Sakkarai pongal/ Sweet pongal/ Gullu pongal

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 0 comments
A plate of creamy goodness is what sweet pongal is all about. The milky rice, sweet jaggery, the creamy ghee, the nutty cashews, fruity raisins; together with the divine smell of camphor and cardamon - it is such a bliss to have every spoonful of this enticing pongal. 

The aroma that fills the home when this pongal is made is something  ineffable. And can you forget the numerous admonitions from your mom or grandmom not to take even a slight taste of it until the neivedyam is offered to God and prayers are done. Its itching in the back of your mind but you dutifully stand for until the prayers are done. And wait, you are not allowed to have them yet! Your mom then orders you to distribute the prasad to all your neighbours. She places a banana leaf on each plate and on each plate are kept the pongal, cut fruits, sliced coconut, some other sweets and savoury and a small stick of sugarcane. You and your brother/ sister distribute them to your neighbours and finally settle down. Uff! Now you get all ready to lick off and savor every morsel of this tasty rice. No spoons, no lick it off directly from the bowl..haven't you done that :) Those are lovely sweet childhood memories. And this is how I loved to have...little of the pongal spooned with a slice of coconut and small slice of banana...that is absolute divine bliss. It is worth the long wait, isn't it. And everyone laze off now, chit-chat a little watching the special movies or programes being telecast on TV. 

Festivities are times which bring me back those lasting memories and remind me to keep some of the precious cultural traditions alive.

1 cup rice
2 cups powdered jaggery
3 cups water + 2 cup milk
3-4 tbs ghee
Generous pinch of cardamon powder
Pinch of camphor (optional)
Pinch of nutmeg powder (optional)
Few cashews and raisins


- Add water and milk together with washed rice in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
- Meanwhile place the powdered jaggery in a small saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the jaggery and allow it to melt on a medium flame. Switch off flame until all jaggery melts and forms a clear liquid. No syrup/ string consistency is required here. Strain the melted jaggery liquid to remove impurities if any.
- Fry cashews and raisins and take them out in a plate.
- After the rice is cooked, add the melted jaggery to the rice. Mix evenly and allow them to cook on a medium flame. 
- Add little ghee as required. 
- Cook the rice until they collect all together and become  sticky.
- Add some more ghee, cardamon powder and half of fried cashews and raisins. Mix well and cook for just a minute.
- Take them out in a bowl.
- Drizzle and top the pongal with some more ghee. Add the remaining cashews and raisins.

Enjoy eating!!!


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