Preparing Sweet Pongal used to be a difficult task for me when I started cooking, it took really a long time to meet my expectation (similar to the one that served in temples!). So here is my recipe that I learnt after several futile attempts; please note that the important steps that help perfecting it are marked in red color:
Time Taken: 40 min
- Rice – ½ cup
- Green gram (moong dal/ paasi paruppu) – ¼ cup
- Powdered cane jaggery – ¾ cup
- Cashew nuts – 6 Nos.
- Raisins (kismis) – 10 Nos.
- Cardamom – 2 No.
- Edible camphor – 1 cm piece
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 1 tbsp
- Water – 5 cups (for pressure cooking rice & lentil – 3 cups & for jaggery syrup – 2 cups)
Please note the water requirement as below:
- For pressure cooking – Rice & lentil : water :: 1: 4
- For syrup – Jaggery : water :: 1 : 2
- Dry roast lentils and wash rice & lentils.
- Pressure cook rice & lentils (when it reaches high pressure, simmer for 15 min).
- Immediately after the pressure releases, mash the mixture with a wooden spatula nicely.
- Heat a pan with jaggery & water (1 cup) in medium flame until dissolved.
- Strain jaggery water to remove impurities, if any.
- Add remaining water to the syrup and allow it to boil in medium flame.
- When the syrup gets thickened (you can notice large bubbles), add powdered cardamon & edible camphor.
- Add a tsp of ghee into syrup before adding mashed rice.
- Blend together rice mixture with jaggery syrup in medium flame.
- Remove pongal from heat before getting coagulated to prevent becoming dense.
- Heat a pan with remaining ghee, roast raisins & cashews separately and add into pongal.
- Now hot pongal is ready to serve.
- You can use millets of your choice instead of rice (add more water while cooking as they get more condensed than rice).
- You can use Bengal gram instead of green gram.
- You can make sweet pongal without lentils also.
- You can cook rice in milk (or add water into milk in 1:1) to make the pongal creamy.
- The color of pongal depends on the jaggery, so you can select the jaggery according to your palate.
- Adding cardamom to the syrup helps to enhance its flavor.
- Adding ghee to the syrup gives a nice glaze to the pongal.
- If you find your cooked rice & lentil dense, make your syrup watery.