Sweet Pongal / Sakarai Pongal

Sweet Pongal

Here is the recipe for sweet pongal / Sakarai pongal. Pongal is prepared in all Tamil peoples home to denote the beginning of the Tamil month Thai. Here is my mom’s recipe.

The pongal is left to spill out of the pot as it cooks. If you do not want the pongal to boil over as it cooks, add a few drops of oil to the rice and dal as it cooks.

I always use dark brown jaggery. It gives a dark colour and tastes better than the light brown jaggery.

In the US, dark brown jaggery is packaged as South Indian Jaggery.


  • Water – 6 cups
  • Raw Sona Masoori Rice / Pacha Arisi – 2/3 cup
  • Yellow moong dal / Pacha Parippu – 1/3 cup
  • Dark brown Powdered Jaggery – 1 cup +1/2 cup (
  • Ghee – 3 + 1/2 tbsps
  • Whole Cashews – 12, broken
  • Dried Raisins – 1 + 1/2 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Oil – few drops (optional)


  • Wash the rice and dal and let it soak in water.
  • Boil 6 cups of water in a heavy bottom vessel.
  • Add the soaked rice and dal to the water and let it cook.
  • Add few drops of oil if required.
  • Keep an eye on, it might boil over as it cooks.
  • When the water dries up, switch to low heat and keep stirring often to prevent the pongal from burning.
  • Smash the pongal as you stir.
  • The pongal is ready when the dal is well-cooked.
  • Add the powdered jaggery and mix well until the jaggery melts.
  • Turn off the stove.
  • Heat ghee in a small pan.
  • Roast the cashews till they turn golden.
  • Turn off the stove and add the raisins.
  • When the raisins puff up, add the cardamom powder.
  • Pour the ghee and dried fruits into the pongal and mix well.
  • The pongal will absorb the ghee as you mix.


  • Use more ghee and dried fruits for a rich pongal.

2 thoughts on “Sweet Pongal / Sakarai Pongal

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