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Sakkarai Pongal
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Sakkarai Pongal

Traditional South Indian sweet rice prepared during the harvest festival called Pongal / Sankranthi. In villages freshly harvested rice is cooked with jaggery and dal in clay earthenware pots and offered to God along with vegetables, lentils, sugarcane and fruits. This is also prepared as neivedyam or prasadam during other auspicious occasions and festivals.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: sweet
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 cup rice
  • ½ cup yellow moong dal
  • 1 cup jaggery, broken or grated
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • 10-15 cashews
  • 10 raisins


  • Soak rice and dal separately for minimum 20 mins. Then pressure cook them with about 3.5 cups water separately.
    Sakkarai Pongal Step 1
  • Mash rice and dal well and mix them together. Keep aside until use.
    Sakkarai Pongal Step 1-2
  • Grate or chop the jaggery into small pieces, add water and jaggery in a deep bottomed pan and stir until jaggery melts.
    Sakkarai Pongal Step 2
  • Wait for the jaggery to dissolve completely without any lumps. No syrup consistency required. Then filter the jaggery water to remove any impurities. Pour the filtered jaggery back to the pan and bring it to boil.
    Sakkarai Pongal Step 2-1
  • Once boiling starts, add the mashed rice and dal and Cook everything on medium flame until it thickens and becomes sticky.
    Sakkarai Pongal Step 3
  • In another pan add ghee and roast the cashews and raisins until golden brown.
  • Finally add the powdered cardamon, fried cashews, raisins and leftover ghee to rice-dal-jaggery mix and stir well. Switch off flame.
    Sakkarai Pongal Step 5


  1. I have made this in pressure cooker, but can be made in the traditional way by boiling rice and dal and adding jaggery to it too
  2. I have soaked and cooked rice and dal seperately. Soaking helps in cooking rice and dal faster, and the reason I cooked them seperately is that I am used to that method, but you can cook them to gather too, just make sure you soak them.
  3. The colour of pongal differs with the colour of jaggery. ‘Paagu vellam’ works best. It is slightly darker in shade.