Sweet Pongal is a South Indian traditional sweet made with rice, split green gram/ moong dal, sugar and jaggery. Chakkara in Telugu means sugar. Ghee/ clarified butter, cardamom powder and nuts are added for additional flavor and taste. It can be prepared with or without milk.
- Rice: ½ cup
- Split green gram/ moong dal: ¼ cup
- Sugar: ½ cup
- Jaggery: ½ cup (If sugar is not added then take 1 cup of jaggery)
- Milk: 1/2 cup (optional)
- Ghee/clarified butter: ¼ cup
- Cashew nuts: 8 to 10
- Dry coconut: a small piece (thinly sliced)
- Green cardamom: 2 to 3 (powdered)
- Dry roast moong dal in a pan till golden brown on a medium flame.
- Switch off the flame and mix it with rice and wash 2 to 3 times in water.
- Add 11/2 cup water and cook in a pressure cooker up to 3 whistles to come or cook in a open pan till rice and dal is cooked soft.( If you are cooking in a open pan add ½ cup of additional water).
- Allow cooker to cool a little before opening.
- Open the lid of the cooker and mix rice and dal. (If you want you can mash rice a little with a spoon).
- In the meantime melt 1 teaspoon of ghee in the pan and add cashew nuts and sliced coconut and fry till golden brown.
- Transfer cashews and coconut to a bowl and keep aside.
- In the same pan add ½ cup of water and jaggery and allow to cook till jaggery melts. (No need to thicken the jaggery syrup). Switch off the flame and keep aside.
- Strain jaggery syrup to remove impurities into the cooked rice and dal mix. Stir a little to mix everything well. (If jaggery is clean and no impurities are there then there is no need to melt separately. You can add directly to rice and allow to cook).
- Allow to cook on slow flame. Add ½ cup of milk, ½ cup of sugar, cardamom powder, ghee and cashew nuts mix. (reserve some cashew nuts for garnishing).
- Allow to cook for 5 to 7 minutes on slow flame till sugar melts and mix properly.
- Transfer to a bowl and garnish with cashew nuts and serve.
If you want to prepare this sweet with only jaggery, just increase the amount of jaggery. If it is prepared with only jaggery, the sweet will look a little darker honey color.