Dal & Rice Prep
- Add moong dal in a heavy bottomed pan over low heat and roast until aromatic. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
- Add rice and 2¼ cups of water to the dal and cook until dal and rice are cooked through and water evaporated completely.
- Remove from stove and lightly mash the dal-rice mixture.
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
- Heat ghee in a frying pan; add coconut flakes and fry until golden and fragrant. Remove from pan and keep aside.
- To the same pan, add cashew nuts and fry until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep aside.
- Add raisins and fry until plump. Remove from pan and keep aside.
- Add jaggery syrup and green cardamom powder to the pan with rice/dal mixture.
- Cook on a medium flame and stir until jaggery syrup is completely absorbed into rice/dal mixture. Remove from flame.
- 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.