Jan 16, 2013

Sakkarai Pongal my mom's version

Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated all across South India especially in Tamil Nadu. A beautiful way to thank Sun God for his blessings on the new harvest. The beautifully decorated home entrances filled with colorful kolams and rangolis, the juicy sweet sugarcanes, the harmonious sound of bells ringing in everyones house indicating their prayers, people wishing each other 'Happy Pongal' , children n everyone enjoying their new outfits and the sweetest Pongal to eat are the best descibed events to be quoted about this festival as I have witnessed it from my childhood. A festival that brings a sense of happiness and togetherness.

In my Grandmas time, they used to do this outside the house in the frontyard welcoming the Sun God. She used to put bricks and rocks around to make a small stove-kind and burn small pieces of wood. Brass pots were used to boil milk and make pongal. Now things have changed  and we have started making pongal inside the house and also in cooker rather than brass pots :) How things have changed :) But am planning to follow thw tradition in the coming years... atleast will try to 

I have already shared my mil's version some time back. My mom makes sakkarai pongal a little different than her - without moong dal and now I have also started liking this version too. This version stays fresh longer than the moong dal version and also moong dal version tends to be more sticky that purely rice version. There can be many a reason for each tasting sweeter in its own way. Both taste awesome :) Here is my moms version that I have been following for quite a while now and it is fool-proof... which is good :)

Serves... 6-8 ppl
Serve option... Hot 

This is what u'll need....

Rice - 1 cup
Milk  - 1 cup(optional)
Water - 3 cups
Jaggery - 1.5 cup
Cardamom - 3 pods
Cashews for garnish
Raisins for garnish
Ghee - 5 tbspns

Here is the stir....

  • Wash rice with a couple of rinses until it runs clear and set it aside
  • Pour milk in cooker and bring it to a boil. I had boiled milk so added it at the end just before pressure cooking. You can omit milk if you want(in case not making it on festival day)
  • Add rice and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles till it becomes very soft making it easier to mash it up. If not adding milk, add 4 cups of water instead of 3 cups

  • Meanwhile cut jaggery into small pieces and toss it into a pan with little water. Wait till all the jaggery dissolves and the mixture is smooth

  • Check the rice. After the pressure gets released, use a laddle to mash the rice a little
  • Using a strainer pour the jaggery mixture into the rice pan and cook the mixure for a few mins till everything blends together. This should not take more than 5-6 mins

  • Fry cashews and raisins in ghee till they turn till cashews turn slightly golden. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the cardamom pods. Toss these in for the final touch

  • Transfer it to a serving bowl and enjoy it to your hearts content

  • Pressure cook rice a little more than you would usually do for everyday cooking. If not, pongal will taste a little dry
  • When adding jaggery make sure you strain it through a small-mesh strainer to avoid any impurities that usually cling on to jaggery
  • Some prefer adding cardamom at the end, some add when adding jaggery, depends how you want it
  • Adjust jaggery to suit your taste, we prefer it less sweeter


  1. Krithika4/2/13

    you make it sound so simple

  2. Anonymous21/12/13

    delicious ! I will defiantly try it thanks to post such a testy recipe and keep posting such delicious recipes , Regards, sakkarai pongal recipe

  3. Sudha12/1/17

    Planning to try making pongal using your method this year. Happy Pongal dear

  4. Radhika12/1/17

    I made a little today just using 1/4 cup rice and it turned out awesome. My kid loved it too. Thank you. Now I will make it confidently on Pongal day. Happy new year nims


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