Sweet Pongal - Sarakari Pongal

சர்க்கரை பொங்கல்





This is an important offering during the Thai Pongal or Sankranthi. This can also be very easily prepared as a sweet tiffen item.  

Ingredients
  1. Raw rice - 1 cup
  2. Jaggery (powdered) 1 and 1/2  cups
  3. Cardamom powder - 2 teaspoons or mashed seeds of two cardamoms
  4. Raisins - 1/4 cup
  5. Coconut slivers - ( very small pieces - half the size of a raisin) 1/4 cup
  6. Cashew broken 1 teaspoon
  7. Ghee 2 table spoon
Note: Some add milk to rice during cooking. That depends on individual's taste.

Easy method:

Pre- Preparation:
  1. Dry roast the moong dal till turns golden brown. ( you can skip the roasting part. This will just enhance the aroma) 
  2. Wash the rice.
  3. Drain completely.
  4. Pressure cook along with the dal. Add another 5 minutes extra than you normally do so that the rice becomes soft.
Preparation
  1. In  1/2 cup of water, add the jaggery and set it aside to dissolve into a thick syrup.
  2.  Using a strainer, strain the jaggery syrup to remove dusts and debris.
  3. In a pan, heat this jaggery syrup.
  4. Once the jaggery syrup starts to thicken, add the cooked rice.
  5. Add  the ghee.Add cardamon powder.
  6. Stir continuosly for 5 minutes or till the rice is completely coated with the jaggery syrup.Remove from heat.
  7. Melt a spoon of  ghee in a small pan, roast the cashew pieces, raisins, coconut slivers until golden brown.
  8. Mix this with the pongal.
  9. Add a spoon of ghee while serving.
Tastes good if taken hot with some more ghee. ( you can forego your calorie consciousness and enjoy this now)

Traditional method during Pongal Day / Sankranthi using the 'paanai'

Preparation
Rice to water ratio 1:3
Rice to jaggery 1: 1.5
  1. Pour water into the decorated vessel.
  2. Add one cup of milk.
  3. Once the water starts to boil and starts to form froth add the rice and 1/2 cup of moong dal.
  4. Once the rice starts to cook add the jaggery pieces ( in the 1.5 times ratio to the rice).
  5. Keep stirring thoroughly till the jaggery melts in the heat and completely coats the rice.
  6. Add  the ghee.Add cardamon powder.
  7. Melt a spoon of  ghee in a small pan, roast the cashew pieces, raisins, coconut slivers until golden brown.
  8. Mix this with the pongal.
  9. After traditional offerings ( neivetyam) serve to the family.