Sweet pongal recipe video made in temple style – Traditionally pongal is made in many South Indian homes on the day of Makara sankranthi i.e Thai pongal. The dish is said to have been prepared by our ancestors to signify and celebrate – abundance and prosperity after the harvest. After preparation it was offered as naivedyam to the Sun God as a part of the Thanksgiving ritual or puja. There are so many pongal recipes that are followed in South India based on the family traditions, customs, taste and main importantly region where they live.
So one might find pongal recipes with varying ingredients like moong dal, Cow’s milk, Cow’s ghee, jaggery, Coconut etc. In my mum’s home we prepare a different kind of pongal on the day of makara sankranti which we call as sankranti pongal or bellam pongali which uses milk. In that method we allow the boiling cow’s milk to overflow the pot as it signifies abundance and prosperity, then we add rice and dal from the new harvest.
This temple style recipe of sweet pongal was shared with me by my SIL who often volunteers along with a group of women in preparing Naivedyam in a Temple. The specialty of this sweet pongal is the unique aroma that comes out while boiling jaggery along with a generous amount of Cow’s ghee and cardamom powder. Sweet pongal prepared using this method keeps good for very long hours even without refrigeration. Do use the best quality ghee and jaggery for this recipe.
Sweet pongal recipe video
Sweet pongal recipe card
- ½ cup heaped moong dal / pesara pappu
- ½ cup heaped rice (any)
- 3 cups water to cook rice dal
- ¾ to 1 cup grated jaggery (for mild sweetness use ¾ cup)
- ¼ cup water to melt jaggery
- 4 tbsps ghee (prefer cow’s ghee)
- 3 green cardamoms / elaichi powdered preferably with skin
- Pinch of pacha karpuram / edible camphor (do not use synthetic one) (optional)
- Cashews as desired
- Raisins as desired
- Wash dal and rice three times. If you prefer to soak, you can also do it for 15 to 30 mins.
- Cook them with water until soft and mushy. You can do it in a pressure cooker or a pot. If doing in cooker, pressure cook for 1 to 2 whistles on a medium heat.
- When the pressure goes off, open the lid.
- Add ghee to a pot and heat it. Fry cashews until lightly golden, then add raisins. When the raisins turn plump, transfer these to the cooked rice and dal.
- To the hot ghee, add grated jaggery and saute for 2 minutes. Pour water and allow to melt completely by stirring
- When the jaggery begins to bubble well, add cardamom powder.
- When the jaggery syrup thickens a bit, filter it to the cooked rice and mix well.
- Cook for 1 to 2 mins.
- Switch off and serve sweet pongal warm.
How to make sweet pongal in temple style – step by step photos
1. Add half heaped cup dal and half heaped cup rice to a pot or pressure cooker. Wash them 2 to 3 times.
2. Add 3 cups water and cook until soft.
3. I used a pressure cooker and let it whistle twice since I cooked on a slightly higher flame. If cooking on a medium heat, one whistle would be sufficient.
4. When the pressure releases, open the lid. Rice and dal have to be soft cooked. If you desire a smooth and mashed pongal, then mash it as desired.
5. While the rice cooks, grate or powder the jaggery.
6. Heat 4 tbsps ghee in a pan and fry handful of cashews until lightly golden. Then add few raisins and fry until they bulge. I have used only 2 tbps of ghee as my kids were unwell, but the real taste and richness comes to this sweet pongal from using a generous amount of ghee i.e 4 tbsps.
7. Transfer this to the rice.
8. To the same hot pan, add grated jaggery.
9. Saute for 2 mins. This step is important to bring out the flavor.
10. Pour 1/4 cup water. Stir and begin to boil on a medium heat.
11. Add cardamom powder. Stir.
12. After a while, jaggery begins to bubble up and turn frothy. Keep stirring to prevent overflowing.
13. When the syrup turns slightly thick, filter it to the hot rice. The frothy syrup has to be filtered to the rice right away as it may turn thick upon cooling and may not pass through the filter. If you are using edible camphor, add it to the syrup just before you filter it to the rice.
14. Mix well.
15. Cook the pongal for about 2 minutes or until it begins to bubble up. Add another tbsp of ghee if desired.
Offer sweet pongal as naivedhyam and enjoy it.