Wednesday, January 15, 2014



Yesterday was the day of the Makarasankranti festival also celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu. usually we Konkanis make Sweet Moong Dal Khichdi . I decided to try out Chakara Pongal, Chakkarai Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal: they all mean the same thing. This is the sweet version of Pongal, a dish cooked during this festival which is made of jaggery, rice and moong dal. The colour of the dish is determined by the type of jaggery that you use. I have used the dark type of jaggery which has given the pongal its distinctive colour.

This is adapted from the recipe for Sakkarai Pongal given in the popular blog, Rak's Kitchen.
I have however not used nutmeg powder and edible camphor.

  • Raw Rice, 1/2 cup
  • Moong Dal, 2-3 tbsp
  • Dark Jaggery, powdered, 1 cup
  • Water, 2 and 1/2 cups
  • Ghee, 3 tbsp
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Cashewnuts, 5- 6
  • Raisins, 1 tbsp
  • Cardamom ( Elaichi), powdered, 1 
  • Clove, 1

Wash the raw rice and keep aside
Add 1/4 tsp of ghee and roast the moong dal in a pan,
Transfer the roasted moong dal to a pressure cooker, add 2 and 1/2 cups of water, washed raw rice and salt
Pressure cook this for 4 whistles
Once the cooker cools, mash the cooked rice and dal using the back of a ladle.
In a pan, add the powdered jaggery, add enough water to immerse it and bring it to a boil
Make sure the jaggery is totally dissolved
Filter the jaggery syrup and add it to the mashed dal and rice mixture (pongal)
In another pan, heat 1 tsp of ghee and roast the cashewnuts till they are golden
Add the raisins and roast till they puff up. Keep the roasted cashewnuts and raisins aside
Add clove and when it swells, switch off the gas
Now add the powdered elaichi, and clove to the pongal
Mix well, add the roasted cashewnuts and raisins
Cook the pongal on medium flame for 5 minutes adding ghee little by little
If it gets too dry add 1/4 cup of water while it is being cooked

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