Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sweet Pongal

 Wishing everyone a very happy Pongal/ Makarasankranthi /Lohri. 

I thought this would be a perfect time to pick up the thread from where I left last year. I have not  been having enough motivation to do any thing, let alone blogging. But I do confess that I checked my blog almost everyday to see the updates. The last one year I cooked some new dishes, clicked some random pictures to post but it never made it to my blog.
So here I am back with a recipe for sweet pongal for a new beginning and hope to keep up my enthusiasm to post regularly.

This year I made Venpongal, chutney and Sweet pongal. Since it was a working day, I made it in the evening and offered prayers. Though the traditional way of making pongal is to boil milk and let it spill over and than add rice to it, I opted the quicker way of using a pressure cooker.

What You need: (serves 4)
Raw Rice - 1 cup
Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup crushed
dry nuts( cashews, almonds)  and raisins - 1/4 cup
Ghee- 3 table spoon  ghee
Milk- 2 cups
Water- 2 cups + 1 cup

How I made :

In a pressure cooker, dry roast the moong dal till it changes color and gives out a nice aroma. Wash it along with rice and keep it aside.
In the same cooker heat 2 tablespoon ghee and fry the nuts and raisins. Once done remove and set it aside.
Into the remaining ghee in the cooker add the washed rice and dal, milk and 2 cups of water. Close and cook for 3 whistles. You can cook it over stove top the traditional way, Heat the milk and water once it starts to boil add rice and dal and cook until it gets mushy.
While the rice is cooking , in a seperate pan add jaggery and 1cup water and cook till it starts to boil. Lower the heat and the jaggery syrup cook till it thickens. To test for doneness, add a drop of the syrup into a bowl of cold water, if the jaggery syrup dissolves in water it needs to get thickened further if it stays intact than it is done. Let it cool a bit.
Once the rice and dal is cooked, add into the jaggery syrup and mix well. Cook it for few more minutes on low heat till the rice gets well blended with the syrup. Keep mixing frequently. Once cooked to desired consistency, add the nuts and raisins. Drizzle the remaining ghee on top and serve hot.

- Use sona masuri or ponni raw rice. Other rice varieties will change the flavor of the dish. 
- You can use brown sugar in place of jaggery.
- You can add cardamom for added flavor.
- You can reduce the amount of ghee if you need but remember, more ghee = better taste :).

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