Monday, January 11, 2016

Cooker Pongal

Sarkarai Pongal, the sweetest part of the Pongal festival is an example of team effort in cooking. Though women are the sole responsibility for cooking in Tamilnadu, Pongal day cooking is for all at home. Sarkarai pongal is a dish that should be cooked in the front yard of a Tamil house on the Pongal day. On that day people used to get up as early as possible, and prepare this sweet rice before the Sun rises. I remember those days , how we all in our town used to decorate our houses with beautiful kolams (rangoli) on the night before Pongal. Those were the fun filled days and we would tie turmeric plants, sugarcane near the front door. Though we cook in a regular kitchen on all the days of the year, the Pongal day is a special one and we would put tastefully decorated clay stoves in the front yard of the house. Then using dried palm leaves, this Sarkarai pongal, Venn pongal, side dishes (see below) all would be prepared by the family members of the house and enjoyed throughout the day. So one can understand that Pongal is a family festival of Tamilians and celebrated to honor the farmers.

Then this festival spread from villages to cities and people started celebrating it with watching new movies, interesting TV programmes and by everything they like. The cooking part is also there, but with some modification.....the cooker pongal. I won't say all the cities are celebrating a quick pongal. I have seen elaborate traditional Pongal celebrations in villages surrounding Chennai. I think it is the responsibility of every parent to show their kids their tradition and should encourage them to celebrate the festivals. Traditional or not, Pongal is Pongal ! So go for it and enjoy !

Here I am narrating a very easy way to prepare this Sarkkarai pongal in cooker. Hope we all enjoy Pongal with all the abundance and prosperity, Happy Pongal !

Sarkarai Pongal
Boil the milk in cooker. It is a tradition to see the boiling milk on that day.

Cooked rice and dal

Add jaggery solution or crushed jaggery

Fry the cashews, raisins and keep aside.

Sarkarai pongal is ready!

Ingredients: (for 4 servings)
Raw rice (pacharisi)  or Basmati rice - 1 1/2 cup
green gram lentil (paasi paruppu)- 1/2 cup
whole milk - 1/2 liter
jaggery (Indian brown sugar ) - 1 1/2 cup
ghee -  1 tbsp
cashew - 10
raisins - 10
cardamom powder - 1 tsp
edible camphor (pachai karpooram) - a tiny pinch

1.In a wok , dry roast the green gram till it turns mild red and gives nice flavor. Take out.
Dry roast the rice to get it little puffy and bright white.
Put them both together and rinse well.
2. Boil the milk in cooker.
3. Put the rice+dhal in to the milk. Bring to one whistle and reduce flame. Cook for 5 minutes.
Switch off. Open after the pressure is released. Mash using a spatula.
4. Dissolve the jaggery and bring to a boil with 1/2 cup water. Strain and remove impurities. Add the jaggery solution to the boiling mixture. (If the jaggery is of very good quality without any sand in it, then we can add as shown in my photo). Add enough water to cover the rice. Cook with weight valve, in lowest heat for 5 minutes (no need for whistle).
5. In the mean time, heat the wok. Fry the cashews, raisins in ghee.
To the cooked pongal add the fried nuts and raisins, cardamom powder, edible camphor and mix well.
Sarkarai pongal is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Serve as breakfast on Pongal day.
Makes a dessert along with idli during a grand breakfast.

Other Pongal recipes :
Rich Sarkarai pongal
Sarkarai pongal
Pongal avial
Pongal puLi curry
Venn pongal 
Ketti paruppu

Wishing all a very happy and prosperous Pongal,

Pongal Greetings, pongal graphics, pongal cards

Orkut Scraps Pongal

May this Pongal festival brings peace, good health, success, cheer, prosperity and every happiness we wish for.
Happy Pongal! Love, Viki Xavier


Rafeeda AR said...

I am drooling at that literally! Would love to have a bowl now...

Shweta Agrawal said...

happy pongal....
very tempting and inviting looking dish:) Super yummmmm!

Shweta Agrawal said...

very tempting and inviting looking dish:) Super yummmmm!