Friday, April 8, 2011

Sarkkarai Pongal (Rich)

I am always curious to know how they make that 'ghee dripping sweet pongal' in Hindu Temples, that are so glossy. This is the major dish prepared for Indian Pongal festival (farmer's harvest festival) and for thanking cows (mattu pongal).Then I learned from my friends that they do it with LOADS of milk + ghee and its different from the usual sarkkarai pongal I do for Pongal. Mom used to do a closer version with lots of milk. But after marriage, my friend Sundari's mom sent me a big pack of this pongal wrapped in banana leaf .....dripping in ghee on a Pongal day. Those days were golden....It was almost like a halwa and I can always remember  that taste. I took it as a baseline and tried to create that 'creamy rich ghee dripping sweet pongal' in our house with the tips from her mom. This will give a closer taste to 'Kovil chakkara pongal'.  I remember Sundari's mom's pongal  and those festivals whenever I make this dish and thank her silently for this wonderful recipe.

Raw rice / Basmati rice - 3/4 cup
(Raw rice - Pacharisi in tamil)
green gram lentil (paasi paruppu)- 1/4 cup
condensed milk - 6 tbsp
whole milk - 3/4 liter
jaggery (Indian brown sugar ) - 1/2 cup
sugar crystals (kalkandu) - 1/2 cup
ghee - 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
cashew - 15
raisins - 15
cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
edible camphor (pachai karpooram) - a tiny pinch

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 wash thoroughly thrice.

Put the rice+dhal in a thick bottom vessel(vengala paanai) . (I used my thick bottom deep kadai). Add enough milk to immerse the contents and start cooking. Go on adding milk till the rice and dhal get mushy.
(We can cook it in pressure cooker also. But I am not sure of that)

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.
Put required sugar crystals and start stirring, so that the bottom won't darken. Keep it in medium flame.
(We can do the entire pongal with jaggery alone. But sometimes the old jaggeries, that we get normally will impart a salty taste and dark color. If we can get a light color new jaggery, then we can add it without sugar crystals/ sugar).

Then add the condensed milk, cardamom powder, ghee and stir till the pudding/ pongal starts slightly thicker and it will resemble halwa. The pudding will start leaving the edges.
(If condensed milk is not available then use 1.5 liters of milk or few tbsp of milk powder and cook everything till the pongal gets thick....the idea is to include loads of milk:)  ).

In a separate wok, heat a tbsp of ghee. Fry and add the cashews and raisins.  Before switching off add the pachai karpooram and give it a good stir. Switch off.
Place a plantain leaf in a container and pour the pongal over it to get that authentic flavor. Sakkarai pongal is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as dessert in small cups.
Serve this 'creamy rich sakkarai pongal' piping hot on small plantain leaves.


Mehjabeen Arif said...

wow... pongal is my soothing food.. anyone who knows me well, would bring this yummy dish when they visit me.. picture is just perfect the way it should be..

Torviewtoronto said...

favourite pongal delicious

Nandinis food said...

It's my favourite pongal! Looks wonderful! I'd love to finish it up from the screen...

Aruna Manikandan said...

adding condensed milk sounds new to me...
looks delicious dear.....

Hari Chandana P said...

Yummy and delicious pongal.. looks absolutely tempting.. thanks for sharing !!
Indian Cuisine

Shama Nagarajan said...

tempting pongal viki..

Ambreen (Simply Sweet n Savory) said...

This looks so good ... So rich & absolutely yummy!!! Great post.

Priya Suresh said...

Omg, feel like that whole of wonderful looking pongal,simply irresistible..

My Inspired Reality said...

Viki, sarkkarai pongal is my all time favorite:) I have tried making it, but never achieved "that" taste that I was going for. I am so looking forward to trying your recipe:):)

Suman Singh said...

Rich and yummy looking dish indeed..

Swathi said...

You are right, when they add lot of jaggery and ghee it become automatically tasty. Love to sweet pongal.

divya said...

Pongal makes me hungry,absolutely divine.

JishasKitchen said...

delicious and tempting pongal...:)

nasreen basu said...

very useful really good information thanks for posting such a good information it will hepls the people a lot keep it up , Regards,
chakkara pongal recipe