Published by Community Manager on 13 January 2021
It’s that time of the year when happiness and enthusiasm are in the air, and with Pongal around the corner, it is time for some celebration. Every region has a unique way of celebrating the harvest season and in the Southern region of India it is celebrated as Pongal. Wondering what does in celebration of the festival and what special dishes are cooked during this time?
Here's a very easy and quick recipe to make delicious Sakkarai Pongal at home
Ø 100 grams’ regular rice
Ø ⅓ cup moong dal
Ø 3 cups water for pressure cooking
Ø 115 to 120 grams jagger
Ø ½ cup water for the jaggery solution
Ø 5 green cardamoms
Ø 4 to 5 tablespoon ghee
Ø 15 to 18 cashews
Ø 1 tablespoon golden raisins
Roasting Rice & Moong Dal
· Pick ½ cup rice and ⅓ cup moong dal first to get rid of stones if any. Then heat a small pan and add both the rice and moong lentils.
· On a low flame stirring often roast both the rice and moong lentils, till they become aromatic.
· You only need to roast till the moong lentils become aromatic. No need to brown them.
· Now take them in another bowl.
· Rinse both the roasted rice and moong dal a couple of times with water.
Cooking Rice & Moong Dal
· Drain well and then add them in a pressure cooker.
· Pour 3 cups water. The amount of water to be added depends on the consistency you want and also on the quality of moong dal.
· Pressure cook on medium flame for 8 to 10 whistles.
· Let the pressure settle down on its own and then you remove the lid to check the doneness and consistency.
· Both the rice and the moong dal should be cooked very well. With a spoon, slightly mash the cooked rice and moong lentils. If cooked well, then cover with the lid and keep aside. The consistency of a pongal is like khichdi.
Preparing Jaggery Syrup
· Meanwhile when the rice is cooking, crush seeds of 5 green cardamoms + 1 clove in a mortar-pestle. If using cardamom powder alone, then you can add ½ teaspoon of it.
· Also chop 115 to 120 grams jaggery. You should get about½ cup tightly packed, chopped or grated jaggery. This much amount of jaggery makes the pongal just sweet.
· Now take ½ cup water in a pan. Add the jaggery.
· On a low to medium flame, heat this jaggery solution till the jaggery melts completely.
· Do stir and break the jaggery chunks or pieces with a spatula so that they melt easily.
· You will get an amber colored syrup when all the jaggery is melted, if you have used dark jaggery. If you have light colored jaggery, then the color will be pale yellow to yellow.
Making Sweet Pongal
· Straining the jaggery syrup through a sieve, directly add it in the cooked rice lentils mixture. If using jaggery powder, you can add directly.
· Mix everything very well. Pongal will thicken as it cools down. So if the mixture looks thick, then you can add ¼ to ⅓ cup hot water.
Frying Dry Fruits
· Heat 5 tablespoons ghee. You can add less ghee if you want.
· Add the 12 to 15 cashews. Sauté the cashews till they become light golden.
· Then add 1 tablespoons raisins. Begin to stir & fry.
· Stirring often fry till the raisins swell and become plump.
· Then immediately remove the pan from the stovetop and add the fried cashews, raisins and ghee to the Pongal mixture. Mix very well and serve garnished with fried cashew nuts.
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