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Sakkarai Pongal

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Adjust Servings:
1/2 cup rice (washed twice)
1/2 cup Moong dal
1/2 cup jaggery shavings
1/8 tsp green cardamom powder
1 tbsp Raisins
2 tbsp cashew nuts
3 tbsp Ghee
flaked coconut for garnishing

Sakkarai Pongal

  • Sweet
  • 50 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy



Pongal is a Tamil dish made with rice, especially when new rice is harvested. Pongal is served in two ways; sweet and savory. Savory pongal or ven pongal is a breakfast meal and is also known as khara pongal(salty pongal).Ven pongal is commonly served in temples around the Tamil Nadu area.The Trimurti temple is known to serve the best pongal.

Contrary to ven pongal, Sakkara Pongal is a dessert that is made for religious and auspicious occasions as an offering to the Gods. Although made for many religious occasions, sakkarai pongal gets its name from the Pongal festival. During this festival, all families prepare pongal and offer it to the Sun first and then serve as prasad.

Here is how you can make the traditional Tamil treat to add a little sweetness to your celebrations.

Health Benefits

Rice is a natural energy booster which is rich with vitamins and carbohydrates which are essential for a healthy body. Rice is also gluten free which a makes it an easy food to consume for people who suffer from allergies. The substantial amount of dietary fiber helps in easy digestions.

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How to Make Sakkarai Pongal

Dal & Rice Prep

  1. Add moong dal in a heavy bottomed pan over low heat and roast until aromatic. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
  2. Add rice and 2¼ cups of water to the dal and cook until dal and rice are cooked through and water evaporated completely.
  3. Remove from stove and lightly mash the dal-rice mixture.

Jaggery Syrup

Add grated jaggery and ¼ cup water in a saucepan and let simmer. When the jaggery is completely dissolved, strain through a colander to discards impurities. Remove and keep aside.

Toasted Nuts and Spices

  1. Heat ghee in a frying pan; add coconut flakes and fry until golden and fragrant. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  2. To the same pan, add cashew nuts and fry until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  3. Add raisins and fry until plump. Remove from pan and keep aside.

Sakkarai Pongal

  1. Add jaggery syrup and green cardamom powder to the pan with rice/dal mixture.
  2. Cook on a medium flame and stir until jaggery syrup is completely absorbed into rice/dal mixture. Remove from flame.
  3. Add fried cashews, raisins and coconut flakes; mix well and serve.


  • During the Pongal festival, when sakkaraipongal is cooked and the rice boils over people shout “pongalopongal”which they believe bring good luck and fortune.
  • The Pongal Festival can be traced back in history to 200 B.C.

The Pongal festival is celebrated for 3 days. The first day is called Bhogi, which is for the family; the second day is Surya Pongal, which is for Surya (Sun) worship; and the third day is Maatu Pongal, when cattle are revered.

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