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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Sakkarai Pongal - The Sweet Pongal Recipe

Sakkarai Pongal is a sweet delicacy made from boiled rice , mung lentils and ghee , flavored with cardamom , cashew nuts and raisins. Also known as sweet rice pongal, Sakkarai pongal is prepared as Naivedhyam on many auspicious occasions and temple festivals in South India. Chakkara Pongali or Sakkarai Pongal is typically made with newly harvested rice and offered to Sun God during the 4 day harvest festival of Pongal.

Pongal is a harvest festival dedicated to the Sun God, also celebrated as Tamil New Year. It is a four -day festival which according to the Tamil calendar is usually celebrated from 14 th January to 17th january. Pongal usually means festivity or celebration. Pongal is translated as "boiling over" or "overflow". Ponagl is also the name of the sweetened dish of rice boiled with lentils that are ritually consumed on this day. Symbolically , Pongal signifies the gradual heating of the earth as the Sun travels northward toward the equinox. The day coincides with Makar Sankranti which is celebrated throughout India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Source: Wikipedia

 #SankrantiRecipes is the theme for our #126th week on #FoodieMondayBlogHop. I have many Makar Sankranti recipes already on my blog which i religiously cook very year during the festivity. This year i thought to try something new along with my traditional Maharashtrian dishes which are mostly sesame seed (Til based) . Browsed for all the recipes made during this festivity and settled with Sakkarai  Pongal. On reading the recipes on Internet i found that all of them were more or less similar. Basically , in this dish rice and mung lentil is cooked with ghee and jaggery and flavored with cardamom and nuts. Some recipes do have milk in them which enhances the flavor but reduces the shelf life of the dish and the milk added Sakkarai Pongal has to be consumed the same day. Also some recipes which are cooked in temple style call for the use of pacha karpooram (edible camphor). I have used milk in the recipe but could not find pacha karpooram here so skipped its use.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 200 ml
  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 3 tablespoon split and skinned green gram / mung dal
  • 1/2 cup powdered jaggery
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cardamom
  • 2 tablespoon raisins
  • 2 tablespoon cashew nuts

  1. Roast the mung dal in 1 teaspoon ghee on low to medium flame until aromatic. 

  2. Wash the rice thoroughly , drain. In a pressure cooker take this rice and roasted dal . Add 2 1/2 cups of water , clove and cardamom and pressure cook until both the rice and dal have cooked properly.  

 3. Meanwhile in a pan add the powdered jaggery and 1 cup of water. Allow the mix to boil. The jaggery will melt . After 1 boil, put off the flame. Strain the jaggery syrup to get rid of the impurities.

 4. Once all the pressure is released , open the lid of the cooker and mash the cooked dal and rice well while still hot . Add milk to it and mix properly.

  5. Transfer the strained jaggery syrup to the wok and reheat it. Add the rice dal mix to it , mix well and allow the pongal to cook on low flame.

6. In a small seasoning pan , heat remaining ghee. Add the raising and cashew nuts and fry them until they turn golden in color. Pour the ghee with nuts and raisins over the cooked pongal. Put off the flame. Offer the sakkarai pongal as naivedhyam to the deity and later on distribute it as prasadam.

  • As milk is used in this pongal, the dish has to be consumed the same day of preparation.
  • I have not added edible camphor to the dish.
  • Pongal tastes best when served hot . 
  • Do not skip addition of ghee as it takes the dish to next level and makes it flavorful and rich.

 I hope you would love to try out this delicious and flavorful delicacy for yourself this festive season. If you do so, please feel free to share your feedback with us. Follow me on #Facebook , #Instagram , #Twitter and #Google+ for more recipes and new updates.

Wishing a very happy Sankranti and Pongal to all those who celebrate !!

If you are looking for traditional Makar Sankranti recipes, check my blog posts on





  1. Super tempting share Poonam, wow !!

  2. This is such a tempting as well as perfect Sankranti dish.

  3. Replies
    1. Absolutely... thank you dear Ravneet 😃

  4. You nailed the recipe Poonam dear!Lovely presentation!

  5. Very festive, I've tasted this once as Prasad at the Bangalore Iskcon. Loved and now I can follow your recipe to make it at home.

    1. Yes di..the dish is so festive yet so simple ..do try out and share your feedback with us.

  6. Beautifully illustrated. Nice share Poonam.

  7. The pongal looks just perfect and mouthwatering!