Jan 13, 2011

Chakkara Pongal

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.

Chakkara Pongal

Serves: 10 - 12 dessert cups


Please use same measuring cup for rice, moong dal, jaggery, water and milk. Color of the chakkara pongal may varies from color of the jaggery ( yellow, dark yellow and brown ).

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.

1 cup + 1 - 2 tablespoon ( 200 ml 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 2 nd 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 ).

Open the cooker and heat again. Add 2 tablespoon ghee and melted and sieved jaggery. Mix all the ingredients well. 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 ( see the photo below ). 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 chakkara pongal warm or cool.

Traditional way of making Pongal in Tamil Nadu

Photo credit - Times of India & Outlook magazine


subhashini said...

perfect pongal

Priya Suresh said...

Delicious and tempting pongal..