A classic dish right from the southern part of India, Pongal is not only a blissful comfort food but also an iconic cultural delicacy. It is one of those dishes that will make people relinquish their comforts and indulge in it again and again! 

What is sweet Pongal made of?

Sweet Pongal, also referred to as Sakkarai Pongal or Chakkara Pongali is a luscious delicacy which justifies itself with regard to its taste and cultural importance. It consists mainly of rice and moong dal. This dish has sweetness from jaggery which also adds to the distinct flavored nature of this Pongal and will give a brownish color.

Sweet Pongal is also incredibly tasty and indeed a taste bud delight when made in a generous amount of ghee, garnished with cashews, raisins, and flavored with hints of cardamom. So, without further ado, let’s get into what you’ll be needing for this mouthwatering dish.

Making sweet Pongal is not that difficult; in most cases you will find the ingredients easily available at your kitchen. On this note, let’s look at the list of ingredients you’ll need for our quick-to-make sweet Pongal recipe:

  • 1 cup of raw rice
  • ½ cup moong dal (split yellow lentils)
  • 1 cup jaggery, grated or chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons ghee
  • ¼ cup cashews, halved
  • 2 tablespoons raisins

Steps to make sweet Pongal:

  • Soak the moong dal and rice in water.
  • Put the soaked rice and moong dal with 4 cups of water In a pressure cooker; cook it for 4-5 whistles.
  • Open it and mash lightly using a ladle to mix cooked rice and dal.
  • Take 2-3 spoons of ghee and fry cashews till golden brown.
  • In the same pan, put some raisins and roast until they puff. Take them out of the pan.
  • In another pan, take 1 cup of jaggery and add it to boiling water. Allow it to melt and boil until thick syrup is formed.
  • Finely strain the jaggery syrup to take out all impurities, and add it into your mashed rice and dal mixture.
  • It should then be mixed well together with 1 cup of milk, cardamom powder and a pinch of salt. Allow it to simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.
  • Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan, and then add cashews as well as raisins with ghee. Stir fry for a few seconds and pour it into the sweet Pongal mixture.
  • Stir all the ingredients and keep a lid over the pot. Let it cook for 5 minutes on low heat.
  • Once ready, put some ghee from top and serve it warm.

How to make savory Pongal?

Savoury Pongal, also referred to as Ven Pongal is a delicious dish that has made its way into South Indian homes. This dish is typically taken at breakfast time and this delicacy combines rice and yellow lentil cooked together till their consistency becomes creamy. The splicing of black pepper, cumin, ginger and ghee gives the Ven Pongal a unique aroma.

For Savory Pongal, you will require 1 cup of rice – any variety depending on your choice or availability in the kitchen. Traditionally, the dish is garnished with ghee-fried cashews.. This dish involves similar preparations to how Sweet Pongal is made, but with a touch of savory into it, hence not only delicious in taste but also comforting and healthy.

To create Savoury Pongal, first put in a bowl and wash the rice as well as moong dal together until clear water runs. Then, you add them in a pressure cooker or pot with 4 cups of water based on the quantity that is enough for boiling. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and keep on simmer for about 15 minutes or until rice and dal are cooked completely. 

In a small pan, heat it up and add cumin seeds along with black peppercorns and a very little quantity of hing. On the other hand, roast the spices until fragrant and pour them together with chopped ginger into rice-dal mixture just before serving; salt to taste. Finally, add two tablespoons of ghee for taste and richness.

In summary, Pongal is a healthy breakfast that can be made as either sweet or savory. The ingredients are simple, healthy and absolutely perfect for those who want to learn how to cook South Indian dishes. So try out these mouth-watering Pongal recipes and surprise your loved ones with your culinary talents! Moreover, do not limit yourself to just these two recipes – there are countless variations and add-ons that you can try out for creating your own Pongal.


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