (பாசி பருப்பு). Bengal Gram is Kadalai Paruppu (கடலை பருப்பு). Here I have used skinned Green Gram.

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