Sakkarai Pongal (with rice, moong dal, milk, jaggery and well ripe bananas)
Hindus start off the brand new year with Pongal, a festival of harvest thanksgiving. The four - day festival which also marks the end of cold winter months and the beginning of spring, sees many visiting temples for prayers and food offerings to the Gods, whilst some boil rice in earthen pots until they boil over ( Pongal means ‘’ boiling over’’ in Tamil ‘’ ) - a symbol of prosperity and bountiful harvest for the year yet to come. Tamil Nadu in particular, this sort of pongal is served as prasadam (neivedhyam / nivedu) in many Vishnu temples (with perumal kovil).
Serves: 10 - 12 dessert cups
Please use same measuring cup for rice, moong dal, jaggery, water and milk. Color of the sakkarai pongal may varies from color of the jaggery ( yellow, dark yellow and brown ).
Here's the recipe of '' How to make melted and sieved jaggery?"'
3/4 cup ( 175 ml ) silky raw rice or Ponni rice (Indian standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity)
1/4 cup ( 50 g ) moong dal (split yellow dal)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups boiled milk
2 tablespoon ghee
3 well ripe bananas (80 – 100 g), roughly chopped
4 – 6 tablespoon melted and sieved jaggery, or to taste )
1/4 teaspoon ( 3 pinches ) cardamom powder
Extra 1 tablespoon ghee
2 teaspoons cashew nuts, split
2 teaspoon raisins
Wash and clean rice and moong dal ( do not soak in water ).
In a pressure cooker, mix rice, moong dal, water and milk and cook for 10 minutes ( reduce heat to medium after 2nd whistle and cook for 5 minutes ). Switch off the heat. Allow the cooker to cool naturally ( Rice - moong dal mixture will be thick in consistency ).
In a non stick pan, heat 2 tablespoon ghee on a medium heat. First add 4 tablespoon melted and sieved jaggery and gently stir well on a low heat for 3 -4 minutes until it meltes and well combined with ghee.
Add well ripe chopped bananas and stir well for 5 minutes.
Now add cooked rice – dal mixture. Mix all the ingredients well. Add extra 1 – 2 tablespoon jaggery if required. Cover with a lid and cook again for 10 minutes ( stir occasionally ) on a low heat until done / fragrant / rice - moong dal mixture well blended with jaggery. Sprinkle cardamom powder and mix well.
In a frying pan, heat ghee. Shallow fry raisins and cashew nuts separately till golden color on low heat. Do not fry on high heat.
Add shallow fried raisins and cashew nuts. Mix well.
Serve sakkarai pongal warm or cool.