Sakkarai pongal recipe, a temple style flavorful sweet pongal with jaggery, edible camphor, cardamom, cloves and the essential ghee and cashew nuts.
Rice and dal cooked with the secret ingredients like edible camphor, nutmeg and clove make it smell and taste DIVINELY. I really mean it, you will definitely agree with me once you try this!
This is one of my favorite mom’s staple recipe next to her sweet boondi. I made this few times now and got appreciation too from everyone. Recently like when I made it for our home Grahapravesham at our home in Kumbakonam.
So from then I wanted to post it here in my blog. I already have a sakkarai pongal recipe in my ulundu vadai post. But its plain and simple without all those special ingredients.
I have made this in pressure cooker, but can be made in the traditional way by boiling rice and dal and adding jaggery to it too (like I have updated in the video).
Before marriage, me, my mom and our neighbor used to do this pongal in pot in a temple (Kottai mariyamman koil) in Salem.
Every month we used to carry the ingredients and make pongal back of the temple, offer it to god and after that we distribute all the pongal there itself in the temple.
We just take a ladle full for ourselves. Other than that we distribute everything there. The vengala panai (Bronze pot) gets empty in no time. We come back home with heart full of satisfaction.
Sweet pongal is made in many occasions other than pongal festival. For a Friday offering, aadi perukku, Ganesh chaturthi, Varalakshmi viradham etc.
Not that you can make for your family for a special breakfast. You can pair it with savory rava pongal.
You can choose to boil the syrup until half string consistency and add to pongal for a shiny sakkarai pongal.
If you feel something is missing in taste, it will definitely be the sweet taste. So add more jaggery or if you are okay, one or 2 tablespoon of sugar for a quick fix.
The measurements given will be perfect, but some jaggery are less sweet or more sweet depending on it's quality. So add more accordingly.
Make it watery so that the pongal remains loose even after it cools down. It thickens as it cools.
You can reduce ghee and just top some melted ghee over while serving. Adding lots of ghee also spoils the taste, especially when it cools down.
So I suggest always to heat it up and serve hot for both taste as well as texture.
Sakkarai pongal recipe
- ½ cup Raw rice
- 2 tablespoon Moong dal/ pasi paruppu
- ¾ cup Jaggery
- 2 & ½ cups Water
- 3 tablespoon Ghee
- 1 pinch Salt
- 6 Cashews
- 2 tablespoon Raisin
- 1 Elachi
- 1 Cloves
- 1 pinch Nutmeg powder
- 1 fenugreek sized Edible camphor*
- Take pressure cooker/ pan, add ¼ teaspoon ghee and roast the moong dal.
- Add water, washed rice and salt. Pressure cook for 4 whistles. Mash it once done.
- Powder jaggery and heat it with water just to immerse it and bring to boil. Let the jaggery completely dissolve and filter it and add to the mashed rice in the cooker.
- In a separate pan, heat a teaspoon of ghee and roast cashews to golden and add raisins to it.
- Once it fluffs up, transfer it and keep aside.
- In the same pan, add cloves, elachi and switch off the stove.
- Add nutmeg powder, give a quick stir.
- Take out elachi and powder it, add the powdered elachi, edible camphor, cloves along with nutmeg powder to the pongal.
- Mix well and cook in medium flame for 5 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup water or milk if it gets dry while cooking.
- Add ghee little by little while cooking.
- Lastly add the fried cashews and raisins.
- I used old rice, so needed water at the ratio of 1 : 5. If your rice is new and gets cooked easily, 1 : 4 is enough for this pressure cooker method.
- After opening the cooker, if the rice is too dry, add ¼ cup water or milk while mashing. After cooling down, gets thick, so switch off the flame accordingly.
- I grate nutmeg and roast it in ghee while I roast cloves/elachi / cashews. When you do so, you should make sure to add the grated nutmeg after you switch off the stove. Otherwise, it may get burnt. Use good quality ghee. I always use homemade ghee.
- The colour of pongal differs with the colour of jaggery.‘Paagu vellam’ works best. It is slightly darker in shade. (Urundai vellam)
- Jaggery can be added more if needed. We usually like it super sweet, so adjust according to your taste preference.
Sakkarai pongal for pot method Ingredients
- Raw rice - 1 cup
- Moong dal - 2 to 4 tbsp
- Jaggery - 1 to 1 & ½ cup
- Ghee - ¼ cup (can adjust as per preference)
- Cardamom - 1
- Water for cooking rice - 6 cups
- Milk - 2 tbsp
- Water for jaggery syrup - ½ cup
- Edible camphor - mustard seed size
- Clove - 1
- Nutmeg powder- a pinch
- Salt - a pinch (optional)
- Cashews, raisins - 1 tablespoon each
1. Take pressure cooker/ pan firstly, add ¼ teaspoon ghee and roast the moong dal.
2. Add water, washed rice as well as a pinch salt. Then, pressure cook for 4 whistles. Mash it once done.
3. Meanwhile, powder jaggery, heat it with water just to immerse it and bring to boil. Let the jaggery completely dissolve.
Then filter it and add to the mashed rice in the cooker.
4. In a separate pan, heat a teaspoon of ghee and roast cashews to golden. After that add raisins to it. Once it fluffs up, transfer it and keep aside.
In the same pan, add cloves, cardamom and switch off the stove. Add nutmeg powder, give a quick stir.
Take out cardamom and powder it, add the powdered cardamom, edible camphor, cloves along with nutmeg powder to the pongal.
You can skip roasting cardamom and crush it raw as well and add to pongal. I do this just to ensure it gets powdered well.
At times, the cardamom rice is not black and wont get powdered at all. While eating it comes in mouth which some people find it annoying. It also gives less flavor.
5. Mix well and cook in medium flame for 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup water or milk if it gets dry while cooking. Drizzle ghee little by little while cooking. Lastly add the fried cashews and raisins.
To know your pongal is done perfectly, it will have a shine from the jaggery coating the rice. So keep cooking until then.
Divine smelling + tasting pongal is what you have now! The whole house smell divinely😊