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Sunday, January 14, 2007

A bowl of sweet pongal

I am posting pongal recipe today as the festival Sankranthi / Pongal is not complete without the preparation of pongal at homes. Today, I thought of posting the sweeter version, which I learnt from my mom. This is called theepi pongali in telugu which means sweet pongal. This is my favorite pongal than the regular sweet version. It is a very simple dish to make and tastes a lot more better than the regular one. Even my husband who has an aversion towards coconut and sweets said, this was good.

Ingredients for the sweet pongal:
Rice - 1 cup
Moong dal – ½ cup
Powdered Jaggery – 1 cup
Dry coconut, grated ¼ - ½ cup
Cardamom (elaichi) powder – ¼ tsp
Ghee – As needed
Cashews and raisins – As needed
Water – 2 ½ cups or a little less

Dry roast the moong dal for a couple of minutes (till you start smelling the moongdal). No need to turn the moong dal red.
Wash the rice thoroughly. Cook both the rice and moongdal together adding water, in a pressure cooker until two whistles.
Heat a pan / wok. Add jaggery and a tbsp of water to it and let it cook on a medium flame till you get the desired consistency. My mom’s tip to know whether we have reached the desired consistency is to keep a small plate with some water near the stove. When you put a drop of jaggery syrup into the water, you must be able to form a small ball out of it. If you are not able to form the ball out of the syrup and it just melts in the water, then syrup is not ready and you must keep boiling the syrup. It would be done in around 3 –4 minutes.
After the syrup is ready, turn off the stove. Add the cooked rice - moongdal mixture, grated coconut, elaichi powder and mix well. You don’t have to cook further.
Heat ghee in a small pan and toast the cashews and raisins. Raisins turn plump and cashews turn a little brown. Add to the pongal.

Coming to the ingredients measurements, I did not use the standard cup. For this recipe, the ratio of Rice : Jaggery : Moong dal is always 2 : 2 : 1.
This pongal is supposed to be very dry and not mushy. I did use 2 & ½ cups of water to the 1 & ½ cups of rice and moongal mixture. It turned out good. I think 2 & ¼ cups of water will yield the right texture (like in my mom’s pongal).

I learnt that keeping cooked rice- dal mixture ready before preparing the jaggery syrup is a good idea. If you do the other way, the syrup becomes much thicker and you have heat it further to make it thinner.

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Seema said...

Suma, Khara Pongal has always been our fav. Specially when the days are not so good or if any of us are sick. Pongal feels so good for stomach. I have never made sweet pongal tho'. Will try it soon.

Vcuisine said...

Happy Pongal Suma. Viji

Lakshmik said...

Hi Suma. Happy Pongal

Dr. Soumya Bhat said...

This is best and must for sankranthi.Happy sankranthi to you .