Sakkarai Pongal recipe easy pressure cooker method

Sakkarai Pongal recipe for Pongal | Chakkara Pongal recipe for Sankranti

Pongal or Sankranti is celebrated in a very grand manner in villages and small towns where big kolams are drawn and Pongal is cooked in a new pot .  Freshly harvested rice and vegetables etc are used for cooking.  When we lived in a small town, Sweet Pongal was made by boiling the milk first and then adding  rice, moong dhal and jaggery and cooking it.  After the milk in the  Pongal overflowed we all shouted in chorus " Pongalo Pongal " and worshipped the Sun God who we could see clearly from the fields or open fields.  We do not have the same liberty in cities today.  Today seeing the Sun and worshipping Him is a premium.  So we can do what is practically possible in cities and towns where we live to celebrate Pongal as traditionally as possible.  In Tamil as they say " ponnu vaikkum  idathil poo vaipathu and the transliteration  is if we cannot offer gold at least offer flowers.

So we can clean the kitchen counter and gas stove at night of Bhogi festival.  Draw a kolam with rice flour or a piece of chalk.  We should avoid kola podi on the kitchen counter , obviously.

The image  shows a lotus design I have drawn .  Two borders on either side of the stove are also there but they are missing in this image.


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I use what is called a uruli to make Pongal.  After washing it well, I apply turmeric powder all around and  then apply kumkum also to symbolically represent the Pongal pot

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For one measure of rice take one measure of moong dhal and two to two and half measures of jaggery.  Rice and moong dhall are cooked in a pressure cooker with little milk and  water.
Jaggery is taken in the uruli with little water and stirred well with heating till it melts.  If the quality of the jaggery is good we need not filter.  Otherwise we have to filter it after it gets dissolved in water to get the jaggery syrup.

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Once the jaggery syrup is ready add the already cooked rice and dhal combination ( in a pressure cooker as stated already ) and stir well.

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Add nutmeg powder to the Pongal at this stage.

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Garnish with cashew nuts , one  clove and raisins that are added finally as otherwise they may get overcooked.   To garnish use ghee generously.

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Sakkarai Pongal or sweet Pongal is ready to be offered as naivedyam for Pongal festival

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The traditional method of making Pongal is by boiling milk and then adding rice , dhal and jaggery and allowing them to get cooked.  This method takes a long time for all the ingredients to get cooked.
This method is followed in villages and this is the method we used when we were young and lived in a small town that can be  termed as a village also in those days.

When the Pongal is cooked and the  milk overflows we used to shout " Pongalo Pongal " heralding the beginning of the spring season that gives hopes and joy.  As they say " Thai piranthal vazhi pirakkum " which means when the month of Thai is born there is hope and optimism.

Urad dal laddu | Sunnundalu

Another important recipe for Sankranti made by my sisters-in-law is the urad dal laddu.

Urad dal is dry roasted in a vessel and ground in a mixer. Some add rice while grinding to prevent the laddu from sticking to the teeth.  I have ground the urad dal coarsely so I have not added sugar.

Sugar is also powdered in a mixer

The proportion is for one measure urad dal flour 3/4 to one measure sugar.
If we want it very sweet we can add one measure sugar otherwise 3/4 measure will suffice.

Add urad dhal flour and powder sugar in a vessel.
Add cardamom powder and mix the three well with a ladle or spoon

Garnish with cashew nuts fried in ghee.

Then again mix well.  Add more ghee and start making the  laddus.  If it is difficult to make them add some more ghee.

One more naivedyam recipe for Sankranti is ready.

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