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Shakkarai Pongal

Pongal is a harvest festival dedicated to the Sun God. It marks the Sun's six months journey northwards ie Uttarayana. It is celebrated as a Thanksgiving ceremony for year's harvest. Being married to a Tam-Bram, I get to celebrate both Makar Sankranti and Pongal. We do nothing elaborate but I do make Shakkarai Pongal for him. He is very fond of it. My way of making Pongal may not be the purist way so please excuse me. I am happy to share the way I make Pongal.

Ingredients Yellow Moong Dal 1/3 cup Rice 2/3 cup Water 4 cups Jaggery 2 cups Milk 1 1/2 cups Cardamom pd 1 tsp Ginger pd 1/2 tsp Nutmeg grated a pinch Ghee 5 tbsp Cashew nuts 1/4 cup +2 tbsp Raisins 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp

Method

  • Wash and soak rice and dal for an hour.

  • Pressure cook with four cups of water for 4-5 whistles.

  • In a deep heavy bottom pan (I used a clay pot) heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry cashew nuts and raisins, 1/4 cup each.

  • Once the nuts turn golden, add the cooked rice and dal mixture.

  • Add in milk and mix well.

  • Add in ginger powder, cardamom powder and nutmeg.

  • Let it simmer on very low heat.

  • In another pan melt Jaggery in 1/4 cup water.

  • Strain the melted jaggery into the Pongal.

  • Mix well.

  • Now fry the remaining nuts in 3 tbsp ghee until golden.

  • Pour it over the Pongal.

  • Cover the Pongal pan and switch off the gas.

  • The aroma of hot ghee will permeate through the Pongal.

  • Serve it hot.

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