It is the time of the big harvest festival in South India…Pongal! And time for folks to pull out the stops and enjoy the flavors of the harvest and the fruits of their labor…Here is the recipe for the original sweet pongal. Happy Pongal to all celebrating!


Short grained rice, Moong Dal, Milk/Almond milk, Jaggery, Cardamom powder, Cashewnuts, Golden raisins, Ghee.

1. Roast 1 cup of rice + 3/4 cup of moong dal in a skillet till the aromas fill your kitchen and the dal turns a light brown.
2. Place the above mix in a rice cooker (or in a pressure cooker). Add 3 cups of water + 3 cups of milk/almond milk).
3. Cook till the whole mixture cooks down completely.
4. Take a big spoon and mash the rice/dal mixture while it is still hot.
5. Take a big wok and add 1.5 cups of jaggery and add about 5 tbsps of water. On slow heat, keep stirring and allow the jaggery to melt and start to cook down and thicken till till resembles a thick syrup and starts to bubble.  Lower the heat and allow it to thicken and cook till you get a strand on pinching a small amount between your index and thumb fingers.
6. Add 1 heaped tsp of cardamom powder.
7. Add the mashed up rice/dal mixture in small quick batches and keep mixing well.
8. Cover and allow to cook till the pongal comes together and starts to leave the sides of the pan.
9. Heat 3 tablespoons of ghee* and add a handful of broken cashewnuts and fry till they are golden brown. Quickly take them off the heat and pour over hot pongal and mix well.
10. Add 1 tbsp of golden raisins and mix well.

11. Serve piping hot!

For the health conscious, here is an earlier post that I made with quinoa.

Notes to the chef:

If you wish to go the vegan route, substitute the ghee for vegan butter or oil. But fair warning: this dish is  at its decadent best with a coating of ghee on top 🙂

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