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Chakkara Pongal - South Indian Recipe

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Chakkara Pongal

Chakkara Pongal - Characteristic preparation of the Harvest festival, this sweet dish makes for an anytime eat. It is often made as naivedhyam for poojas and on auspicious days. Milk is not always used in preparing chakkara pongal though adding milk gives it the rich and creamy consistency. Edible camphor or pacha karpooram is added for flavor.

Pacha Karpooram or edible camphor is added in small quantities to sweets like kheer and boondi ladoos. This adds a characteristic taste and fragrance. But it is important to source the edible camphor correctly. It looks much like sugar candy and is often in powdered form. In Ayurvedic medicine, edible camphor is said to provide relief from indigestion, flatulence and cough. Sweet pongal is usually prepared to a porridge-like consistency. The Iyengars make a similar sweet dish called Akkaravadisal.

  • 1 cup rice

  • ¼ cup moong dal

  • ½ cup jaggery

  • 2 cups milk

  • ½ cup ghee

  • 3 cloves

  • 2 cardamoms

  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder

  • ¼ cup cashews

  • ¼ cup raisins

  • edible camphor

Roast moong dal for a few minutes. Cook rice and moong dal along with water and milk till soft. Melt jaggery in a pan with little water. Strain to remove any impurities. Mix the jaggery with the cooked rice and moong dal mix in a pan and blend it together over a slow flame. Add most of the ghee and stir. In another pan, take a little ghee and fry cashews, raisins and cloves. Add them to the mixture. Pound nutmeg, cardamoms and edible camphor and garnish the chakkara pongal. Serve hot.

Sweet Pongal with Kalakand (crystallized sugar lumps)

Rice 1/2 cup
Moong dal 2 tbsp
Milk 1 cup
Sugar candy 1/2 cup
Ghee 2 tbsp
Cashews and raisins
Cardamom a pinch

Roast moong dal in a dry pan till it turns a light brown and aromatic. Boil rice and moong dal in a pressure cooker with enough water and 1/2 cup of milk. Cook till soft. You can either choose to grind the sugar candy in a mixer till fine or use it in granular form. Some prefer the texture of granular sugar as they sink their teeth into the hot chakkara pongal. To the cooked mix, add the sugar candy and boil a bit. Pour in 1/2 cup milk and mash the rice and moong dal mixture well. Add cardamom powder. In a small pan, heat the ghee and roast the raisins and cashews. Pour on the pongal and serve hot.

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Chakkara Pongal - South Indian Recipes