Wish all my readers a VERY HAPPY PONGAL!
Sakkarai Pongal or Sweet Pongal is the main prasadham that is made on Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival that is celebrated to thank the Sun God for the bounty one has received in the form of food grains.
Incidentally, while Sakkarai means sugar in Tamil, the word is used her to describe the sweetness of the dish. It is actually Jaggery that is used and not sugar.
I bring to you this recipe that is a favourite with all my family members. I make this in my own style after learning from both my mother and mother-in-law.
அரிசி - Rice - 1 cup
பயத்தம் பருப்பு - Moong Dal - 1 cup
வெல்லம் - Jaggery - 2 1/2 cups
ஏலக்காய் பொடி - Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
நெய் - Ghee - 1/2 cup
பால் - Milk - 1/2 cup
முந்திரி பருப்பு - Cashewnuts - 10 (cut into pieces)
கிஸ்மிஸ் - Raisins - 20
1. Pressure cook the rice and dal till the cooker gives off three whistles.
2. Melt the jaggery in half a cup of water and filter it and keep aside.
3. Take a saucepan and heat a spoon of ghee in it. Add the cashewnuts and shallow fry till golden brown. Add the kismis at this point, turn a couple of times and keep the mixture aside.
4. Heat the rest of the ghee in the saucepan and add the melted jaggery to it and allow it to come to a boil. Reduce the gas flame.
5. Gently mix the rice and dal before adding them to the boiling ghee-jaggery mixture on the gas.
6. While the above mixture is cooking, add the milk to it. Ensure that the milk is pre-boiled so that it does not get spoilt when coming in touch with the jaggery. (That can happen at times).
7. Cook well, stirring on and off till the mixture gets to the consistency of halwa.
8. Switch off the gas, add the cardamom powder and remove it to a serving vessel.
9. Garnish with the roasted cashewnuts and raisins.
Enjoy the yummy Sakkarai Pongal after offering prasadham to Sun God.
Wish you all a HAPPY PONGAL once again!