In the recent years I have stopped making chakkarai pongal in Pressure cooker. I prefer cooking it in an open vessel as I love the outcome, flavor and taste of it. It will be exactly like the pongal given in temples as prasadhams. I personally feel that Pongal when made in pressure cooker becomes dense and hard as it cools down to room temperature. Also the cleaning of the starch and residue released from the vent afterwards makes it cumbersome. I recently made it for “Vaikundha Ekadashi” so thought I would share it with you all.
If you thought that making pongal in an open vessel will take more time then you are mistaken. It took me just 35-40 min to complete the entire process. I chose to cook it in a kadai as it gets done quicker and also easy to click. Traditionally you can also use a pot to cook this on the “Pongal” day and follow the same steps. Hop over here to check out Pongal made in Pressure Cooker
(Print this Recipe
) You’ll need:
- Raw Rice – 1/2 cup
- Yellow moong dal - 1+1/2 tbsp
- Grated Jaggery – 2 cups
- Water – 4 + 1/4 cups
- Milk – 2 cups
- Cardamom – 1
- Edible camphor – 1 pinch
- Cashew nuts – 7 to 8
- Ghee – 4 – 5 tbsp
Heat a pan and dry roast the Yellow moong Dal (paasi aruppu) over a low flame for 4-5 min till the aroma arises taking care not to change its color.
I chose the Rice they sell here specifically for making “Pongal”. You can also use regular rice. Wash well and soak for 10 min. Heat a wide bottomed pan with milk and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add both the rice and moong dal. Mix well and close with a lid leaving a small opening and let it cook over medium flame.
Meanwhile grate and measure jaggery. I chose “Paagu Vellam” for its dark color and the flavor it gives to the pongal. But traditionally they use “Achchu Vellam” during pongal day.
Measure 1/4 cup of water in a vessel and put the grated jaggery in it. Mix well and then keep it on the stove and heat it. Stir till the jaggery completely dissolves.
Pass the jaggery syrup through a fine sieve to remove any impurities. Return the syrup to the vessel and bring it to a bubbling boil. No need for any string consistency. Keep it aside.
Heat 2 tsp of ghee and roast the cashew nuts to a golden brown and keep it aside. Pound the cardamom seeds and keep it ready. Discard the skin.
Keep stirring the rice in between and by the time you finish the above steps the rice would have been cooked, mushy. All the water and milk would have been absorbed and it will be in a semi solid state. When pressed between your fingers it should be easily mashable and appear mushy.
Now add the jaggery syrup and mix well. You will see the pongal liquefying again but not to worry. Cook for another 7-10 min over medium-low flame till it further solidifies again.
Finally add the crushed cardamom seeds, edible camphor (pachcha karpooram), ghee roasted cashew nuts and the remaining ghee and mix well and cook for a minute. Transfer to the serving bowl and serve hot with some ghee drizzled on top.
- The quantity of water will depend on the quality of rice used. If the rice is new it needs less water and cooks quickly, if it old then more water and more time.
- If you feel that the rice is not done and there is no water left further to cook, add more water after heating it. Never add cold water.
- The color and taste of the pongal will depend on the quality of the jaggery you use.
- Adjust the quantity of jaggery according to your sweet tooth.
- You can avoid milk and use water alone for cooking.
- Along with Edible camphor you can also use Dry ginger powder (Sukku) for enhanced taste.