The Indian Premier League 2020

Lifestyle Food and Recipes 14 Jan 2020 May your Pongal be a ...

May your Pongal be a sweet one

Published Jan 14, 2020, 12:01 am IST
Updated Jan 14, 2020, 12:01 am IST
Recipe provided by educational psychologist Dr Saranya T Jaikumar.
Dr Saranya T Jaikumar (right) with her  maternal grandmother Lakshmi Karuppiah.
 Dr Saranya T Jaikumar (right) with her maternal grandmother Lakshmi Karuppiah.

Pongal, the harvest festival, is naturally a lot about food. And what is a meal without a sweet dish? DC gets you two versions of the quintessential Sweet Pongal which is a must at every celebration of this festival when joy bubbles over.

Sweet Pongal (Chakkara Pongal)
½ cup Pongal rice
½ cup moong dal
2 ½ cups water
A pinch of green cardamom powder
A pinch of pacha karpooram (edible camphor)
3 tbsp Ghee or as required
1 tablespoon raisins
12 cashew nuts split or broken
2 tablespoons coconut pieces
½ cup Jaggery grated


Method of preparation:
Roast moong dal in a pressure cooker on medium flame, stirring often till the dal turns fragrant. Remove from fire and let it cool.
Add raw rice to the cooker and wash both rice and dal 2 to 3 times. Drain completely.
Add the water and cook in the pressure cooker for two whistles or until soft.
Cool. Open the cooker and mash the rice and dal lightly.
Add grated jaggery and green cardamom powder.
Mix and cook on a medium flame till the jaggery blends well with the rice.
Once it bubbles up, turn off the flame.
Heat a small pan on medium flame and add 2 to 3 tablespoons ghee.  
Add 2 tablespoons of coconut pieces and fry till golden and aromatic. Drain the coconut pieces from the oil and transfer to a plate.
Fry 12 cashew nuts till golden in the same ghee.
Add raisins and fry until plump.
Turn off the fire and add edible camphor.
Add this seasoning to the Sweet Pongal along with the fried coconut pieces, and mix well.


Akkaara-Adisil / Sweet Pongal
1 cup Raw Rice
1/2 cup Moong dal
4 tbsps Ghee
500 ml Milk
200 grams Jaggery
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
A pinch of Saffron water

Method of preparation:
Wash and soak the rice and moong dal for about 15 minutes. Drain.
Place a kadai on medium heat. Add 2 tbsps of ghee, and add the  drained rice and dal.
Sauté till a nice aroma is released, but take care not to brown the rice and dal.
Transfer the fried rice-dal mix to a pressure cooker and add three cups of water. Pressure cook for six whistles.
Allow the pressure to release on its own.
Keep a heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat.
Pour in the milk and bring it to a boil.
Mash the cooked rice-dal mixture lightly with the help of a ladle and add it to the boiling milk.
Allow the mixture to boil become homogenous.
Now add the jaggery. (There's no need to make the jaggery into a syrup).
Add a pinch of saffron and a pinch of cardamom powder
In a small pan, fry the broken cashews until golden brown in 1 tbsp ghee
Pour this tempering over the rice-dal-milk mixture.
Take the pot off the heat and serve the Sweet Pongal piping hot.


Aiyshwarya Mahadev, a political spokesperson, says, “Shankranti for me has always meant “Yellu Bella” hot ghee laden Pongal and Gasagase payasa that my Amma made for me. Gasagase is poppy seed and the payasa is a specialty prepared in most parts of Karnataka. It's easy to make and it uses the healthier alternative to jaggery as opposed to sugar. It can also be a vegan dessert option, if oil is used instead of Ghee.”

Yellu Bella
3 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp Rice
3/4 cup crushed jaggery
3 cardamom pods
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut though freshly grated coconut is best
3 cups water
1 tsp ghee
Cashew and raisins to Garnish (optional)


Method of preparation:
Lightly fry the rice and poppy seeds in ghee until it starts giving off an aroma. Do not let it burn or brown too much.
Unprocessed, jaggery has impurities- so add water to the crushed jaggery and heat it. Once melted, strain it with cheese cloth or strainer.
Grind coconut, cardamom and fried seed and rice mixture into a fine paste by adding a little water. (Use warm water, if you are using frozen coconut)
Pour  the ground mix into a pan and add the strained jaggery syrup along with the remaining water and bring it to boil on medium heat.
Optional: Fry the cashews and the raisins in ghee and set it aside
Once the payasa starts boiling, boil for one minute or more and then take off the heat.
Garnish with cashews and raisins.