Sakkarai Pongal

Sweet Pongal is a delectable Sankrathi/Pongal meal made with rice, jaggery, ghee, cardamoms, Dry fruit and nuts. A special traditional dessert from South India.

Ingredients

100 gm / 1/2 cup Vijay Sona Gold Rice
25 gm / 2 tbsp Moong Dal
125 ml / ½ cup Milk
500 ml / 2 cups Water
200 gm / 1 cup Jaggery
75 ml / 1/3 cup Water
3 no’s Mastercook Cloves
25 gm / 10-12 cashew nuts, broken
10 gm / 10-12 raisins
50 gm / 5 tbsp Ghee

Procedure

Wash the rice with the dal 2-3 times, drain the water and add to a pressure cooker along with the water, milk and 1 tbsp of ghee.
Pressure cook for 6-7 whistles on medium flame. Open and check whether the mixture is mushy. Set aside.
Melt the jaggery with the water and once melted strain the mixture and put the strained syrup back into the pot. Cook this syrup for 7-8 minutes until a 1 string consistency is achieved. If you put the syrup in between your fingers, you can pull 1 string between them. Set aside.
In a Kadai, heat 1 tbsp of the ghee, and the Mastercook Cloves, and roast the cashew nuts till golden brown.
Add the cooked rice and dal and mix well with the ghee.
Now add the jaggery syrup and mix very well to combine thoroughly. Add 1 tbsp of ghee and allow to cook on medium flame for 6-8 minutes.
After 6 minutes, add another tbsp of ghee and mix well.
In a pan, add the final tbsp of ghee and fry the raisins only for a few seconds, and add it to the Pongal to finish.
Switch off the flame and let it cool for 20-30 minutes, then serve.

Tips for Cooking

A dark colored jaggery is ideal for this recipe as it lends a lovely color to the finished dish. But feel free to use a lighter colored jaggery as well, ensure that it is chemical free and as natural as possible. Straining is still recommended for any kind of jaggery.
Incase your syrup thickens before you can add it to the rice, just heat it slightly with a splash of water and it will be easier to add to the rice.
Homemade ghee is best for this dish as the aroma is unparalleled.
Raisins should not be added in the beginning, lightly frying them and adding at the end allows you to retain their texture and sourish taste.

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