sweet pongal recipe | sakkarai pongal recipe | how to make sweet pongal

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sakkarai pongal recipe - sweet festive dish made with rice and mung lentils, flavored with cardamoms, dry fruits & ghee.

4.15 from 7 votes
total time:
20minutes

sweet pongal recipe with step by step photos – sweet porridge like dish made with rice and mung lentils, flavored with cardamoms and dry fruits. sweet pongal is also known as sakkarai pongal in tamil language and is a sweet dish made during festive occasions in south india.

sweet pongal recipe, sakkarai pongal recipe, chakkara pongal recipe, sweet pongal

there are some south indian recipes served in temples which are a favorite with me – ven pongal, curd rice, paal payasam and this sweet pongal. i have had these recipes as prashad (naivdeyam) in some south indian temples and loved the taste the prasad had.

during poojas or on auspicious days, i make sweets and offer to the mother goddess. this was one such day. whenever i offer anything to the deities, i always add a pinch of edible camphor in these delicacies. adding edible camphor is entirely optional and you can skip it.

i also add clove powder or clove to any savory or sweet dish that i offer to the devi. this is something which i follow in our family, as my mother in law does the same. so in this sweet pongal recipe i have powdered one clove and added. though adding clove is optional.

if you are looking for more south indian recipes then do check:

sweet pongal

4.15 from 7 votes
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Total Time:20 mins
sakkarai pongal recipe - sweet festive dish made with rice and mung lentils, flavored with cardamoms, dry fruits & ghee.
Course:sweets
Cuisine:south indian,tamil nadu
Servings:3 to 4
Calories:573kcal

INGREDIENTS FOR sweet pongal

(1 CUP = 250 ML)

main ingredients for sweet pongal

  • ½ cup regular rice OR 100 grams regular rice
  • cup moong dal (husked and split mung lentils) OR 85 grams moong dal (you can also add ¼ cup mung dal)
  • 3 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 115 to 120 grams jaggery OR ½ cup tightly packed grated or chopped jaggery OR ½ cup tightly packed jaggery powder
  • ½ cup water for the jaggery solution
  • a small pinch of edible camphor (optional)
  • 5 green cardamoms + 1 clove (optional) - crushed in mortar-pestle OR ½ teaspoon cardamom powder

for frying dry fruits

  • 4 to 5 tablespoon ghee or add as required
  • 15 to 18 cashews (kaju)
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins (kishmish)

HOW TO MAKE sweet pongal

roasting rice & moong dal

  • pick ½ cup rice and ⅓ cup moong dal first to get rid of stones if any. then heat a small pan or a small kadai and add both the rice and moong lentils.
  • on a low flame stirring often roast both the rice and moong lentils, till they become aromatic.
  • you only need to roast till the moong lentils become aromatic. no need to brown them.
  • now take them in another bowl.
  • rinse both the roasted rice and moong dal a couple of times with water.

cooking rice & moong dal for sweet pongal

  • drain well and then add them in a pressure cooker.
  • pour 3 cups water. the amount of water to be added depends on the consistency you want and also on the quality of moong dal.
  • pressure cook on medium flame for 12 to 14 minutes or for 8 to 10 whistles.
  • let the pressure settle down on its own and then you remove the lid to check the doneness and consistency. if the pongal has a consistency like that of a pulao, then add ½ to 1 cup hot water and mix very well. 
  • both the rice and the moong dal should be cooked very well. with a spoon, slightly mash the cooked rice and moong lentils. if cooked well, then cover with the lid and keep aside. the consistency of a pongal is like khichdi.

preparing jaggery syrup for sweet pongal

  • meanwhile when the rice is cooking, crush seeds of 5 green cardamoms + 1 clove in a mortar-pestle. if using cardamom powder alone, then you can add ½ teaspoon of it.
  • also chop 115 to 120 grams jaggery. you should get about½ cup tightly packed, chopped or grated jaggery. this much amount of jaggery makes the pongal just sweet. 
  • now take ½ cup water in a pan. add the jaggery.
  • on a low to medium flame, heat this jaggery solution till the jaggery melts completely.
  • do stir and break the jaggery chunks or pieces with a spatula so that they melt easily.
  • you will get an amber colored syrup when all the jaggery is melted, if you have used dark jaggery. if you have light colored jaggery, then the color will be pale yellow to yellow.

making sweet pongal

  • straining the jaggery syrup through a seive, directly add it in the cooked rice+lentils mixture. if using jaggery powder, you can add directly.
  • now add the crushed cardamom+clove powder and a pinch of edible camphor.
  • mix everything very well. pongal will thicken as it cools down. so if the mixture looks thick, then you can add ¼ to ⅓ cup hot water.

frying dry fruits for sweet pongal

  • heat 5 tablespoons ghee. you can add less ghee if you want.
  • add the 12 to 15 cashews.
  • saute the cashews till they become light golden.
  • then add 1 tablespoons raisins.
  • begin to stir & fry.
  • stirring often fry till the raisins swell and become plump.
  • then immediately remove the pan from the stove top and add the fried cashews, raisins and ghee to the pongal mixture.
  • mix very well.
  • offer to the goddess or you can serve sweet pongal hot or warm to your family members.

