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Feb 1, 2011

Sarkarai Pongal (Sweet Rice)

The word Pongal means “boiling over” - refers to riced cooked in milk and Jaggery. This festival is celebrated on January 14th, the first day of the Tamil month Thai. This is a harvest festival in Tamil Nadu. Pongal is the main preparation of the festival. The ingredients of this preparation have some symbolic meaning attached to each.People wish each other good times, happiness, peace and prosperity. They also greet each other saying "Pongalo Pongal" and "Pongum Mangalam Engum Thanguga" in Tamil. Rice and milk are signs of prosperity, sugarcane for happiness, while turmeric augurs the good things to come. Two varieties of Pongal- the salty one known as 'venn Pongal' and the sweet one known as 'Sarkkarai Pongal' are prepared on the second day of the Pongal festival. Sarkkari pongal also a Marghazi Prasadam for all Vaishnavate homes and Temples.


Hope you all have enjoyed the Pongal festival.


Ingredients
Raw Rice                                     1 cups
Moong dhal                                  1/4 cup
Jaggery powdered                          ¾ cup 
Whole milk                                   1 cup
Water                                          2 cup
Saffron                                         1 pinch
Ghee                                            ¼ cup
 Crushed Cardamom                         4 nos
Nutmeg powdered                           less than ¼ tsp
Pachai Karpuram                              1 pinch
Cashews                                       10 pieces
Raisins                                          10 pieces


Method:
  •  Clean the rice and moong dhal.  Heat 2 tsp of ghee and fry it for few minutes
  • Mix rice, dhal, water, milk and saffron. Cook it in pressure cooker for at least 3 – 4 whistles. Switch of the gas.
  •  When steam goes away takeout the cooked rice from pressure cooker and smash it very well. Keep aside.
  •  Melt the Jaggery with 3 tbsp of water.Filter it and keep aside.
  • Fry the nuts, nutmeg, and cardamoms in ghee. Keep aside.
  • Mix the Jaggery syrup with rice and cook it in low flame for 5 to 10 minutes. If rice is too thickening, you can add little bit of milk in it.
  • Add the fried nuts, nutmeg, keshar or yellow color and ghee in it. Cook it for few more minutes.
  • Finally add a pinch of Pachai Karpuram (don’t add too much. It will spoil the Pongal taste).
  •   Hot Sweet Pongal is ready. 
Tips
  •  Frying rice and dhal gives more delicious taste. Cook it  along with whole milk gives you more richness in the dish.
  • You want authentic taste,use jaggery and no other substitutes.
  • Pongal has the tendency to be thick after cooling down. so remove pongal when it is semi solid.
Note:    See my other Pongal Recipes (click the link)




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