Sarkkarai Pongal

Today is the first day of the tamil month Thai (to be pronounced as Thy). The people in Tamil Nadu, India celebrate this day as “Thai Pongal”. For more information on this please check this link .

I made this pongal today in the morning. Coming to the recipe, traditionally back home people make this pongal in a new clay or vengala paanai. But my version is a shortcut – made in a pressure cooker.
Sarkkarai Pongal


Basmati/Raw Rice 3/4 cup
Moong Dal 1/4 cup
Dark Brown Sugar 1.5 cups
Ghee 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
Water 2 1/4 cups
Milk 1/4 cup
Cardamom Powder 3/4 tsp
Cashews 15 nos.
Raisins 10 nos.


  1. Wash the rice and dal atleast three times with water. Pressure cook the rice and dal with water (Let it go for 1 whistle on high heat then turn the heat to medium and wait for 3 more whistles). Switch off the heat and keep the cooker aside.
  2. Heat a tbsp of ghee in a deep sauce pan in low-medium heat. Make sure that the pan is coated well with ghee.
  3. Add the cooked rice+dal with milk and mash it well with a strong ladle.
  4. Add the brown sugar cup by cup stirring continuously to make sure that no lumps are formed.
  5. Add the cardamom powder at this point.
  6. Heat a tsp of ghee in a small pan and fry the cashews and raisins to golden brown. Pour this on to the pongal.
  7. Pour the remaining ghee into the pongal and give a good stir.

Note: Traditionally people make pongal with Raw rice. Since I didnt have raw rice on hand, I went ahead and substituted with basmati rice. I didnt find any difference.

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