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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chakkarai - Sakkarai Pongal recipe



1/4 cup mung dal rinsed in water and drained
3/4 cup rice rinsed in water and drained
1 cup milk or as required to melt the jaggery
3/4 cup jaggery (also called vellum or gud)
4 to 6 tablespoon of clarified butter or ghee
3 tablespoon sliced coconut bits
3 tablespoon broken cashew
3 tablespoon raisin
2 cups water or as needed

Roast the mung dal on medium heat until it is light brown.  Add the rice and water cook for 12 to 15 minutes until the rice is almost cooked but not completely.  Add milk and cook till the rice is completely cooked.

Add the jaggery and continue cooking add a little exta milk if necessary to melt the jaggery.  As the jaggery heats up it starts to melt.  With the aid of the spatula break it up to speed up the jaggery melting.  When the jaggery is all melted add the clarified butter continue to cook until the rice and mung dal leaves the side of the pan and forms a mass in the center.  Turn the heat off add ground cardamom and mix.

Saute the cashew and raisin in a little clarified butter and add to the pongal.
Next, saute the sliced coconut pieces in a little clarified butter and add to the pongal.

Pongal and Sankranti is a festival celebrated in the middle of January in India.
Pongal is celebrated for four days in Tamil Nadu while Sankranti is celebrated all over India.  Pongal is celebrated for thanking The Sun God for the bounties of the harvest.  The first day of the celebration is call "Bhogi" and the second day is called "Thai" which is the 1st day of Tamil calender month "Thai".  For 2013 Thai falls on January 14.  On this day chakkarai(also spelled as sakkarai) pongal is prepared.
Chakkarai pongal is also offered as prasadam any time.  It can also be served as an easy to make dessert at other times.

See also Ven Pongal.


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