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Recipe: Sakkarai Pongal (Sweet Pongal)

Sakkarai Pongal (Sweet Pongal), as it is known in South India, is a traditional South Indian sweet, prepared using rice, lentils, jaggery and dry fruits. Sakkarai Pongal is usually prepared as an offering to the Sun God, during Pongal/ Sankranthi festival and as prasad in temples around the year.               


  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Moong dal (split green gram) - 1/2 cup
  • Chana dal (split chick peas) - 3 tbsp
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Water - 5 cup
  • Jaggery - 1.5 cup diluted in 1 cup water
  • Ghee - 1/2 cup 
  • Cashew nuts (chopped) - 2 tbsp  
  • Raisins - 1 tbsp 
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Edible camphor - a pinch
  • Wash and soak rice and dals in water for half an hour
  • In a pressure cooker, heat 3 tbsp of ghee and roast cashew and raisins and set them aside
  • In the same cooker, add the soaked rice, dals, 1 cup milk and 5 cups water and cook until 5 whistles, so that it is mushy
  • Meanwhile dissolve jaggery in 1 cup of water and strain to remove any impurities
  • Once the pressure is released, add jaggery syrup, cardamom powder, edible camphor (pachai karpooram/ pacha karpooram), roasted cashew and raisins, remaining ghee and cook for 10-15 minutes on low-medium heat
  • Don't miss out to add the edible camphor. It is the secret ingredient that brings in the flavour of temple style pongal to your preparationšŸ˜‹
  • That's it. Delicious sakkarai pongal is ready to be savoured, of course after you offer to Sun God!!!šŸ˜œ
  • If you wish, you can roast the moong dal before cooking
  • The quantity of jaggery specified here is required to bring in the desired sweetness to the dish. You may reduce the jaggery to 1.25cups, to bring down the sweetness if you wish to.
  • You can garnish pongal with roasted coconut pieces for added taste
  • While edible camphor is essential in bringing in the temple prasadam flavour, cooking on low- medium heat after adding jaggery along with the right amount of ghee are equally vital 
  • You can cook sakkarai pongal in a vessel as well, following the same procedure; just that you have to use a heavy bottomed vessel and occasionally stir the rice-dal mixture, till desired consistency is obtained, before adding jaggery and remaining ingredients
  • If you are using an instant pot, use saute mode to roast cashew and raisins; pressure cook rice, dal along with milk and water on high for 10 minutes; finally in saute mode, add jaggery syrup, cardamom powder, camphor, ghee and cook for 5 minutes and garnish with cashew and raisins
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Video recipe below.


  1. Wow yummy
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Tried making this. Came out very well. Thanks for sharing.


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