RECIPE TIPS

tips for making sweet pongal

  • i get moong dal which takes a long time to cook. usually i cook the moong lentils for 8 to 10 whistles. so i add 3 or 3.25 cups water. if you get moong dal, which cooks quickly in 2 to 3 whistles, then add 2 to 2.5 cups water.
  • for more sweetness, you can add ¼ cup more. at times i also use jaggery powder and add it directly to the cooked rice+moong lentils.
  • this sweet pongal recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • you can add less or more ghee as required.
  • also clove and edible camphor can be skipped. 
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how to make sweet pongal or sakkarai pongal

i have divided the entire step by step sweet pongal recipe into 5 steps for ease of understand and making it.

    • step 1 – roasting rice and moong dal
    • step 2 – cooking rice & moong dal for sweet pongal
    • step 3 – preparing jaggery syrup for sweet pongal
      • step 4 – making sweet pongal
    • step 5 – frying dry fruits for sweet pongal

lets begin with step 1: roasting rice and moong dal

1. pick ½ cup rice and ⅓ cup moong dal first to get rid of stones if any. then heat a small pan or a small kadai and add both the rice and moong lentils.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

2. on a low flame stirring often roast both the rice and  moong lentils, till they become aromatic.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

3. you only need to roast, till the moong lentils become aromatic. no need to brown them.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

4. now take them in another bowl.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

5. rinse both the roasted rice and moong dal a couple of times with water.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

cooking rice & moong dal for sweet pongal

6. drain well and then add them in a pressure cooker. pour 3 cups water. the amount of water to be added depends on the consistency you want and also on the quality of moong dal. i get moong dal which takes a long time to cook. usually i cook the moong lentils for  8 to 10 whistles. so i add 3 or 3.25 cups water. if you get moong dal, which cooks quickly in 2 to 3 whistles, then add 2 to 2.5 cups water.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

7. pressure cook on medium flame for 12 to 14 minutes or for 8 to 10 whistles.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

8. let the pressure settle down on its own and then you remove the lid to check the doneness and consistency. if the pongal has a consistency like that of a pulao, then add ½ to 1 cup hot water and mix very well.

dal for sweet pongal recipe

9. both the rice and the moong dal should be cooked very well. with a spoon slightly mash the cooked rice and moong lentils. if cooked well, then cover with the lid and keep aside. the consistency of a pongal is like khichdi.

making sweet pongal recipe

10. meanwhile when the rice is cooking, crush seeds of 5 green cardamoms + 1 clove in a mortar-pestle. if using cardamom powder alone, then you can add ½ teaspoon of it.

making sweet pongal recipe

preparing jaggery syrup for sweet pongal

11. also chop 115 to 120 grams jaggery. you should get about ½ cup tightly packed chopped or grated jaggery. this much amount of jaggery makes the pongal just sweet. for more sweetness, you can add ¼ cup more. at times i also use organic jaggery powder and add it directly to the cooked rice+moong lentils. if you are using jaggery or jaggery powder without impurities, then you can add it directly to the cooked rice+lentils mixture.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

12. now take ½ cup water in a pan. add the jaggery.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

13. on a low to medium flame, heat this jaggery solution till the jaggery melts completely.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

14. do stir and break the jaggery chunks or pieces with a spatula so that they melt easily.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

15. let the syrup bubble up a bit. you will get an amber colored syrup when all the jaggery is melted, if you have used dark jaggery. if you have light colored jaggery, then the color will be pale yellow to yellow. if you want you can thicken the syrup more.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

making sweet pongal

16. straining the jaggery syrup through a seive, directly add it in the cooked rice+lentils mixture. if using organic jaggery powder, you can add directly.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

17. now add the crushed cardamom+clove powder and a pinch of edible camphor.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

18. mix everything very well. pongal will thicken as it cools down. so if the mixture looks thick, then you can add ¼ to ⅓ cup hot water.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

frying dry fruits for sweet pongal

19. heat 4 to 5 tablespoons ghee. you can add less ghee if you want.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

20. add 12 to 15 cashews. you can keep the cashews whole or halve or chop them.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

21. saute the cashews till they become light golden.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

22. then add 1 tablespoons raisins.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

23. begin to stir & fry.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

24. stirring often fry till the raisins swell and become plump.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

25. then immediately remove the pan from the stove top and add the fried cashews, raisins and ghee to the pongal mixture.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

26. mix very well.

making sakkarai or sweet pongal recipe

27. offer to the goddess or you can serve sweet pongal hot or warm to your family members. you can garnish pongal with some of the fried cashews and raisins while serving.

sakkarai pongal recipe


namaste, i am dassana

dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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7 comments/reviews

  1. Hi dassana

    This pongal looks delicious. Will give it a try. But I got confused by the name because sakkarai means sugar. Whereas this is sweet pongal made of jaggery.

  2. Hi, i add a pinch of grated nutmeg after adding cardamom. After roasting cashews and raisins, switch off the stove (in the same pan) and in that heat itself, quickly stir the grated nutmeg for a few seconds… and add it finaly to the pongal and mix thoroughly. Just a pinch makes a difference in aroma & tastes exactly like temple prasadam..

  3. Hey Dassana,

    I am an avid follower of your recipes and your blog is a ready reckoner for me!

    Thanks for this one. I prepared this on Pongal. Everyone loved the dish. My mum suggested that adding milk while pressure cooking the rice with dal will add to the taste. Also, I did increase the proportion of jaggery. Thought should relay this feedback to you!

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