Sweet Pongal is a Rice, Moong Dal and Jaggery based dish/dessert popular all across South India, specially in Tamil Nadu (known as Sarkkarai Pongal) and Karnataka (known as Sihi Huggi). The Sweet Pongal is prepared for prasadam in many temples, specially during Dhanur Masa. On Makara Sankranthi day, Sweet Pongal is prepared in most homes in South India. There is a spicy variant of this called Khara Pongal which is readily available in many South Indian hotels and restaurants.
Sweet Pongal or or Sakkarai Pongal is also known as Sihi Huggi in Karnataka.
Update: Also have a look at my recent post – Spicy or Khara Pongal recipe.
Sweet Pongal Ingredients:
- Rice – 1 cup
- Mung Beans or Moong Dal – 3/4 cup
- Coconut grated – 1/2 cup
- Jaggery – 1 and 1/2 cup
- Salt – 2 pinch
- Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
- Ghee / Clarified Butter – 3 tsp
- Cashew nuts – 7-8 pieces
- Raisins (Kishmish) – 10
How To Make Sakkarai Pongal:
- Cook Rice and Moong dal in a vessel with 6 cups of water. Do not cook Dal and Rice in pressure cooker as the contents may be cooked excessively which makes the Pongal to lose taste. If needed, add additional water when cooking Rice and Moong dal.
- Once you feel that Rice and Moong Dal are cooked properly, add Jaggery to the contents and mix well using a ladle. Stir continuously since there is a high possibility of ingredients sticking to the bottom of the vessel and getting burnt.
- Once you feel that Jaggery has gelled well with Rice and Moong Dal, add grated Coconut, Salt and Cardamom powder.
- Heat Ghee in frying pan, add Raisins, Cashew nuts and fry until the nuts turn golden brown. Add this to the prepared pongal and stir well.
The sweet pongal is now ready. If needed you can add more ghee for additional taste.
The sweet pongal gains prominence during the Dhanur Masa ( Dec 16 to Jan 13) when most temples offer special early morning, before sunrise pujas with pongal as prasadam. My mother-in-law still visits temple every day during late Dec and early Jan and my in-laws get to have sumptuous early morning breakfast with both sweet and khara pongal from temple!