New year 2015 has started and a series of festivals are in the queue beginning with Makara Sankranti (Pongal) which usually falls on 14th or 15th of January.
All the real bloggers have to make things in advance of festivals in order to give recipe searchers enough time to find them before the big day. Pats on the backs of Real Food bloggers of the world including myself, because I too could post this on time. 🙂
Till the year 2007, I hardly had any idea about this sweet pongal and the procedure of making the same. My sister-in-law had lovingly cooked this festive sweet when we visited her place after a day’s journey with our bag and baggage from Mangalore to Bangalore. Having done major unpacking stuff at the new rented house there, we headed to her sweet home for lunch. And the 5 course meal she served was a real feast to us. I liked this dessert that looked sort of semi kheer topped with the goodness of dry fruits like cashews, raisins and bites of coconut with floating ghee on it. I jotted down the recipe in my memory as my sister-in-law interestingly briefed it.
Since then this divine tasting sweet pongal is my festive sweet on Sankranti. The recipe actually has rice, moong dal and jaggery as main ingredients, where rice and moong dal are pressure cooked till mushy and then continued cooking in jaggery syrup.
Also noteworthy: The jaggery should be cooked with less water (1/4 cup for above measurements) till it thickens a bit after the bubbling stage. Also the sweet pongal should be like kheer when you prepare it initially, it solidifies with time and you can obtain the spooning consistency when you eat.
You cannot stop eating this yummiest, flavorful rice on that big day. WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY SANKRANTI in advance.
Sweet Pongal Recipe | Festive Sweets Recipe
- Raw rice- 1/4 cup
- Split green gram lentil(moong dal) – 1/8 cup
- Powdered Jaggery- 1/2 cup
- Grated coconut or copra- Fistful
- Ghee-3 tbsp cup
- Cashew+raisins- Handful
- Cardamom- 2 no.
- Edible camphor- A pinch
- Nutmeg powder- A pinch(optional)
De-seed cardamom and powder it finely using mortar and pestle. Keep it ready.
Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a seasoning pan and fry cashews, raisins and grated coconut one after the other. Cashews and coconut change in color and raisins puff up after frying. If you are using copra, then not need of roasting.
Take the split green lentils in a wide pan or wok and roast them till aromatic in medium flame. The lentils turn brown and aroma wafts out within few minutes. Switch off the flame then.
Rinse raw rice in enough water and add it to cooker along with roasted green lentils. Add around 1.5 cups of water and cook for 3 whistles and 5 minutes in simmer.
When the pressure subsides, open the lid and roughly mash cooked rice, lentils using back of ladle and keep it ready. Meanwhile heat jaggery powder in heavy bottom wok with 1/4 cup of water. The jaggery dissolves and starts bubbling.
Now mix the cooked rice and lentils with jaggery syrup. Add some water and cook for few minutes. Include ghee roasted cashews, raisins and grated coconut or copra. Add cardamom powder, camphor and nutmeg powder too. Pour remaining ghee and combine everything together.
Divine tasting sweet pongal is ready to serve.
Do not let the green lentils to burn when roasting. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
Do not skip pinch of edible camphor powder as it adds extra flavor.
Sweet pongal has the tendency to become thicker with time, so make sure it is of running consistency initially.
You can chop coconut in to bite sized pieces too instead of grating it.
I have added only half cup of jaggery as we don’t have sweet teeth, but I recommend 3/4 to 1 cup of jaggery for the genuine taste.