A rustic sweet dish prepared during special occasions especially during harvest celebrations. A simple sweet dish that has been prepared for ages. Till date Pongal/rice pudding is really enjoyed for its simplicity, its beautiful sweetness from jaggery/cane sugar & for its creaminess as rice is cooked in milk.
The recipe I am sharing with you is prepared with simple & less ingredients. As I wish to keep it as original/authentic as possible.
Rice & Moong dal/split Mung beans is cooked with water, milk & cardamom. We make jaggery syrup, we melt jaggery & little water, boil it to syrup consistency, then it is added to the cooked rice & dal. The mixture is mixed & slightly mashed to get a nice sticky rice texture, we also add ground dry ginger. Then we heat a few teaspoons of ghee, sauté chopped cashews & then add it to the rice mixture, then it is ready to serve. Tastes best when served hot or warm.
Please do give it a try & enjoy this dish for its beautiful flavours & textures.
- 1 Cup – Rice (approx. 100 gms) (I used Sona Masoori Rice)
Please note: I used measuring cup (1/2 cup) as 1 cup measurement, we use the same cup for rice, milk, water & jaggery measurements).
- 3 Tbsp – Moong Dal/Split & de-husked Mung Beans
- 2 Cups – Milk (I used milk with 3 % fat)
- 2 ½ Cups – Water
- 1 – Cardamom Pod (slightly crushed)
- 2 Cups – Jaggery/Cane Sugar (it is important to use store bought fresh jaggery, please choose bright brown colour as it gives colour to the dish)
- ¼ cup – Water (this is for melting jaggery to make jaggery syrup)
- ½ Tsp – Dry Ginger Powder
- 2 Tsp – Ghee (or as you wish)
- 1 Tbsp – Cashews (chopped)
- We dry fry moong dal/split mung beans until light golden brown & then transfer it into a bowl (It is important to dry fry dal as it gives nutty dal flavour to the dish).
- We add rice into the same bowl, rinse & let it soak in water for atleast 5 minutes (I soaked it for a few minutes).
- We drain water & add the dal, rice into pressure cooker & add 2 cups milks, 2 ½ cups water & cardamom pod.
- Rice & Dal proportion is: 1 portion Rice, ¼ portion Dal.
- Liquid proportion: 1 Cup rice – 4 cups liquid; 3 Tbsp Dal – ½ cup water (it is ok if liquid is more, we just need rice, dal to be cooked well).
- We lock pressure cooker & let it make 3 whistles, turn off heat & let the pressure reduce.
- In the mean-time as the rice is cooking, we prepare jaggery/cane sugar syrup.
- We add 2 cups jaggery into sauce pan, add ¼ cup water & let it come to boil.
- Once the jaggery has melted nicely & the liquid comes to full boil turn off heat.
- We strain the liquid with metal strainer to remove impurities (if you have really good jaggery/cane sugar you can skip this step).
- Pour the jaggery liquid back into the sauce pan & let it come to boil (please keep heat on low).
- Here it is important to work carefully & fast.
- As jaggery comes to rolling boil we dip a spoon the check the thickness of the syrup, the syrup has to be slightly thick.
- We take out the spoon & carefully take a little drop on our index finger & gently press the syrup between index finger & thumb. As we press & release our fingers the syrup should make a small string.
- If it makes a small string the syrup is ready & we turn off heat.
- Simultaneously we check on the rice, dal.
- We open pressure cooker & mix (please do not mash rice now as rice will get lumpy & dry).
- Then we add the hot jaggery syrup, then mix & mash (please keep heat on low).
- As we mix & mash slightly, once the mixture starts to bubble we turn off heat.
- Then we add dry ginger powder, mix well (dry ginger powder is added for flavour & promotes digestion).
- We heat a small pan add ghee & then sauté chopped cashews.
- Once cashews turn light brown we pour it into the rice mixture & mix well.
- You will get the glossy effect/texture if you get the jaggery syrup right & when you add ghee too).
- Tastes best when served hot/warm.