Sakarai Pongal

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Sakarai PongalSakarai Pongal: Pongal is a popular rice dish in South Indian cuisine, and Tamil cuisine of Sri Lanka. Sakarai pongal (lit. sugar pongal) is generally prepared in temples as a prasadam, (an offering made to a deity, as a thanksgiving). This type of pongal is prevalent in pongal festivals such as Thai Pongal) in Tamil Nadu, India. Sakarai pongal is a delicacy made from newly harvested rice. It is cooked with jaggery, ghee and cashew nuts and is offered to sun god.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 1/8 cup + 1 tbsp moong dal
  • 3/4 cup jiggery
  • Water:-
  • 3 cups, for cooking rice
  • 1 1/4 cup, for jaggery syrup
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 8-10 cashews chopped
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • A pinch of food grade camphor
  • A pinch green cardamom powder


  • Heat the 1 1/4 cup water in a pan.
  • Dissolve jaggery in the hot water, to dissolve easily.
  • Heat the jaggery-water mixture, up until for the remaining lumps to get dissolved
  • Let the jaggery syrup mixture comes to a rolling boil.
  • Switch off and strain to remove impurities.
  • Add in the edible camphor (a very tiny pinch not more than that) and green cardamom powder.
  • Set aside.
  • In a pressure cooker dry roast moong dal till golden brown.
  • Add in the rice and give a quick stir.
  • Add 3 cups of water and pressure cook for3-4 whistles or until mushy.
  • Mash the rice-dal mixture, well.
  • Add in the jaggery syrup.
  • Cook the mixture on medium flame for 5 minutes.
  • As the mixture starts getting dry, add ghee and keep mixing till you get the pongal consistency.
  • Remove the sakarai pongal from heat.
  • Garnish with chopped cashews and raisins.
  • Serve hot sakarai pongal, with ghee drizzled.


  • Pressure cooking time of rice depends on the variety of rice so adjust accordingly. New rice needs little lesser water whereas old rice requires more.
  • Sakarai pongal gets thicker in consistency after cooling down so switch off accordingly. While serving, if the sakarai pongal gets dry then add little ghee and milk.

If you have any queries regarding the Sakarai Pongal recipe, please leave a comment.

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