The festival of Sankranthi and Lohri are approaching. Both these two festivals marks the harvesting season and change in the path of Sun. Makara Sankranti marks the transition of the sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricorn) on its celestial path. With this days are going to be longer, more bright and activities will increase. To mark the harvesting season people of India traditionally prepares two dishes made of rice and moong dal. These are spicy (khara) pongal and sweet pongal. Both these are delicious with high carbohydrates and lot of protein.
Sweet pongal recipe:
Jaggery is the traditional sweetener of sweet pongal and gives good fragrance and taste for the sweet dish.
- Sona masuri rice – 1/2 cup
- Split moong dal – 1/4 cup
- Jaggery - 1 cup grated
- Cashew nuts -2 tbsp
- Raisins -2-3 tbsp
- Cardamom powder -1/4 tsp powder
- Ghee (clarified butter) -1/2 cup
1. Roast moong dal in a pan by adding 1/4 tsp of ghee. In a pressure cooker, cook both rice and moong dal by adding 2 and 1/2 cup water.
2. Once the mix is cooked, using a spoon mash the mix and keep aside.
3. In a pan heat 1/4 cup of water and add jaggery, Once jaggery dissolves remove the impurities settled at bottom by filtering jaggery water.
4. Again boil jaggery water by adding 1/2 tsp of clarified butter. Let the jaggery syrup become little thick *.
5. Now add mashed rice and dal to jaggery syrup followed by cardamom powder.
6. In tsp of ghee fry cashew and add to above mix.
7. Allow raisins to puff up in the ghee and add it at the end to pongal.
8. Add rest of the ghee and cook for few minutes under low flame.
9. Serve hot as a sweet dish for Lohri or Sankranthi festival.
*Not sticky consistency
Spicy (khara) pongal
- Spicy (khara ) Pongal
- Sona masuri rice -1 cup
- Split moong dal – 1/2 cup
- Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
- Cumin seeds -1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
- Curry leaves – few
- Black pepper – coarse powder -1 tsp whole black pepper, coarsely crushed fresh
- Asafetida or hing -1/4 tsp hing/asafoetida (I use SSP brand powdered asafoetida)
- Desiccated coconut – 1/4 cup (optional)
- Broken cashew – Few
- Ginger – 1 inch (cut into small pieces or grate)
- Ghee (clarified butter) -1/4 cup
1. Dry roast the yellow lentils in a thick bottomed pan over medium heat until fragrant and golden brown.
2. Pressure cook both rice and roasted dal using 4.5 cups of water, salt and chopped ginger. Leave it for 6-7 whistles.
3. Remove the mix and mash it well and keep aside.
4. In a pan on medium flame, add ghee and add cumin seeds, pepper powder, curry leaves, turmeric.
5. Transfer the cooked rice and dal mix into the seasoning and mix well.
6. Now add salt and hing and mix well again.
7. In a small pan heat a little ghee and fry cashew and transfer it to pongal.
8. Serve hot and spicy pongal with coconut chutney!