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Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal


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 or Sakkarai Pongal
Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Once you feel that Jaggery has gelled well with Rice and Moong Dal, add grated Coconut, Salt and Cardamom powder.
    Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal
    Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal
  4. 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!


  1. hello Hema, I from Mumbai and I like to eat Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal as they call. i do not have much knowledge in cooking as my wife and maid handle the forte. Sometimes i like to surprise my wife with some dishes which i prepare in her absences (or order from hotel and tell her i cooked). My wife does not know how to cook Sweet pongal. i read your receipe and have few queries. please pardon, if my queries sound little naive. as you mentioned that “Once you feel that Rice and Moong Dal are cooked properly, add Jaggery to the contents and mix well using a ladle.” my query is while when one cooks rice there is still water at the end when it is cooked, should w remove the water and then add jaggery or add jaggery along with the water. awaiting your repy on the same. Regards Anthony

    • Anthony – Happy to hear that you love to surprise your wife with your own dishes or the ones from the hotel and tell her that you prepared 🙂 You can definitely try my Sweet Pongal recipe and surprise your wife.
      Yes, some amount of water content remains at the bottom of the vessel while cooking Dal and Rice. No need to remove the water, just add the powdered Jaggery and mix well with the Dal and Rice. Again when the Jaggery is added to Rice and Dal, you will notice some additional water content in the vessel due to Jaggery addition. But after adding Jaggery, ensure that you cook the Rice+Dal+Jaggery combination until most of the water content evaporates out. This along with making sure that all three ingredients are mixed well helps give good taste to the Sweet Pongal. Then add fried Raisins and Cashews and enjoy the Sweet Pongal with your family.


  2. thank you hema .. for your prompt response. will surely try to make this recipe. will keep u posted on my wife’s reaction.


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