Sweet pongal as well as khara pongal is made as part of Sankranti or Pongal festival food
which is a harvest festival celebrated in the month of January.
Ready to eat sweet pongal
Sweet pongal is a popular festival sweet made
at other festivals too in many south Indian kitchens. Sweet pongal is
also served as a 'prasadam' in temples of South India.
or Sankranti festival has astronomical significance and is celebrated
usually on 14th of January every year by many Indians.
It marks the
movement of the Sun god towards north and refers to it as 'Uttarayana'.
Makara Sankranthi refers to the event of the Sun entering the zodiac
sign of Makara or Capricorn.
Sankranti or pongal is also harvest festival and and newly harvested
rice, moong dal (split mung bean) is used in cooking on that day.
There are a few variations of this sweet pongal.
Dry roasting the
moong dal or not roasting is your choice. Roasting adds a little more
flavor to the dal. I make it sometimes without roasting and that tastes
The consistency of pongal is generally soft. The amount of water will
depend on the type of rice and how old or new the rice is. New rice
will need less water.
Adding some milk along with water adds to the
taste of sweet pongal.
You may use any white rice, brown rice for this pongal recipe. Basmati rice is not required. But using basmati will add to the flavor.
How to make sweet pongal with jaggery / gud / vellam
Main ingredients for sweet pongal
Green gram - Moong dal
Ingredients for sweet pongal to serve 2-3 persons
Rice - 1 cup
Moong dal (split mung beans) - 1/2 cup
Grated or powdered
Gud / Jaggery - 1 1/4 cup (more or less according to taste
coconut (optional) - 1/2 cup
Broken cashew nut pieces - 1 tbsp
Water - 3
to 4 cups depending on the consistency you want.
Raisins - 1
Ghee (clarified butter) / Oil - 1 or 2 tablespoon according to
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Step by step instructions for making sweet pongal
Preparation for sweet pongal
Wash rice and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
Heat a pan, add moong dal and roast for 4-5 minutes till you get the aroma (this step is optional).
Cooking sweet pongal
Heat a deep pan.
Add 2 cups water, moong dal and washed rice.
Bring to boil. Cook for 10 minute on low flame till just done and most of the water is absorbed.
In another pan, mix jaggery and 1 cup water.
Stir and let the jaggery dissolve in water. Boil for 2-3 minutes.
Strain the jaggery mixture over the cooked rice.
Cook further till done to your desired consistency.
Add more water if necessary. (the mixture thickens on cooling)
Add fresh grated coconut. Mix well.
Heat 1 tsp ghee in a small pan. Add cashew nut pieces and raisins and fry lightly.
Add to the cooked rice. Mix well.
Sweet pongal is ready to serve. Keep covered till serving time. Serve it hot with a spoonful of ghee.
If leftover, this sweet pongal keeps good in fridge for 3-4 days.
Just reheat and serve.
You may serve it cold as rice pudding but I think
it tastes better when hot.
Tips and variations
You may add more moong dal if you wish. Sometimes I add equal amount of
rice and moong dal.
A mixture of milk and water can be used instead of only water for added
If you are pressure cooking, cook as you cook plain steamed rice.
The moong dal does not need any extra time to cook.Make jaggery syrup as
given above and then add to the rice mix. I
find cooking rice and moong dal first in the pressure cooker easier
You may use dessicated coconut instead of fresh grated coconut.
This sweet pongal recipe can also be made with white sugar instead of
jaggery. I prefer to make it with jaggery.