Sweet Pongal

Sweet pongal, popularly known as sakkarai pongal, is one of the most common neivedyam (food offering to deities) prepared not only in temple kitchens but also at our homes. We find sakkarai pongal as one of the most delightful prasadams served almost in all the Hindu temples in South India. So I set this prasadam as the benchmark for my sakkarai pongal, then I tried various methods to perfect the recipe for the same and finally succeeded to my heart’s content.

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Sakkarai Pongal

Sweet Pongal Recipe:

Earlier I used to find the recipe for making Sweet Pongal a difficult task, because it is required to get the right consistency & the perfect flavour for the delicious sakkarai pongal. It took really a long time for me to meet my expectation of making delectable sakkarai pongal similar to the one served in temples. So here is my recipe that I learnt after several futile attempts:

Time Taken: 40 min
Serves: 3


  1. Raw rice – ยฝ cup
  2. Green gram (moong dal/ paasi paruppu) – ยผ cup
  3. Powdered cane jaggery – ยพ cup
  4. Cashew nuts – 6 Nos.
  5. Raisins (kismis) – 10 Nos.
  6. Cardamom – 2 No.
  7. Edible camphor – a small piece
  8. Ghee (clarified butter) – 1 tbsp
  9. Water- 5 cups (for pressure cooking rice & lentil – 3 cups & for jaggery syrup – 2 cups)

Water required:

  • For pressure cooking  – Rice & lentil : water :: 1: 4 
  • For syrup – Jaggery : water :: 1 : 2 
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Sweet Pongal ingredients

Sweet Pongal Cooking Method:

  • Dry roast lentils and wash rice & lentils.
  • Pressure cook rice & lentils (when it reaches high pressure, simmer for 15 min).
  • Immediately after the pressure releases, mash the mixture with a wooden spatula nicely.
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  • Heat a pan with jaggery & water (1 cup) in medium flame until dissolved.
  • Strain jaggery water to remove impurities, if any.
  • Add remaining water to the syrup and allow it to boil in medium flame.
  • When the syrup gets thickened (you can notice large bubbles), add powdered cardamom  & edible camphor.
  • Add a tsp of ghee into syrup before adding mashed rice.
  • Blend together rice mixture with jaggery syrup in medium flame.
  • Remove pongal from heat before getting coagulated to prevent becoming dense.
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  • Heat a pan with remaining ghee, roast raisins & cashews separately and add into pongal.
  • Now hot pongal is ready to serve.

Sweet Pongal making Tips:

  • The color of sakkarai pongal depends on the jaggery, so you can select the jaggery as desired.
  • Adding cardamom to the syrup helps to enhance its flavor.
  • Adding ghee to the syrup gives a nice glaze to the pongal.
  • If we find the cooked rice & lentil denser, we need to make the syrup watery.
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This is the right consistency of sarkarai pongal
  • If we add more edible camphor than required, it would spoil the whole pongal.


  • We can use millets instead of rice by adding more water while cooking as they get denser than rice.
  • We can use Bengal gram instead of green gram or we can make sweet pongal even without lentils.
  • To prepare creamy sakkarai pongal we can cook rice in milk (or use milk & water in 1:1).

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  1. mouthwatering pongal Megala, I just love this dish it’s kind of similar to our ‘sharkarachoru’ but have not made it myself only eaten it ๐Ÿ™‚ Your step by step pics inspires me to try it out soon!

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