Sakkare Pongal

Sakkare Pongal is a sweet rice prepared in South India during Makara Sankranti festival.

Time Required: 25 Minutes
Serves: 4

Shakkare Pongal

Ingredients:
2 Cups Raw Rice
1 Cup Hesarubele/Moong Dal/Split Green Gram
3 Cups Jaggery/Molasses, Grated
½ Cup Ghee/Clarified Butter
½ Cup Dry Coconut powder (Grate dry coconut and grind to a powder)
1 tsp Cardamom Powder
¾ Cup Milk
6 – 8 Cashew nuts, Chopped
15 Raisins
5 Almonds, Soaked in water, Peeled and Chopped
A tiny tiny pinch of Pachcha Karapoora/Edible Camphor (Optional)
A pinch of Nutmeg Powder (Optional)
Few strands of Saffron (Optional)

Method:
Heat a teaspoon of Ghee and fry Hesarubele until they turn a light shade of pink.  Remove and keep aside.  Add another teaspoon of Ghee and fry Cashew nuts, Raisins and Almonds and keep aside.  In a thick-bottomed pan mix Rice, Hesarubele, Milk and 3 Cups of water, close the pan and let it cook on low flame.  You can cook this in the pressure cooker too (single whistle).

In another pan add 2 Cups of water and Jaggery and let the Jaggery melt.  Sieve the syrup.

Sakkare Pongal

Once the Rice is cooked add the Jaggery syrup to the Rice and mix well.  Add the remaining Ghee, Coconut, Cashew nuts, Almonds, Raisins and Cardamom and mix well.  Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add Pachcha Karapoora, Nutmeg Powder and Saffron and remove from heat and leave it aside for 30 minutes.  Mix again adding another tablespoon of Ghee or more according to taste.  Remove Sakkare Pongal to a serving dish  and serve hot with another spoon of Ghee!

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