Delicious South Indian dessert, sweet Pongal with jaggery…
Sweet Pongal is a traditional South Indian dessert made with very simple ingredients like rice & moong dal, sweetened with jaggery & topped with ghee roasted cashew nuts & raisins.
This is made during festivals like Pongal- the Indian harvest festival.
If a dish has rice, lentils & jaggery it has to be a traditional Indian dish as these are staple ingredients in India & many dishes & dessert are made using these ingredients.
For making this jaggery (sharkara) or cane sugar has to be added, some also make this with palm sugar (karupatti). For the traditional taste, avoid adding white sugar, it will alter the taste of this dish.
I made this in the Instant Pot, it’s a very simple recipe & can be whipped up effortlessly. Can be enjoyed warm or chilled.
- Moong dal- ¼ cup (yellow split lentils skinned)
- White rice- 1 cup (Sona Masoori or Ponni rice)
- Water- 4 cups
- Jaggery, grated- 1 cup or 250 gm
- Cardamom powder- ½ tsp
- Milk or coconut milk- 1 cup
- Cashew nuts- ½ cup, roasted in 1 tbsp ghee
- Raisins- 1 tbsp, roasted in ghee
- Ghee- 1 tbsp
- Moong dal is split yellow lentils, we have to use the moong dal without the skin.
- Place a frying pan over medium heat, add moong dal to the pan & roast for 3 minutes.
- Take the rice in a strainer & rinse in water till the water turns clear.
- I've cooked this in the Instant Pot, you can also cook in a regular pressure cooker.
- Add the roasted moong dal & rinsed rice to the stainless steel pot.
- Add 4 cups water & combine well.
- Close with the lid.
- If using the Instant Pot duo model, turn the steam release valve to sealing.
- Select pressure cook setting, set the time to 20 minutes at high pressure.
- We have to cook till the rice turns mushy, hence have to pressure cook for 20 minutes in the Instant Pot.
- In the meantime, let's melt the jaggery.
- I've taken 1 cup grated jaggery. You can add jaggery based on your sweet level.
- Place a saucepan over medium heat, add the jaggery & add ½ cup water.
- Jaggery or cane sugar can be replaced with palm sugar or karupatti.
- Let the jaggery dissolve in water.
- After the jaggery has dissolved in water, cook for 3 minutes till it has slightly thickened. Don't over cook, it will turn too thick & sticky.
- Keep aside the dissolved jaggery.
- After 20 minutes of pressure cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes & then do a quick pressure release.
- Open the lid, the rice & moong dal will be mushy, combine well using a spoon.
- Add cardamom powder, mix well.
- Turn on the saute setting, medium or normal temperature.
- Add the melted jaggery, if there are any tiny particles in the jaggery you can strain the jaggery & add to the rice & dal. Combine well.
- Add 1 cup milk & combine well.
- Milk can be replaced with coconut milk.
- Let cook in saute setting for 3 minutes.
- It will be a thick sticky mixrure.
- The color of this dish depends on the color of the jaggery you've added.
- If you've added light-colored jaggery, it will have a light brown color.
- If you've added deep brown jaggery, will have an intense deep brown color.
- Add 1 tbsp ghee & combine well.
- Remove the pot from the main pot & keep it covered.
- Place a small frying pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp ghee & add the cashew nuts, fry till golden in color.
- Add raisins to the cashew nuts & fry till they plump up.
- Some also add 2 tbsp coconut pieces roasted in ghee- if you prefer you can add this.
- Pour the roasted cashew nuts & raisins over the sweet pongal & keep it covered.
- This can be enjoyed warm or cold.
- Leftover pongal can be stored in the refrigerator, the next day can be enjoyed chilled, tastes delish. Or warm it up in the microwave for a minute.