Sweet Pongal

After a few weeks of feasting with family, it is time to fast! Well actually 'fasting' and me does not sound alright. I should say normal eating after a much needed trip back home. Tried some awesome foods will post about them shortly. For now it is all about sweet Pongal.
We will need,

Rice   1/2 cup
Split green gram  1/4 cup
Ghee  2 tbsp + 2tbsp
Jaggery 3/4 -1 cup
Water 2.5 cups
Cardamon 1 pod
Saffron a few strands
Raisins a handful
Cashews broken a handful

Method:
  • Pick and clean rice. Wash it in several changes of water and drain very well. Pick and clean the green gram and wash it also in several changes of water. Drain well and set it aside. (Actually washing the green gram is not a standard practice, but I simply cannot use it without washing it well, think of rodents, roaches and what not!!eeek)
  • Heat two tbsp ghee in a thick bottom pot or pressure cooker. Throw in the green gram and saute till nutty and fragrant.
  • Throw in the rice and saute it again for a few more minutes. Pour 2 cups of water. Cover and cook till soft and done. Remove from heat and set it aside.
  • Mean time, crush the Jaggery and place it in a pan with the remaining half a cup of water. Bring it to a gently boil till all of the Jaggery is dissolved. Remove from heat and filter the mixture over several layers of muslin cloth to remove impurities. 
  • Once the Jaggery syrup is filtered, add the saffron and cardamon to it. Stand it for a few minutes to steep the saffron, about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the Jaggery syrup into the rice mixture and place it on a gentle heat. Cook till the mixture comes together.
  • In another pan heat the remaining ghee and saute the raisins and cashews till golden in colour. Remove from heat and fold it into the rice mixture gently. 
  • Mix the rice mixture gently and remove from heat. Serve warm with a dollop of ghee.

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