Kalkandu Pongal

Kalkandu Pongal
Wishing you all a very Happy Pongal and also celebrating 6000 Facebook Likes. I feel so humbled with all the love being showered on me. The Second day of the pongal festival is also called as “Thai Pongal” and I had been very much busy with cleaning home, purchases and other related activities to celebrate the festival. In the 4 day long festival, my favorite is to eat Chakkarai Pongal that is loaded with ghee and topped with roasted cashew nus and spiced mildly with just a hint of edible camphor. Let,s just forget the calories for now and worry about it later, right.

Apart from Chakkarai Pongal, Mom also used to make Venn Pongal and this kalkandu pongal. But the former is my absolute favorite and I never cared for this kalkandu pongal. My Grandma used to feed me “Paal Saadam”, rice mixed with warm milk and sugar, during my childhood as I loved it very much then and demand to have it everyday for dinner and this pongal reminds me of the same. Though the method is much simpler to that of the Chakkarai Pongal, this one takes less time comparatively.

Kalkandu Pongal1

Kalkandu Pongal

Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 30 mins | Serves: 3 to 4



  • Raw Rice – 1/2 cup
  • Yellow moong dal - 1+1/2 tbsp
  • Kalkandu (Rock Sugar Candy) – 1 to 1-1/4 cups
  • Water – 4 + 1/4 cups
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Cardamom – 1
  • Edible camphor (pachcha karpooram) – 1 pinch
  • Cashew nuts – 7 to 8
  • Raisins – 1 tbsp
  • Ghee – 4 – 5 tbsp

  • Instructions:

    1. 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.

    2. If you choose Rock Sugar Candy, I would suggest to powder it coarsely using a mixer as it will save cooking time. If it is Diamond Kalkandu, you can skip this step and use it directly.

    3. Wash rice 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.

    4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp of ghee and roast the cashew nuts to a golden brown and then add the raisins and when roasted, drain both and keep it aside. Pound the cardamom seeds and keep it ready. Discard the skin.

    5. Keep stirring the rice mixture in between. 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.

    6. Now add the powdered kalkandu or the diamond kalkandu, and mix well. You will see the pongal liquefying again as the sugar candy begins to melt away, but not to worry. Cook for another 7-10 min over medium-low flame and it will further solidify again.

    7. Finally add the crushed cardamom seeds, edible camphor (pachcha karpooram), ghee roasted cashew nuts, raisins 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.




    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. You can avoid milk and use water alone for cooking.

    4. Along with Edible camphor you can also use Dry ginger powder (Sukku) for enhanced taste.

    5. You can add a little bit of saffron, to add some color to the final dish.

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