Wishing you all a Happy Bhogi, Pongal and Sankaranthi!
This is one of my favorite festival sweets that I relish in my hometown. I've sometimes seen this served in weddings too. The best form of this dish I have ever tasted is in one of my local temples in Madurai as Neivedhyam. This is made with the transparent sugar candy, instead of regular sugar or jaggery. I love the flavor especially when its made with that extra ghee :) You can get the sugar candy packets in many Indian stores. Thought would make it for pongal this year for a change.
- Raw rice - 1 cup
- Moog Dal (Pasi Paruppu) - 1/4 cup
- Kalkandu/Sugar Candy - 2 cups
- Milk - 1 cup
- Water - 3 cups
- Cardamom crushed - 1 tsp
- Ghee - 1/2 cup (adjust as you want)
- Cashews - a handful
- Roast the moong dal with a tsp of ghee. Transfer to a pressure cooker, add rice, add 1 cup milk, 3 cups water and pressure cook well.
- Meanwhile, add a cup of water, add the kalkandu and dissolve in low heat. I usually leave it in stove in minimum heat for the entire time the rice and dal are cooking. Once completely dissolved, it will start thickening a bit. Thats fine, just keep stirring occasionally in low heat.
- Once the pressure cooker is done, mash the rice and dal together with a pinch of salt.
- Turn on the heat, add the sugar syrup to the rice and dal mixture, add crushed cardamom and continue stirring in low heat until the mixture becomes thick to a pongal consistency.
- Heat ghee in a separate pan, roast the cashews and pour it over the pongal. Stir for a few more mins and remove from heat.