A healthy alternative to the traditional sweet dish (Chakkarai Pongal) made during the Harvest festival in South of India which is later offered as prasadam
There’s no celebration without food and every occasion has a special dish in India. Cooking Pongal is one of the important aspects of celebrating this festival of harvest.
We offer (as prasadam) it first to the Sun showing our gratitude for the light and energy that nourishes and sustains all lives. Then it is share it with everyone.
Pongal is usually made with raw rice, how about using a healthy alternative? Here’s a recipe of Chakkarai Pongal (sweet pongal) made with a heritage brown rice variety. These are nutrient rich and makes it a desirable choice for the health conscious.
- Brown rice – 3/4 cup . ( Here I have used Bhadsha Bhog rice alternatively you can use Rajamudi or any other locally available organic brown or red rice variety )
- Yellow Moong daal (lentils) – 1/3 cup
- Jaggery Powdered – 1 1/4 cup
- Fresh Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
- Ghee (Clarified Indian Butter) – 1/2 cup
- Fried cashews – 10 nos
- Edible camphor powder – a pinch (optional)
- A pinch of salt
- Wash & soak the rice for 1 hour. Roast the daal in little ghee until golden, add the drained rice and 4 cups of water. Let it cook on medium heat for 3 whistles and on low heat for 7 whistles of a pressure cooker. (Cooking time subject to rice variety. You may also opt to slow cook in an earthen pot)
- Meanwhile take the powdered jaggery and 1/4 cup of water to make a thick syrup. Add the cardamom powder and boil well until thick.
- Once the pressure releases, open the lid, add a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup of ghee and mash the rice well. Strain the jaggery syrup and add it to the rice daal mixture. Mix well and turn on the heat.
- Cook for about 7-10 minutes adding the remaining ghee and edible camphor. Add more ghee if you require. Once it reaches a thickly consistency switch of the heat.
- Finally, add the fried cashews. You can also add fried dry raisins (optional)
Feel free to comment/write to us for any other tips or sourcing the ingredients. What are you cooking this Harvest festival season? Share with us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.
Keep the festive spirit shining in you!