This is a traditional Iyengar sweet prepared in temples as prasadam. It’s a gooey, sweet, rice and lentil based dish very closely resembling sakkara pongal. It is made in a bronze pot on a wood stove and is supposedly different from sakkarapongal by the fact that this is cooked entirely in Milk and has a bit more moong dal in it.
I usually go 1:1 on rice and moong dal, since I figured if I’m eating sweet might as well add the proteins in and I like Moong dal, but then for the authentic variety there is half to less ratio of moong dal to rice. Again although I love this, I can barely tell the difference between this and a nicely done sakkarai pongal dripping in ghee, I’m no connoisseur of iyengar cuisine but I have it on good Patti authority that this is the authentic Iyengar recipe ( temple prasadam variety).
I cooked this in the crock pot and it turned out yummy, Just add rice + dal + milk and let it cook on slow, the only problem is milk had to be added a couple of times as it thickens, but boy was it creamy , I was tempted to throw the Jaggery in there but resisted and added the jaggery syrup ( ?) + fried Nuts after the rice dal was cooked , added Ghee and let it cook for an hour more. Very Yummy and less mess. BUT the original recipe calls for stirring in a pot and adding milk as required . Again I don’t see much difference in taste but then anything that can be done with minimum effort on my part always tastes better to me 🙂
Rice – 1 cup
Moong dal – 1/2 cup
Milk – 3 cups +
Jaggery – as required ( I’d say 1/2 a cup)
Ghee – 1 spoon
Cashews / Raisins – a handful
Cardamom powder – a pinch
Saffron – a pinch
Extra Milk – another 1/2 cup.
Pachai Kalpooram (Camphor)- 1 pinch(optional)
Wash and drain the rice and dal together. In a heavy pan heat a bit of ghee on a medium flame. Add the rice and dal and fry till it’s slightly roasted. Add Milk and cook stirring occasionally. Keep adding more milk as it becomes thicker. and the rice and lentil is completely soft .
Take a separate pan and add jaggery in it with a wee bit of water and boil. when it’s completely melted and boiling , add it to the rice dal mixture. and mix well.
Add cardamom , saffron soaked in milk , Heat 1 table-spoon ghee and fry the cashews till golden and add to the Rice,dal,jaggery dish. Dissolve edible camphor in water and add a few drops to the dish.
- The Pachai kalpooram ( camphor) is the edible kind, definitely no the kind you light up .
- Camphor is added in very very minute quantities, always dissolved in water and a few drops added or else it has a nasty aftertaste.