Friday, January 8, 2010


Pongal 2010 is on Thursday, January 14, 2010.

Makara Sankranthi also called as "Pongal" is the Harvest Festival in South India - celebrated with a beautifully tasty and simple dish called - you guessed it - PONGAL!

Sankranthi/Pongal stands for the end of the cold and winter season - and the beginning of spring. It also symbolizes the end of the frugal miserly living during the winter months - to the time of plenty - during the harvesting of the crops.

There are so many variations to the Pongal recipe - Sakarai or Sweet Pongal - Khara or Ven Pongal (common breakfast variety) - Melagu Pongal (with pepper) - here I have presented a sweet recipe that is simple and maximizes on the taste!

HAPPY PONGAL 2010 to all the readers!

Serves: 4
Preparation time - 40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut gratings
  • 1 tsp moong (aka green gram dal)
  • 1 cup sugar (tip: use jaggery instead - tastes great)
  • 10 cashewnuts
  • 3 cardamom - crushed
  • A few strands of saffron (optional only)
  • 5 tsps Ghee (clarified or melted butter)
  • 2 pinches of nutmeg powder (aka Jaikai in Kannada, Jaiphhal in Hindi)
  • 12 raisins


  1. Roast the moong lightly until it gives a faint fragrance
  2. Soak the fried moong and rice for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups of diluted milk and 1 tsp of ghee to the soaked rice-moong mix.
  4. Pressure cook well until soft cooked.
  5. Separately, roast cashews and raisins with 4 tsps of ghee. Add coconut gratings and roast until golden yellow.
  6. make a sugar syrup of thready consistency in a vessel - mix the cooked rice and moong dal - and cook for 3 minutes on a medium flame.
  7. Add the coconut and cashew mix to this.
  8. Add the cardamom, nutmeg powder and saffron to this.
  9. Mix very well constantly.
Note: If you are using jaggery, make sure you dissolve in water first and remove impurities from it.

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