Sweet Pongal, a dish I never had a chance to eat in my growing up years but developed the liking once I was introduced to it as we shifted our base to Bangalore. This traditional South Indian dish is made of rice, moong daal, ghee, jaggery/sugar and garnished with dry fruits (usually cashews and raisins). Usually, it is made on the day of the Pongal festival or Makar Sankranti to celebrate abundance after the harvest and thank God for the same.
One of the most popular dishes that is prepared and offered to God on the day is Sweet Pongal. I learnt the recipe from my friend and would like to share it with my readers. The only change I made is using jaggery instead of sugar to make it healthier.
Raw Rice – 1 cup
Moong dal – 1/4 cup
Jaggery – 1 cup grated/ powdered
Cashew nuts -2 tablespoons, sliced in halves
Raisins -2-3 tablespoons
Cardamom – 1/4 tablespoon powder
Ghee/clarified butter -2-3 tablespoons.
METHOD OF PREPARATION:
- Soak daal and rice for 20 mins. Rinse them well a few times.
- Put the daal and rice mix in a pressure cooker along with 3 cups water and give 5-6 whistles. Turn off the gas. The mix will be soft cooked by this time.
- Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and mash the mix lightly with the help of a ladle.
- Take the powdered jaggery and put it in the warm daal-rice mix. Blend everything well together. At this stage, you can add cardamom powder to the mix.
- If you feel that the mix is thick, add little hot water to bring it to a gooey consistency. Transfer the contents to a bowl.
- Heat ghee in another pan and first add cashews. Fry till they become golden brown. Transfer them to a plate.
- In the same ghee, put raisins and fry them till they turn plump.
Add fried cashews and raisins, along with ghee on the cooked rice and daal. Mix properly. Sweet Pongal is ready to be offered to Gods and then serve to friends and family.