Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festival of South India, mainly Tamil Nadu. Pongal falls in the mid-January every year and marks the auspicious beginning of Uttarayan - sun's journey northwards. Pongal festival lasts for four days. Celebrations include drawing of Kolam, swinging & cooking of delicious Pongal. This is a dish prepared with rice, dal, jaggery, dry fruits, sugar and milk. All these ingredients are cooked in a new clay pot in the open and allowed to boil over, signifying plenty and prosperity for the year ahead.
The tast of sakkarai pongal is soo heavenly that it does not require a festival to prepare it. I usually like to make both sweet and khara pongal together as we get to pamper our taste buds.
Rice (Preferably freshly harvested rice) - 11/2 cup
Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 11/2 cup
Milk - 6 cups
Cardomom Powder - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 2-3tsp
Chop cashew and almonds. Roast them in ghee and set it aside.
Heat a pan, and roast the moong dal on a low flame till u get a nice aroma. Add water and wash the dal well. This procedure is very important as it removes the slimyness of the dal.
Cook rice and dal with milk till soft and done.
In a thick bottom pan, Melt jaggery with a cup of water. Once the jaggery starts boiling add the rice and dal mixture, along with the dry fruits, cardomom powder and ghee.
Mix well, Bring the entire mixture to boil.
The given propotion of jaggery gives a mild sweetness, You can add sweet as per your taste.
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 3-4