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instant pot sweet pongal served in a bowl garnished with roasted cashewnuts
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Sweet Pongal (Sakkarai Pongal)

Sweet Pongal (Sakkarai Pongal) recipe is a delicious South Indian sweet dish made with rice, moong dal, jaggery, ghee, dry fruits and flavored with cloves, cardamom in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or Stovetop.
Course Dessert
Cuisine South Indian
Keyword chakkara pongal, instant pot sweet pongal, Sakkarai Pongal
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 366kcal
Author Bhavana Patil

Ingredients

Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml

Instructions

Instant Pot Method:

  • Press SAUTE. Heat one tablespoon of ghee. Then add cashew nuts, saute the cashews till they turn light golden. Then add raisins and fry until they swell and become plump. Remove and keep aside.
  • Next, add moong dal and roast for 30-45 seconds until the dal turns light brown or aromatic. Don't brown it.
  • Then add the rinsed rice, cloves, milk, and water. Mix well & Deglaze the pot.
    step to dry roast moong dal and add rice and milk collage
  • Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to Sealing position. Cook on High Pressure for 9 minutes.
  • Once the pressure has released naturally, open the lid and mash the rice-dal mixture well.
    Note: Be sure that the rice & dal is cooked entirely before adding jaggery because after adding jaggery, the rice won't cook.
  • Turn on the SAUTE again, add the powdered organic jaggery with ½ cup of water, and mix until it blends well with the rice dal mixture. It should begin to bubble up, then turn off the SAUTE mode.
    Alternately, If the jaggery has impurities take a small pot, add ½ cup water and add the grated jaggery. Let the jaggery melt over low flame. Then, strain the melted jaggery syrup into the boiled dal and rice. (You do not have to boil the jaggery water until it reaches sticky consistency or string consistency).
  • Lastly, add roasted nuts, ghee, freshly ground cardamom, nutmeg powder, and edible camphor. Mix well. It will thicken and reach the right consistency as it cools down.
    step to add organic jaggery to cooked rice dal mixture and nuts collage
  • Serve Sweet Pongal hot.
    instant pot sweet pongal served in a bowl garnished with roasted cashewnuts

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method:

  • Take a pressure cooker and dry roast the moong dal for few minutes till dal turns light brown or till aromatic. Don't brown it.
  • Then add the rinsed rice, cloves, milk, and water. Mix well.
  • Close the lid and put the whistle weight on. Cook for 4-5 whistles on medium flame and turn off the gas.
  • Once the pressure has released, open the lid and mash the rice-dal mixture well.
  • Turn on the gas on medium-low flame and add the powdered organic jaggery with ½ cup of water and mix till it blends well with the rice dal mixture. It should begin to bubble up, then turn off the gas.
  • In another pan fry cashews and raisins in some ghee, keep aside.
  • Lastly add roasted nuts, ghee, freshly ground cardamom, nutmeg powder, and edible camphor. Mix well. It will thicken and reach the right consistency as it cools down.
  • Serve Sweet Pongal hot.

Video

Notes

I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT

Tips to make Best Sweet Pongal:

  1. The color of the Chakkara Pongal depends on the jaggery. Always use dark jaggery to get a nice brown color.
  2. Do not compromise on the quantity of ghee. More the better.
  3. Using medium grain rice such as sona masuri is preferred to make traditional Sweet Pongal.
  4. Sweet Pongal thickens a little on cooling. You can save leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop (add hot water if required to adjust consistency) just before serving.
 

Variations:

  1. The ratio of dal to rice is a personal preference. I have used a 1:2 dal to rice ratio. But you can add equal amounts of dal and rice as well.
  2. You can use the same recipe to make millets, quinoa sweet Pongal. Just replace rice with millets or quinoa.
  3. Increase or decrease jaggery as per your preference.
  4. The color of Chakkara Pongal differs from the color of jaggery.
  5. Edible Camphor is to get the temple-style flavor to the Pongal, but it's optional. You can skip it.
 

Recipe FAQs

Can I make Vegan Sweet Pongal?
The Traditional Chakkara Pongal recipe is not vegan. Adding milk while cooking rice and dal is optional. You can replace milk with water. But I highly recommend using milk as it enhances the taste. You can also use almond milk instead of dairy.
Ghee enriches the flavor of Pongal. However, you can replace ghee (clarified butter) with neutral oil.
Can I make Sweet Rice Pongal with sugar?
You can replace jaggery with brown sugar or regular sugar, but it won't taste like the traditional Sweet Pongal recipe.
How to make Sweet Pongal with millets?
Follow the same recipe to make millets or quinoa sweet pongal. You can also use Barnyard millet or Foxtail millet instead of rice.
Can I make a Sweet Pongal recipe with Coconut?
Absolutely! You can add grated dry coconut along with roasted nuts in the end and give a quick boil. You can also chop coconut into bite-sized pieces instead of grating it.
How to store Sakkarai Pongal?
Sakkarai Pongal stays good in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If you don't use milk in the Sweet Pongal recipe, you can keep it for another day in the fridge. I wouldn't recommend freezing.
 
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 328mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin C: 1.1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2.7mg