Sakkarai Pongal or the Sweet Jaggery rice is a traditional South Indian dish prepared with rice, moong dal, jaggery, and milk. It's a popular neivediyam/prasadam meaning offering to God, and it is made often for various festivals in South India.
Heat the pressure pan and add 2 tsp of melted ghee. After about 20 seconds or so, add the cashews and raisins. When raisins bulge and cashews turn light brown, transfer it to a plate and set it aside.
Now in the same pan, add 1 tsp of melted ghee and after 10 seconds, add the moong dal and roast it until it turns light brown. Check the post for moong dal roasting suggestions.
Turn off the heat as soon as the moong dal turns light brown.
Now add the washed rice and 2 cups of water.
Pressure cook this for up to 4 whistles. Turn off the heat and let the pressure subside and then open the lid. Mash the rice and lentils well.
Now add the milk, 1 tbsp of ghee, powdered jaggery, crushed cardamoms, and edible camphor. (No need to turn the heat on)
Mix thoroughly and cook the pongal over medium lot (on a number scale of 10 around 3) heat for about 4 minutes. Make sure the mix the pongal every one minute also while mixing scrape the bottom and sides.
At this stage, add one more tbsp of ghee and cook for another one to two minutes and then turn off the heat. Again, mix frequently while the pongal is cooking.
Let it cool a bit and then add the roasted cashews and raisins. Mix well and serve warm!
I go with a 1:2 ratio of moong dal to rice. You can adjust the ratio according to your preference. 1:4 will work too.
Roasting the moong dal is optional. You can skip that step and pressure cook along with the rice directly.
The color of the sweet pongal depends upon the jaggery color. Also, adjust the jaggery according to your sweet preference.
Edible camphor is optional, but it gives the temple pongal taste / kovil chakkarai pongal taste.
You can also add grated nutmeg (¼ to ½ tsp) for this measure.
Along with cashews and raisins, you can roast 1 tbsp fresh coconut pieces (1-inch) and add it to the pongal.
Use ghee as desired. For this measure, you can add 3 to 4 tbsps of ghee. I used fresh homemade ghee for this pongal. I used the pressure cooker pan for making the ghee, and I transferred the ghee and used the same pot for making the pongal. You can see the bits of ghee residue in some of my pictures, especially while adding the cashews and raisins and roasting moong dal.
The pongal will thicken as it cools down. If it's too thick, add ½ to 1 cup of milk and reheat it before serving.
Instant Pot Method:You can very make this in Instant Pot also. In saute mode, roast the raisins and cashews and set aside. Then roast the moong dal too. Then pressure cook (high) it along with rice for up to 10 minutes and release the pressure naturally. Then mash the rice and set the IP in saute mode, but make sure to adjust the heat setting to low. Then add milk, jaggery, and follow the same procedure as mentioned above.