Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sakkarai Pongal version 2.0

Wish you a Happy New Year & Pongal!

In my previous post, I have already written about Pongal festival. Pongal is “Thanksgiving” celebrated over four days in row.
Each day carries a special meaning and menu. I personally love Mattu (Cow) Pongal (Jan 15 usually). Pretty much all non vegetarian items (seafood, meat, vegetables, sweets) are prepared and we commemorate our ancestors. The fun part is to watch the cows decorated with flowers garlands and bells around the neck, happily roaming everywhere.

In one part of Tamil nadu (Madurai,Trichy and sourrunding places), Jallikattu begins as part of Pongal celebration. If you are Tamilian, you should be familiar of this wild/adventure”game. Yes - in olden days (Sangam Kallam) bull taming is called
 "Eru tazhuval" - embrace bull) considered as a courageous sport and played by Tamil warriors. 

Picture source: Wikipedia

Later, money was tied at the horns of bull as a rewarding price for tamers hence called Jallikattu. But at the end of jallikattu - the participants/spectators and the bulls are hurt.
Though there are many animal activists groups tried to stop this atrocious game. The Supreme Court gave a clear explanation to continue the ancient, cultural and sentimental game but imposed few rules. Each year many spectators and participants are sent to causality not to mention the poor animal.
We symbolize cow as god and worship it, but did Jallikattu (bull taming) give us another perspective?
This sweet Pongal /sakkarai Pongal is another version without the green gram dhal. This pongal is cooked in milk which gives a rich taste with simple jaggery added for sweetness.

Sakkarai Pongal Version 2.0

  1. Raw rice (pachai arisi): 1 cup (used Sona Masoori)
  2. Grated Jaggery: 2 ½
    to 3 cups (I used 2 ½)
  3. Milk: 1 cup
  4. Salt:  a pinch
  5. Cashews / raisins: each 1 1/2 tbps  (fry with little ghee until they are golden brown)
  6. Ghee: 2 to 3 tbps (more if you don’t care of fat)
  7. Green Cardamom: 5 pods (peeled and crushed)


Rinse the rice until the water comes out clear. Drain the water and soak it for 30 min.

After soaking add 2 cups of water + 1 cup of milk. Keep in pressure cooker in medium flame and let 5 to 6 whistles blow before switching off the stove.
Meanwhile, add ¼ cup of water to grated jaggery and melt in low flame. Once it turns syrup drain in fine mesh (DO not skip you will be surprised how much black particles and sand )
Once the rice is cooked (probably slightly over cooked) add the pinch of salt and sugar syrup and cook in slow flame. When the mixture seems to come together, add the elachi?cardamom powder/ cashew/ raisins and ghee. Mix well and switch off the
Serve hot to God and enjoy the Sweet pongal


notyet100 said...

Belated happy festival glad tonsee ur post after such a long time

Finla said...

Happy New year Cham. And that sweet pongal looks so good.

Lakshmi Grandhim said...

Happy New Year to you Cham. Pongal looks yummy!

Shama Nagarajan said...

happy pongal....yummy pongal

Sumi said...

Nice to see your post after long time, wish you a great year ahaed :)

sra said...

Happy new year and belated Pongal greetings, Cham! I love this festival which is the biggest one for us in AP. This time I tasted several varieties of Pongal in some hotel - nice experiment, though not all were nice to taste!

Vikis Kitchen said...

Belated Pongal wishes dear. Sakkarai pongal and the anecdote look very sweet. For 2013 Christmas too I tried your fruit cake and it came out very successful. Thanks for all these yummy recipes dear . I am on a slow blogging mode and trying to write more:) Keep rocking Cham!

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

pongsl looks great! happy new year again and welcome back...

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Siri said...

Hi Cham,

I was just going through my previous posts, stumbled upon some of your comments and was fondly remembering our good old blogging days. It has been a while and dropped by to say Hi.

Hope everything is great on your side.

Take care and Hugs,