Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sarkarai Pongal (Jaggery Sweetened rice with lentils)

I was at the traffic light this morning having missed the green light by mere seconds that this philosophical thought entered my mind. As in traffic light so is life isn't? We all seem to indefinitely rushing towards one thing or the other just missing catching most by mere seconds. A few we do catch does not seem to matter. Maybe we need to linger on the ones we catch not dawdle too much on the ones we miss.

Well, the light turned green again putting an end my thoughts and  on my way to DD2's first dentist appointment her first in 7 years. I am a bad parent yes? DD2 did not waste a moment and explained to all the nurses, receptionist and the doctor that this was her first. She also informed the doctor that there was no floss in the house and a parent does not watch over her when she brushes her teeth. Lucky for me she did not have any cavities and I did not have to hang my head in shame.
I dashed out of the dentist's office as fast as I could before DD2 revealed any more of our well guarded secrets.

I am sure you don't want any more of my philosophy and we will jump right to the recipe. Sarakarai Pongal is a sweet rice dish made during Pongal or harvest festival. But the dish is also made for other auspicious days like New Year, festivals etc. It is also great for a relaxed weekend breakfast. When preparing in large quantities like for breakfast I increase the quantity of lentils and reduce the quantity of sugar.

Sarkarai Pongal (Sweetened Rice with lentils)
1. 1/2 cup of rice (preferably raw rice)
2. 1/2 cup of split moong dal skin removed
3. 1/2 cup of split green moong with skin
4. 1/2 cup of jaggery (see note)
5. 3/4 cup of milk
6. 4 tbsp of broken cashews
7. 2 tbsp of golden rasins
8. 1 tbsp of rock sugar (kalkandu) - optional
9. 2 tbsp of grated coconut - optional
10. 2 cardamom pods crushed
11. 1 tbsp of ghee (or more)
Roast the yellow moong and green moong separately till they just start to turn brown.
1. Pressure cook the rice and lentils with twice the amount of water normally used and milk. The cooked rice should be mushy.
2. In the meantime take the jaggery in a sauce pan and add water just above the quantity of sugar and let it come to a boil. All the sugar should be dissolved. Filter with a cheese cloth. Jaggery comes with a lot of impurities which need to be filtered out.
3. Roast the cashews and raisins in ghee. Start with the cashews and when they are just about to turn brown add in the raisins
4. Now open the cooked rice and set it on very low flame. Add in the jaggery and mix it into the rice. Add the ghee and the crushed cardamom.
5. Add in the cashews, raisins, coconut and rock sugar.
6. If the rice is too thick add in half a cup of warm milk. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove. The heat from the stove will thicken it further.

1. If using brown sugar in place of jaggery reduce the quantity of sugar by a 1/4 - 1/2 because it is much sweeter. No filtering is required so check and add.


  1. This is a lot like sweet pongal .. other than the green moong dal. Looks yummy

  2. I agree with your thought at the light. Most people today miss the present and run and run till the very end to see the future which they never do.
    The other day I heard somebody say that 'Let the time pass by you and you do`nt pass the time'.

    I have had the same experience with my daughter too at the dentist. She even went on to say that I never visited a dentist in my whole life and I can never forget the dentist`s look which made me look like the most unhygienic person.

    Happy new year wishes to you and your family Indo!

  3. My daughter is a lot like DD2... always gushing with information! Happy Tamil New Year indo.

  4. Prefect for my sweet tooth,yummy sarkarai pongal..


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