I am still not late in sharing this beautiful and traditional recipe with you all.

Pongal  is the harvest festival  and signifies "Abundance". The term "Pongal" typically means boiling/ swelling/ overflowing -  and is synonymous with the festival as it celebrates Nature's bountiful resources. Pongal is celebrated as Makar and Sankaranthi in other states as well. The 4 day long festival in Tamizhnadu is typically celebrated by offering dishes to Lord Surya (The Sun God - as he is the primary source of energy) from fresh cultivated resources and also offering dishes to Bulls and Cows as they are integral in farming. Cleaning and painting the houses, decorating with Kolams (Rangoli) donning new clothes and sharing food are common during this time and signifies exit of evil and marks the dawn of a new month and the entry of everything that is good and healthy. 

Preparing Sarkkarai Pongal (Sweet Rice Pongal) is the norm of every household across the state. The dish is usually prepared in a new Earthen pot in an open field and those who celebrate at home do it in a bronze pot-like utensil. The size of the bronze pot can be huge to hold a minimum of two liters of milk or can be a smaller one to suit a nuclear family (like the one shown in the picture). Pongal prepared during this occasion is slightly different from the regular ones. The process involves boiling the milk first, offer prayers when it rises to the brim flows over. This is followed by cooking raw rice and dhal in the milk mixture until soft, sweetened with jaggery, infusing cardamom, borneol flakes, saffron and nutmeg and completed by adding cashew nuts and raisins toasted in ghee (clarified butter). The cooking time is inversely proportional to the size of the bronze/ earthen pot and quantity of ingredients added. The measurement for the recipe shared here is to suit a family of 4-6. 

Scroll down for the recipe now..

Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 40 min
Cuisine: South Indian
Category: Sweets
Difficulty level: Medium
Source: MIL
Serves:  6

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 302
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7 g11 %
Saturated Fat 3 g16 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 9 mg0 %
Potassium 216 mg6 %
Total Carbohydrate 54 g18 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g16 %
Sugars 22 g
Protein 6 g11 %
Vitamin A11 %
Vitamin C3 %
Calcium13 %
Iron22 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
  • 250 ml-300 ml Whole milk/ Full cream milk
  • 150 gm pounded Jaggery ( darker variety preffered)
  • 150 gm Raw rice
  • 50 gm Green gram dhal/ Moong Dhal
  • 2 tbsp Ghee/ clarified butter ( adjust as per preference)
  • 6-8 Cardamoms, split and pounded
  • 8-10 strands Saffron
  • a pinch of Borneol flakes ( பச்சை கற்பூரம் )
  • a pinch of Nutmeg 
  • 1 cup water
  • Place the bronze vessel on heat and boil milk. 
  • When the milk surfaces to the brim, add washed raw rice and dhal. Add 1 cup water.
  • Reduce the heat to low medium and continue to cook until the rice and dhal turn soft and mushy (This will take around 20-25 mins).
  • Add saffron strands. This will slowly infuse flavour and colour throughout cooking. 
  • Meanwhile, dissolve pounded jaggery in just-enough water to submerge it and place it on heat to melt. Once it melts filter through a sieve to remove impurities.
  • Pour this into the cooked milky rice-dhal mixture and mix well. Let it simmer. 
  • When it thickens add pounded cardamom, crushed borneol flakes (crush it between your thumb and index finger) and a dash of nutmeg and mix. You can directly grate a dash into the Pongal using a cheese grater.
  • Heat ghee and gently fry the cashews. When half done add the raisins to puff up. Add this to the finsihed Sarkkarai Pongal and turn off the heat.
  • Remove the bronze pot from the hot burner and set aside. Serve hot or warm.


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