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Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal | Traditional South Indian Recipe

Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal | Traditional South Indian Recipe

My 42nd recipe “Sakkarai Pongal”, a South Indian special occasion dessert made with rice and jaggery. With the sweetness from the jaggery, fragrance from the cardamom powder and flavor from the ghee, this is probably one dessert worth living for :- ) Perfect to have with the combination of hot Medhu vada & Payasam. Refer to my video vlog here.

sakkarai pongal

Pongal is a South Indian festival celebrated in the Tamil Month of Thai. Usually pongal is made on this day with newly harvest rice and in clay pots. Since we do not have the luxury of using earthen pots and open fire to make this pongal, this recipe has been adapted to use a pressure cooker on a stove top.

sakkarai pongal

Every home in Tamil Nadu would cook this recipe on the Pongal day. But they all have a local variation on their own. Adding milk, making it plain or making it savory are some of the variations made. However, this recipe I am sharing here is exactly how my mom used to make it.

sakkarai pongal

The key for this recipe is to attain the perfect consistency and texture while cooking the rice. Quality of water hence become critical. The quantity of water needed is adjusted to cook it easily in the pressure cooker within a short span of time.

sakkarai pongal

Also, the jaggery used for this recipe has to be darker in color, know locally as “Paagu Vellam”. That gives the perfect golden color for the pongal and glitters in the morning sun along with the liberally added ghee on the top.

Sakkarai Pongal

Sweet Pongal

Revathi Palani
Sakkarai Pongal is a traditional South Indian dessert made on the day of Pongal to celebrate the Sun god for providing bountiful harvest and prosperity.
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Youtube Video


  • 1/2 Cup Raw rice
  • 2 Tbsp Yellow moong dal
  • 1/2 Cup Jaggery
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee
  • 10 Cashews
  • 10 Raisins
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1 tiny pinch Edible Camphor


  • First, wash the rice and moong dal. Then add them to the pressure cooker, along with 2 cups of water and cook for 3 whistle. Turn off the flame.
  • While the pressure from the cooker subsides, heat a pan with about 1/2 cup of water and melt the jaggery. Bring to a boil and turn off the flame. In case of using coarsely ground cardamon powder, you can add it to this jaggery syrup.
  • Once the pressure totally subsides from the cooker, remove the whistle and open the lid. Turn on the flame set it in low. Add the edible camphor, jaggery syrup to the cooked rice and mix thoroughly. Keep stirring until you get the correct consistency. Turn off the flame. Use a fine mesh filter when adding the jaggery syrup to the cooked rice.
  • Now heat a separate pan with ghee, add the cashews. Fry until the cashews start to change color. Add the raisins and wait until they puff up.
  • Transfer the cashews, raisins along with the ghee to the pongal. Mix well.
  • Enjoy hot.

Notes | FAQ

– Filtering jaggery syrup before adding to rice is must. Jaggery may contain dirt.
– If adding very fine cardamon powder, you can directly add to the pongal.
– Very small pinch of edible camphor is for flavor. Do not add more. Also, buy edible camphor, it is different from the other camphor you use for lighting deepam.
– Use a darker color jaggery for the best appearance. Since it is difficult to get it in US, my step wise photos uses a lesser color jaggery
sakkarai pongal
Recipe Rating

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Saturday 7th of March 2020

Hi mam ur dishes very nice nd easy to prepare.can u send to my num mam.

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