sweet pongal recipe | sakkarai pongal recipe | chakkara pongal

sweet pongal recipe with step by step photos – sweet porridge like dish made with rice and mung lentils, flavored with cardamoms and dry fruits. sweet pongal also known as sakkarai pongal in tamil language is a sweet dish made during festive occasions in south india.

there are some south indian recipes served in temples which are a favorite with me – ven pongal, curd rice, payasam and this sweet pongal. i have had these recipes as prashad/naivdeyam in some south indian temples and loved the taste the prasad had.

during poojas or on auspicious days, i make sweets and offer to the mother goddess. this was one such day. whenever i offer anything to the deities, i always add a pinch of edible camphor in these delicacies. adding edible camphor is entirely optional and you can skip it.

i also add clove powder or clove to any savory or sweet dish that i offer to the devi. this is something which i follow in our family, as my mother in law does the same. so in this recipe i have powdered one clove and added. though adding clove is optional.

sweet pongal recipe card below:

  1. pick ½ cup rice and ⅓ cup moong dal first to get rid of stones if any. then heat a small pan or a small kadai and add both the rice and moong lentils.
  2. on a low flame stirring often roast both the rice and moong lentils, till they become aromatic.
  3. you only need to roast till the moong lentils become aromatic. no need to brown them.
  4. now take them in another bowl.
  5. rinse both the roasted rice and moong dal a couple of times with water.
  6. drain well and then add them in a pressure cooker.
  7. pour 3 cups water. the amount of water to be added depends on the consistency you want and also on the quality of moong dal. i get moong dal which takes a long time to cook. usually i cook the moong lentils for 8 to 10 whistles. so i add 3 or 3.25 cups water. if you get moong dal, which cooks quickly in 2 to 3 whistles, then add 2 to 2.5 cups water.
  8. pressure cook on medium flame for 12 to 14 minutes or for 8 to 10 whistles.
  9. let the pressure settle down on its own and then you remove the lid to check the doneness and consistency. if the pongal has a consistency like that of a pulao, then add ½ to 1 cup hot water and mix very well. both the rice and the moong dal should be cooked very well. with a spoon, slightly mash the cooked rice and moong lentils. if cooked well, then cover with the lid and keep aside. the consistency of a pongal is like khichdi.
  1. meanwhile when the rice is cooking, crush seeds of 5 green cardamoms + 1 clove in a mortar-pestle. if using cardamom powder alone, then you can add ½ teaspoon of it.
  2. also chop 100 to 105 grams jaggery. you should get about ½ cup tightly packed, chopped or grated jaggery. this much amount of jaggery makes the pongal just sweet. for more sweetness, you can add ¼ cup more. at times i also use jaggery powder and add it directly to the cooked rice+moong lentils.
  3. now take ½ cup water in a pan. add the jaggery.
  4. on a low to medium flame, heat this jaggery solution till the jaggery melts completely.
  5. do stir and break the jaggery chunks or pieces with a spatula so that they melt easily.
  6. you will get an amber colored syrup when all the jaggery is melted, if you have used dark jaggery. if you have light colored jaggery, then the color will be pale yellow to yellow.
  7. straining the jaggery syrup through a seive, directly add it in the cooked rice+lentils mixture. if using jaggery powder, you can add directly.
  8. now add the crushed cardamom+clove powder and a pinch of edible camphor.
  9. mix everything very well. pongal will thicken as it cools down. so if the mixture looks thick, then you can add ¼ to ⅓ cup hot water.
  1. heat 5 tablespoons ghee. you can add less ghee if you want.
  2. add the 12 to 15 cashews.
  3. saute the cashews till they become light golden.
  4. then add 1 tablespoons raisins.
  5. begin to stir fry.
  6. stirring often fry till the raisins swell and become plump.
  7. then immediately remove the pan from the stove top and add the fried cashews, raisins and ghee to the pongal mixture.
  8. mix very well.
  9. offer to the goddess or you can serve sweet pongal hot or warm to your family members.

how to make sakkarai pongal or sweet pongal recipe:

1. pick ½ cup rice and ⅓ cup moong dal first to get rid of stones if any. then heat a small pan or a small kadai and add both the rice and moong lentils.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

2. on a low flame stirring often roast both the rice and  moong lentils, till they become aromatic.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

3. you only need to roast, till the moong lentils become aromatic. no need to brown them.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

4. now take them in another bowl.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

5. rinse both the roasted rice and moong dal a couple of times with water.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

6. drain well and then add them in a pressure cooker. pour 3 cups water. the amount of water to be added depends on the consistency you want and also on the quality of moong dal. i get moong dal which takes a long time to cook. usually i cook the moong lentils for  8 to 10 whistles. so i add 3 or 3.25 cups water. if you get moong dal, which cooks quickly in 2 to 3 whistles, then add 2 to 2.5 cups water.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

7. pressure cook on medium flame for 12 to 14 minutes or for 8 to 10 whistles.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

8. let the pressure settle down on its own and then you remove the lid to check the doneness and consistency. if the pongal has a consistency like that of a pulao, then add ½ to 1 cup hot water and mix very well.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

9. both the rice and the moong dal should be cooked very well. with a spoon slightly mash the cooked rice and moong lentils. if cooked well, then cover with the lid and keep aside. the consistency of a pongal is like khichdi.

making sweet pongal recipe

10. meanwhile when the rice is cooking, crush seeds of 5 green cardamoms + 1 clove in a mortar-pestle. if using cardamom powder alone, then you can add ½ teaspoon of it.

making sweet pongal recipe

11. also chop 100 to 105 grams jaggery. you should get about ½ cup tightly packed chopped or grated jaggery. this much amount of jaggery makes the pongal just sweet. for more sweetness, you can add ¼ cup more. at times i also use organic jaggery powder and add it directly to the cooked rice+moong lentils. if you are using jaggery or jaggery powder without impurities, then you can add it directly to the cooked rice+lentils mixture.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

12. now take ½ cup water in a pan. add the jaggery.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

13. on a low to medium flame, heat this jaggery solution till the jaggery melts completely.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

14. do stir and break the jaggery chunks or pieces with a spatula so that they melt easily.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

15. let the syrup bubble up a bit. you will get an amber colored syrup when all the jaggery is melted, if you have used dark jaggery. if you have light colored jaggery, then the color will be pale yellow to yellow. if you want you can thicken the syrup more.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

16. straining the jaggery syrup through a seive, directly add it in the cooked rice+lentils mixture. if using organic jaggery powder, you can add directly.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

17. now add the crushed cardamom+clove powder and a pinch of edible camphor.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

18. mix everything very well. pongal will thicken as it cools down. so if the mixture looks thick, then you can add ¼ to ⅓ cup hot water.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

19. heat 4 to 5 tablespoons ghee. you can add less ghee if you want.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

20. add 12 to 15 cashews. you can keep the cashews whole or halve or chop them.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

21. saute the cashews till they become light golden.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

22. then add 1 tablespoons raisins.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

23. begin to stir  fry.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

24. stirring often fry till the raisins swell and become plump.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

25. then immediately remove the pan from the stove top and add the fried cashews, raisins and ghee to the pongal mixture.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

26. mix very well.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

27. offer to the goddess or you can serve sweet pongal hot or warm to your family members. you can garnish pongal with some of the fried cashews and raisins while serving.

sakkarai pongal recipe

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