A Pongal treat
Kitchen Superstar: Recipe of the week from Mumbai's hottest chefs
The second day of Pongal is dedicated to the sun God. For the prayer, a special harvest dish called the sakkarai pongal is offered. Made with jaggery, rice, turmeric and lentils in a clay pot, it uses paagu velam, a special variant of jaggery that provides the dark brown colour to the dish. Bapi Debnath, sous chef at Bandra's The Tanjore Tiffin Room, offers us a recipe that is quick and easy to make. "The dish gets thicker after cooling down. If it gets dry, add little ghee and milk while serving," he says.
Recipe: Sakkarai Pongal
Yield: 3 servings, Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 40 minutes
. 1/2 cup raw rice
. 1/4 cup moong dal
. 3 cups water
. 10 whole cashews (broken)
. 1 tbsp raisins
. 2 tbsp ghee
. 3/4 cup heaped jaggery
. 1/3 cup water Whole spices
. 2 pieces of whole cardamom
. 1 tiny pinch edible camphor
1. Add jaggery and water to a pan and boil till it dissolves completely. Set aside.
2. Crush cardamom and edible camphor together and set aside. Dry roast moong dal until golden.
3. Add it to rice, rinse well and drain. Put it in a pressure cooker. Add water and cook for five whistles on low medium flame. Let the pressure release by itself.
4. Open and mash it well. Strain and add the jaggery syrup.
5. Mix well and let it boil on simmer till it thickens.
6. Add cardamom powder, mix well and add ghee. Let it cook on low flame.
7. Heat ghee in a pan separately. Add cashew and fry until they are golden, then add raisins and fry until it's golden brown. Add it to the main dish and mix.
8. Serve hot with ghee drizzled on top.
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