This sakkarai pongal recipe / chakkara pongal is mainly prepared on the day of pongal also called ‘Thai pongal’ in Tamilnadu. This is a Tamil harvest festival where the first harvested rice (new rice) is boiled with lentils, milk and sweetened with jaggery. The cooking is traditionally done in a clay pot with two variants as sweet and savoury version. This day coincides with Makara Sankranthi, a winter harvest festival celebrated throughout India. I have already shared similar recipe ‘Kovil Sakkarai Pongal’ in my space which was my first post also. Ok let’s go the recipe…
1. Roasting moong dal is optional, but it lends nice aroma to the sakkarai pongal recipe.
2. New rice requires less water, old rice requires more water. So add water accordingly.
3. Equal proportion of water and milk can also be used.
4. If the pongal is watery after cooking, then pressure cook for another 2 whistles.
5. Mashing the rice is important else the pongal turns hard after cooling.
6. If the pongal turns dry, then add 1 tblsp of ghee or 2 tblsp of milk.
7. Always melt and fllter the jaggery as it has impurities.
8. Rice and dal should be properly cooked before adding jaggery, as it cannot be cooked after that and it ends in a mess.
9. ‘Paagu vellam’ gives nice golden colour to the chakkara pongal. But I used normal jaggery only.
10. Don’t add edible camphor more than mentioned or else it gives bitterness to the pongal.
11. Use good quality ghee and add it generously which gives softness and flavour to the dish.
12. Addition of salt while pressure cooking rice, enhances the sweetness.
13. 2 cloves and 2 cardamom can also be fried with cashews and added to the pongal, which lends nice aroma.