You must have made the same request of your grandmother each time she made the little trip to the Parthasarathy temple in Triplicane, Chennai: Sakkarai Pongal or Sweet Pongal. A lengthy list of people enjoys this sweet Pongal, just like the well-known Tirupati laddoo at the Venkateswara shrine in Tirumala. Every 2 kilogrammes of rice is combined with 700 grammes of ghee and 400 grammes of cashew nuts in the tried-and-true Pongal recipe from the Parathasarathy temple. It's not the only temple in South India that consistently produces Sweet Pongal (with flavours enhanced by its wood-fired cooking procedure); it's the preferred offering (prasad) for many deities there.

However, the dish is ultimately linked to harvest celebrations like Sankaranti in Andhra Pradesh and Pongal in Tamil Nadu. The Pongal Holiday The most significant day of the Pongal celebrations is Pongal Thirunaal, which comes on January 14 a year. Sweet Pongal is a staple of the cuisine on this day. This event, which starts with pongal cooking in big earthen pots outside, is in many ways a "thanksgiving" to the Sun deity for a bountiful harvest. Typically, the first Pongal of the year is a "paal pongal" (Milk Pongal), when the year's first rice harvest is cooked with milk and a dash of salt. Most houses prepare the Ven Pongal, famous breakfast food in Tamil Nadu that time.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup- Rice
  • 1/4 cup- Yellow lentils 
  • 2 cups- Water 

Sweet Pongal:

  • 1/2 cup- Jaggery 
  • 1/4 cup-  water 
  • 1/4 tsp- Cardamom powder
  • 1 pinch- Nutmeg powder 
  • very little- Edible camphor
  • 2 tbsp- Ghee 
  • 1 tbsp- Cashews 
  • 1 tbsp- Raisins 

Khara Pongal:

  • 1 tbsp- Ghee 
  • 1/2 tsp- Cumin seeds
  • few- Curry leaves 
  • 1 nos. slit- Green chilly 
  • 1 tbsp- Cashews 
  • 1 tsp- Crushed pepper and cumin
  • 3/4 tsp- Salt 
  • 1/2 cup- Water 

Method For Preparation:

  • Take the given amount of yellow lentils in a pan and roast on medium flame.
  • After it starts turning aromatic, switch off the flame and transfer in a bowl.
  • Now add half cup of rice to it and well enough water to rinse.
  • Transfer them to the cooker and add 2 cups of water. Give a stir and cook for three whistles on medium flame.
  • As pressure subsides, open the lid of cooker, you will find the rice and lentils have cooked softly.
  • Now mash it slightly and divide into two portions. 
  • Add half a cup of jiggery to a pan, add ¼ cup of water to it. Let it dissolve properly.
  • Strain the syrup with a strainer to another pan and cook on medium flame.
  • When the syrup turns thick, add the cooked rice and lentils. Mix well.
  • Now add half a cup of water, ¼ tablespoon of cardamom powder, a pinch of nutmeg powder, and a pinch of edible camphor and mix nicely.
  • Add dry grated coconuts about 2 tablespoons. 
  • Take a small pan and add one tablespoon of ghee to it. Now add 1 tablespoon of cashews and 1 tablespoon of raisins. Roast for a few seconds.
  • Transfer all the nuts to Pongal. Now add one tablespoon of ghee and mix them all together.
  • The Sweet Pongal is ready to serve.

Khara Pongal Preparation:

  • Take one spoon of black pepper, and one tablespoon of cumin seeds and crush roughly.
  • Add 1.5 tablespoons of ghee to a pan. Add one tablespoon of cumin seeds to it. Let it splutter.
  • Add a few curry leaves, one tablespoon of cashews, one slit green chilly, and 1.5 tablespoons of grated ginger and saute for a few seconds. 
  • Now add powdered pepper and cumin to it. Continue sauteing for few more seconds.
  • Add cooked rice and lentils and half a cup of water to it and mix properly.
  • Now add ¾ tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoon of grated coconut. Mix well and switch off the flame.
  • Now Khara Pongal is ready to serve.

Pongal is the traditional South-Indian dish which is mostly made to offer to gods on special occasions and festivals. Sweet Pongal is also known as Chakkara Pongal in Telegu and Sakkarai Pongal in Tamil.