Sweet Pongal Recipe/Rice and Lentil Indian Pudding

Sweet Jaggery Pongal (or Sakkara Pongal) is a traditional sweet made during the harvest festivals in India called Pongal or Makara Sankranthi (depending upon which part of the country you come from). It is a delectable sweet porridge made traditionally with new, freshly harvested rice, milk and jaggery (unrefined white sugar) with flavors of cardamom and added nuts.

The word Pongal in Tamil (language spoken in Tamilnadu, a state from the southern part of India) actually means “to boil over” or “to spill over”.  Milk is allowed to boil over in an earthen pot and this is considered to bring prosperity and abundance to everyone.

During the harvest festival of Pongal (the equivalent of Thanksgiving), during the month of January, the Sun is honored for a bountiful harvest and Sakkara pongal is offered to the Sun.  Another savory porridge with rice and lentils called ven pongal is also a popular breakfast dish from south India.

We love the flavors of rice and lentils cooked in milk and flavored with the earthiness of jaggery and laced with cardamom and ghee so much that we savor this delectable dessert throughout the year!!!

It is actually a very easy one-pot dish which can be made in less than 30 minutes (faster in a pressure pan). Rice and split mung bean lentils are cooked in milk, sweetened with unrefined cane sugar called jaggery and flavored with cardamom powder with lots of ghee!!! Additional garnish of nuts browned in ghee raises the flavor quotient a notch!!

Serve this golden brown dessert with additional ghee for a scrumptious treat at any party and I am sure, you are sure to impress your guests. For a vegan option, use coconut milk and omit the ghee.  Roast the nuts in oil instead. The crunchy element of nuts is optional but tasty nevertheless!!! Use cashew nuts, almonds or even pistachios, but make sure to brown them in a little ghee. For a more fun texture, you can add raisins (again lightly fried in, you guessed it, more ghee); black or golden, your choice.

For a savory experience, try Ven Pongal (using rice and lentils) or Dalia Khara Pongal (using bulgur/cracked wheat and lentils).

Other Indian desserts you can try are : Instant Rasmalai, Mango Sheera, Khichdi etc.

Sweet Pongal/Sakkara Pongal
Serves 4
A sweet festive dish made with rice and split mung bean lentils, flavored with jaggery, nuts and cardamoms in lots of ghee!!!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
387 calories
57 g
32 g
16 g
5 g
8 g
124 g
25 g
33 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
124g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 387
Calories from Fat 141
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
25%
Saturated Fat 8g
42%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 32mg
11%
Sodium 25mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 57g
19%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 33g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
9%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
7%
Iron
6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup rice (any variety)
  2. ¼ cup moong dal/split mung beanlentils
  3. About ½ cup powdered jaggery (unrefined cane sugar)
  4. ½ to 1 cup milk
  5. ¼ cup cashew nuts
  6. ¼ cup Black raisins
  7. ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  8. 3 to 4 tablespoons or more ghee/clarified butter
Instructions
  1. Roast dry lentils in a frying pan on low to medium heat for a few minutes till it releases a good nutty aroma and turns light brown.
  2. Keep aside.
  3. Now rinse the roasted lentils and rice with plenty of water and drain.
  4. Tip in the rice-lentil mixture into a pressure pan and add about 2 to 3 cups of water.
  5. Close the pressure pan and cook on high for about 4 to 5 whistles or until well cooked.
  6. Once the pressure has released fully, remove the lid and add the powdered jaggery and milk and bring to a boil. If the mixture is too dry, add more milk or water and heat through well till the jaggery is fully melted.
  7. Stir in cardamom powder and about 2 tablespoons of ghee. Mix well.
  8. In a smaller saucepan, fry the cashew nuts and black raisins in 2 teapoons of melted ghee and once the nuts turn brown, add to the kheer mixture. Give it a good stir and serve hot sweet pongal with a dollop of ghee to enhance the taste and aroma of this scrumptious south Indian dessert normally served during the festival of Pongal.
  9. This kheer starts to thicken when it cools, so stop cooking when you get the consistency you want. You can always add more milk or water just before serving, if your pongal has thickened again.
  10. So the next time you need a nice and quick south Indian dessert, do make this delectable rice-lentil pongal and enjoy with your family and friends!! It is so nutritious, you can serve it as a breakfast porridge too!!!
beta
calories
387
fat
16g
protein
5g
carbs
57g
more
Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/

How to make Sweet Pongal with step-by-step method:

  • Pour the dry lentils into a wide saucepan.

  • Roast dry lentils in a frying pan on low to medium heat for a few minutes till it releases a good nutty aroma and turns light brown.

  • Keep aside.
  • Now rinse the roasted lentils and rice with plenty of water and drain.
  • Tip in the rice-lentil mixture into a pressure pan and add about 2 to 3 cups of water.
  • Close the pressure pan and cook on high for about 4 to 5 whistles or until well cooked. Once the pressure has released fully, remove the lid.

  •  Add powdered jaggery and milk; bring to a boil. If the mixture is too dry, add more milk or water and heat through well till the jaggery is fully melted.

  • Stir in cardamom powder and about 2 tablespoons of ghee. Mix well.
  • In a smaller saucepan, fry the cashew nuts and black raisins in 2 teapoons of melted ghee.

  • Once the nuts turn brown, add to the kheer mixture. Give it a good stir and serve hot sweet pongal with a dollop of ghee to enhance the taste and aroma of this scrumptious south Indian dessert normally served during the festival of Pongal.

  • This kheer starts to thicken when it cools, so stop cooking when you get the consistency you want. You can always add more milk or water just before serving, if your pongal has thickened again.
  • So the next time you need a nice and quick south Indian dessert, do make this delectable rice-lentil pongal and enjoy with your family and friends!! It is so nutritious, you can serve it as a breakfast porridge too!!!
  • Enjoy!!!

I am sharing this with #RecipeoftheWeek  |  #FoodFriday  |  #SaucySaturdays

One comment

  1. Kriska Marie says:

    Oh, we kind of have the same thing in the Philippines, but without the lentils, and we use corn instead of nuts. Love how Indian dishes resemble a lot of Filipino food too! I love Indian food! 😀

    Thanks for sharing it over at Food Friday. Hope to see you again! 🙂

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