Anjarisi pongal, a rice dish made using 5 varieties of rice, is a traditional pongal served in sumptuous Chettinad wedding feasts. They usually prepare anjarisi pongal or anjarisi payasam using black kavuni arisi, varagu arisi (kodo millet), rava (sooji), javvarisi (sago) and raw rice. But I tried using indigenous rice varieties well known for their nutritive values especially for low-GI property like white kavuni arisi, varagu arisi, moongil arisi (bamboo rice), mappillai samba arisi (red rice), and kaikuthal arisi (hand-pounded rice) for making delicious and nutritious pongal.
I prepared both sakkarai pongal (sweet pongal) & ven pongal (savory pongal) using the same combination of rice varieties. I found kaikuthal arisi, varagu arisi, and mappillai samba arisi nicely amalgamated with one another when cooked, but I could feel soft chunky moongil arisi and sticky white kavuni arisi in every bite, eventually this combination of rice lent a delicious texture ideal for making creamy pongal. Above all I felt extremely satisfied with flavourful anjarisi pongal loaded with nutrients rather than conventional raw rice pongal.
First I cooked the rice (pongal) separately and then prepared sweet pongal & savory pongal by adding spices or sweetener into cooked rice. Here I used banana for adding a fruit flavour, you may add apple, pineapple, jack fruit, or any other such fruit suitable for sweet pongal.
- 1 cup of rice, a mixture of above said rice varieties (you may adjust the proportion of each rice according to your palate)
- 1/2 cup of moong dal
- 4 cups of water for pressure cooking
- Heat a pan with moong dal in medium flame.
- Dry roast the lentils until they begin to change the color.
- Remove from flame.
- Wash rice & lentils.
- Soak them for 30 minutes.
- Heat a pressure cooker with water & rice mixture.
- Bring it to boil in high flame.
- Close the cooker and simmer for 15 minutes.
- When the pressure is released mash well with a wooden spatula.
Sakkarai Pongal preparation:
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of powdered rice
- 500 ml of water for syrup
- 2 tbsp of ghee
- A few cashew nuts & raisins
- 2 cardamoms
- Heat a sauce pan with water and jaggery and bring it to boil in high flame.
- Meanwhile add banana into the cooked rice and mash them well.
- When the syrup begins to get thickened remove from flame.
- Pour the syrup through a strainer into the half of cooked rice and cook this mixture in medium flame.
- Meanwhile fry cashew nuts and raisins in ghee.
- When the syrup is well amalgamated with rice, pour the ghee with cashew nuts.
- Add powdered cardamom in to pongal and mix well.
- Remove from flame.
- Serve anjarisi pongal warm.
Ven Pongal preparation:
- 2 tbsp of ghee
- 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp of coarsely ground pepper
- 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger
- a few cashew nuts
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
- A pinch of asafoetida powder (hing)
- A sprig of curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- Heat a pan with ghee in medium flame.
- Add cumin seeds, crushed pepper, cashew nuts and chopped ginger.
- Fry them until cashew nuts turn golden.
- Add curry leaves, turmeric powder and hing and saute for a minute.
- Add the remaining rice and salt into the pan and combine together.
- When the pongal is nicely infused with the flavours of spices, pour a tsp of ghee and remove from flame.
- Serve ven pongal with coconut chutney and sambar.
You may check out my recipes here for traditional preparation of pongal in a pot (without using a pressure cooker), sakkarai pongal, ven pongal, kadamba sambar and avial usually prepared on the day of Pongal.
I wish all my readers across the globe a happy and prosperous Pongal!!