Thursday, January 18, 2018

Varagu Arisi Inippu Pongal - Millet Sweet Pongal

My favorite festival even more so than Deepavali is Pongal, the harvest festival. It is perhaps true for most farming families. Here in the US, the harvest is long been over and we are in the throes of winter so making Suriya pongal is out of the question but we have the trusty pressure cooker to help us out.

Sarakarai(sugar) Pongal is a popular breakfast item in our house. The kids love it and I cook it every now and then. So of course I made it on Pongal day. But this time instead of rice wanted to use millet and ended using varagu arisi or kodo millet for making the pongal.

Pongal has to be kind of mushy and moist not dry. This also means the grains should not be separate and hanging out on their own. Yes! very different from what we would want for biryani or pulav. Millet takes slightly longer to cook than rice. So for the texture you would like for Pongal add 4 1/2 cups of water to one cup of millet. No additional water is needed for the lentils that are to be added.

The recipe in pictures.
Cook the millet and lentils in the required amount of water. Break up the jaggery.
Melt and filter the jaggery and mix it to the rice.
Roast the nuts and raisins, mix in the cardamom powder and roasted nuts to the rice, mix and turn of the heat.

A tasty and delicious dish is ready in no time.

Varagu Arisi Inippu Pongal
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  1. 1 cup Varagu Arisi - Kodo Millet (1 cup of millet - 4 1/2 cups of water)
  2. 1 cup split yellow moong dal - paasi paruppu
  3. 1/2 cup jaggery
  4. 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  5. 1/4 cup nuts (I used cashews and charoli)
  6. 1/4 cups raisins
  7. 1/2 cup milk
  8. 2 tbsp ghee
  1. Wash the millet and lentils in several changes of water and add the millet along with the water required in a pressure cooker. Cook for 6-8 whistles and wait for the pressure to subside.
  2. Take the jaggery in a sauce pan along with one cup of water, heat till the jaggery dissolves completely. Filter the impurities out.
  3. Heat the ghee in a pan, add the nuts first roast till they start to brown, add the raisin and roast for a minute more. Turn off the heat.
  4. Open the cooker and give a good mix. Add in the jaggery syrup and mix it well. Turn the heat to a low and gently add the milk while mixing.
  5. Now add in the cardamom powder and the fried nuts. Mix and quickly turn off the heat and remove from the stove.
  6. Note:To powder cardamom add with it a tsp of sugar and powder in a spice grinder.
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