Sakkarai Pongal

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Sakkarai pongal (sweet pongal or chakkara pongal) is a sweet porridge made using rice, lentils, and jaggery. It is a South Indian specialty, made for special occasions and the festival of Pongal.

If you like pongal, then you can try these recipes too – Rava Pongal, Ven Pongal, and Thinai Pongal.

About This Recipe

Sakkarai Pongal, Chakkara Pongal, or Sweet Pongal is a sweet dish made using rice, lentils, and jaggery. It is a South Indian (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) specialty and made for auspicious occasions to serve as an offering to the god.

In South India, sweet pongal is a must-make dish for the festival of Sankranti or Pongal to celebrate the abundance and prosperity after the harvest.

Each household has its own secret to make this recipe. Temples all over South India also serve sakkarai pongal as naivedhyam and they add a pinch of edible camphor to it, which gives it a very unique taste.

This Sakkarai Pongal is,

  • Sweet
  • Delicious
  • Easy to make
  • Offered as Prasadam
  • A must during Pongal

Ingredients

Rice & lentils – Sakkarai pongal is prepared with a combination of rice and yellow moong dal (skinned petite yellow lentils). I have used short-grain Sona Masuri rice to make this dish. You can use any short-grain rice that is easily available to you.

Jaggery – Jaggery is melted in water and this syrup is added to add sweetness to pongal. You can use sugar too, but traditionally jaggery is used.

Ghee – Ghee is used to temper the pongal. It adds a rich taste and makes this dish even more flavorful.

Nuts – For the tempering, I have added cashew nuts and raisins. But if you like, you can add some almonds and pistachios too.

Whole Spices – Whole spices add a nice aroma and flavor, so do not miss them. I have used cardamom and cloves in this recipe.

Edible Camphor – To give sakkarai pongal a temple prasadam touch, you can add a pinch of edible camphor to it once the dish is cooked.

How to make Sakkarai Pongal?

Wash ½ cup short grain rice 2-3 times with water. Drain and set aside.

Wash 3 tablespoon yellow moong dal a few times with water. Drain the water and spread the lentil on a kitchen cloth for 10-15 minutes to get rid of the excess water.

Add 1 tablespoon ghee to a pressure cooker and heat over medium heat.

Transfer the washed and dried moong dal to the cooker and roast on medium heat until it is lightly browned (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring while roasting.

Now add the rinsed rice to the cooker along with 3 cups of water. Close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook till the rice and dal are tender. I cooked for 1 whistle on high heat and then reduced the heat to low and cooked for 10-12 minutes. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the cooker. Mash the rice and dal mixture well using a ladle or a wire whisk.

If the rice and lentils are not cooked well, cook them for some more time until they are soft and mushy. Once you add the jaggery syrup to it, it will not cook further. So cook it before adding the jaggery.

Note – To cook the rice and lentils in an Instant pot, press SAUTE. Add ghee to the pot. When the ghee is hot, add the lentils and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and 2 cups of water. Close the lid of the pot. Press CANCEL and then press PRESSURE COOK. Set the timer to 12 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.

Meanwhile, add 1 cup crushed jaggery and 1 cup water to a saucepan.

Cook on medium heat until jaggery is dissolved and the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Keep stirring while cooking. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.

Add the jaggery mixture, 2 crushed cardamoms, and 2 crushed cloves, to the cooker. Mix everything well and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoon ghee to a small skillet and heat over medium high heat.

Once the ghee is hot, add 8-10 whole cashew nuts to the skillet and fry until they are slightly browned (1-2 minutes). Add 12-15 raisins and fry until they plump up (5-6 seconds).

 Pour the tempering over the pongal. Mix well and serve hot.

Variations

There are many versions of this sweet pongal, as every home their own way of making it. Some South Indian homes also add saffron mixed with milk to their preparation, which gives it a delectable flavor.

If you want to add milk to this recipe, add it while adding cardamom. Cook till the milk comes to a boil and then top it with fried dry fruits.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve Sakkarai Pongal with Ven Pongal as prasadam during the festival of Pongal or serve it with the Banana leaf meal as a sweet.

Storage Suggestions

I would suggest you make it fresh, but in case you have leftovers, store them in the fridge for about 2 days in an airtight container.

Reheat it in a skillet or microwave before serving. If it becomes a little thick, you can adjust the consistency by adding a little water or milk.

You might also like

  • Curd Rice
  • South Indian Tomato Rice (Tomato Bath or Thakkali Sadam)
  • Salna
  • Filter Coffee

Recipe Card

Sakkarai Pongal Recipe

Sakkarai Pongal (Sweet Pongal or Chakkara Pongal) is a sweet porridge made using rice, lentils, and jaggery. It is a South Indian specialty, made for special occasions and the festival of Pongal.

4.34 from 3 votes

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 402kcal
Author: Neha Mathur

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup short grain rice (I used Sona Masuri )
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow moong dal (skinned petite yellow lentils)
  • 4 cups water (divided)
  • 1 cup crushed jaggery
  • 2 whole cardamoms (crushed)
  • 2 cloves (crushed)
  • 8-10 whole cashew nuts
  • 12-15 raisins

Instructions

  • Wash ½ cup short-grain rice 2-3 times with water. Drain and set aside.
  • Wash 3 tablespoon yellow moong dal a few times with water. Drain the water and spread the lentil on a kitchen cloth for 10-15 minutes to get rid of the excess water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon ghee to a pressure cooker and heat over medium heat.
  • Add the washed and dried moong dal to the cooker and roast on medium heat until it is lightly browned (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring while roasting.
  • Now add the rinsed rice to the cooker along with 3 cups of water. Close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook till the rice and dal are tender. I cooked for 1 whistle on high heat and then reduced the heat to low and cooked for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the cooker. Mash the rice and dal mixture well using a ladle or a wire whisk.
  • If the rice and lentils are not cooked well, cook them for some more time until they are soft and mushy. Once you add the jaggery syrup to it, it will not cook further. So cook it before adding the jaggery.
  • Note – To cook the rice and lentils in an Instant pot, press SAUTE. Add ghee to the pot. When the ghee is hot, add the lentils and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and 2 cups of water. Close the lid of the pot. Press CANCEL and then press PRESSURE COOK. Set the timer to 12 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
  • Meanwhile, add 1 cup crushed jaggery and 1 cup water to a saucepan.
  • Cook on medium heat until jaggery is dissolved and the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Keep stirring while cooking. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Add the jaggery mixture, 2 crushed cardamoms, and 2 crushed cloves, to the cooker. Mix everything well and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoon ghee to a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Once the ghee is hot, add 8-10 whole cashew nuts to the skillet and fry until they are slightly browned (1-2 minutes). Add 12-15 raisins and fry until they plump up (5-6 seconds).
  • Pour the tempering over the pongal. Mix well and serve hot.

Notes

Add a pinch of edible camphor to the ready Pongal for a temple-like taste.

You can replace the jaggery with white or brown sugar.

Some South Indian homes also add saffron mixed with milk to their preparation, which gives it a delectable flavor.

If you want to add milk to this recipe, add it while adding cardamom. Cook till the milk comes to a boil and then top it with fried dry fruits.

 

Nutrition

Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2.4mg
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