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Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal

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Sweet pongal or Sakkarai pongal or Sarkkarai pongal for Pongal festival. This sweet recipe is often prepared during the Hindu festivals of pongal, nombu and also on the special occasions. It is generally served as a prasadam in temples on auspicious days and also on Fridays. Every south Indian household prepares pongal in a different way. However the ingredients are almost same, only the preparation differs.

This pressure cooker method uses rice, yellow moongdal, jaggery, cardamom, ghee, cashews and raisins. In temples, pongal is prepared with edible camphor and with cloves. These two ingredients can also be added at home if you like the flavor of it. The Pongal recipe tastes so good if it is prepared using good quality raw rice. The raw rice can be substituted by cooking rice(sona masuri or boiled ponni rice) except basmati. If you are using cooking rice, then make sure to soak it for 30 minutes before cooking and increase the number of whistles while pressure cooking it. So that you can mash it well to get a perfect pongal consistency.

It is mandatory to roast the yellow moong dal for nice flavor. It is just enough to roast it till it slightly changes in its colour. No need to roast till it turns golden brown. Choose the dark colored jaggery to get the perfect colour for pongal. The light colour jaggery works well too in case if you do not get dark colored jaggery. Use a good quality ghee for perfect aroma and taste for the pongal. Make sure to filter the jaggery syrup before adding it to pongal. The jaggery I have been using is free from dust, so I have used it directly to the pongal. I have added 1/4 cup of ghee which gives nice flavour to the given pongal quantity, however one can adjust it according to their personal preference.


Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 5 to 6


½ cup yellow moongdal

1 cup rice(cooking rice or raw rice)

4 cups water

1 cup jaggery

½ cup water for jaggery

¼ cup ghee

3 tbsp cashew nuts

1 tbsp raisins

¼ tsp green cardamom powder

A pinch of salt

Video Recipe:

Method with step by step pictures:

1) Dry roast the yellow moong dal till it slightly changes to dark yellow colour. No need to dry roast till it becomes golden brown.


2) Add it to a pressure cooker. Add the rice. Add water to wash. Rinse it two or three times or until the water runs out clean.


3) Add 4 cups of water. Pressure cook it for 4 whistles.

4) Once the pressure is released, open the lid.


5) Mash the rice and dal mix well using the ladle.

6) Once the mashed rice and dal mix is ready, heat the jaggery with 1/2 cup of water.


7) Let the jaggery meltdown completely without any lumps. Now the jaggery syrup is ready. Just boil once and filter to remove the impurity if any.

8) Add the jaggery syrup to the rice and dal mix. Add cardamom powder and a pinch of salt. Mix well & mash using the ladle without any lumps.

9) Once it is mixed well, then heat the mixture and cook till it bubbles.


10) Mix and turn off the flame when it bubbles.

11) Heat another pan and add ghee.

12) Add cashew nuts and raisins. Fry well till it turns golden brown in colour.


13) Add these fried cashew and raisins along with ghee to the pongal.

14) Mix well.

15) Hot pongal is ready.

Serving Suggestions:

1) Served as a prasadam in temples after pooja.

2) Serve it as sweet along with any south Indian breakfast or lunch menu during festival time.



1) Use raw rice for best results for this pongal. If you are using cooking rice, then make sure to soak it for 30 minutes before cooking.

2) I pressure cooked the rice and dal for 4 whistles. You can increase the whistles according to the rice you use.

3) For perfect gooey pongal, the given measurement works well. however, the pongal becomes thick once it cools down. So adjust the water consistency accordingly when you are adding the jaggery syrup.

4) Edible cambhor or cloves can also be added. but the traditional home made pongal doens’t need these ingredients.

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Happy Pongal, Uma..sweet pongal looks delicious too!!

Uma Ramanujam

Thank you so much Julie.