Learn to Make Sweet Pongal, the Traditional Way

For the ones curious to know how to make the traditional sweet pongal,  here is the recipe.   Comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Read on to Learn to make Sweet Pongal.

Recipe:
1 cup – Short grain rice (new rice is preferred)
½ cup – yellow moong dal (paasi parupu / payatham Pappu)
1 – 1½ cups – jaggery, crushed to fine powder, soaked in half cup water. (prefer the brown one not the yellow one)
¼ cup each – cashews and  raisins
¼ cup – ghee, melted
4 cardamom pods – skins removed and seeds powdered finely
3 cups each – milk and water (or 2 cups each, if you like a halwa like pongal)

Cooking Method :

1.Toast and Roast:

Yellow moong dal:

Heat one teaspoon of ghee in an iron skillet. Add and roast yellow moong dal, on medium heat, until the color changes from yellow to pink. Take care not to brown. Slow-roasting freshens up and imparts a sweet smell to yellow moong dal. Remove them to a plate and keep aside.

Cashews and Golden raisins:
In the same skillet, add and heat two teaspoons of ghee. Add and fry the cashews and golden raisins till they turn to light gold. Remove and keep them aside.

Jaggery:
Soak the jaggery in one cup of water. Once the jaggery dissolves, Strain the soaked jaggery water to remove the sand and dirt. Keep it aside.

2.Cook and melt:

Rice, moong dal and milk:

Take rice and roasted moong dal in a pot. Add water and milk. Mix well. Partially cover the pot and cook the rice and dal to tender soft. I use a pressure cooker but other modes is fine as long as you get the desired consistency of a bit more cooked than regular rice and dal cooked well. Cook the pongal in slow simmering mode in the stove to produce best tasting pongal.

Jaggery and water:

Bring the solution to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes. Make sure it does not turn out to be thick. It should pour and not drip like a wire. Turn off the heat. Let the jaggery syrup cool a bit. Jaggery has to be cooked separately and you can’t add it directly to uncooked rice and milk. Because it prevents the rice from cooking properly and also splits the milk. Please keep this in mind.

3. Stir and Simmer:

Adding the cooked rice:

Add the cooked rice-dal pongal to jaggery syrup. Keep the heat on medium. Stir in the ghee, cashews, golden raisins and cardamom powder. With a strong laddle, stir well to combine all. Cover and simmer until the whole mixture comes together into a sticky, gooey mass. Turn off the heat. Cover and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Sweet pongal thickens further on cooling.

Don’t forget to add ghee just before serving.

Happy Pongal!!!

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Posted on January 10, 2012, in Food and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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