16 October 2015

Sweet Pongal

Pongal/ Makar Sankranti/Bihu...celebrated under many names across India...One of the greatest Indian festivals..our own Thanksgiving, to nature, our crops, farmers, all that make our every day life great and worth living and looking forward to..
Ingredients :
Rice - 1 cup
Split Green gram(moong dal) - 1/4 cup
Milk - 2 cups
Water - 3 cups + 1/4 cup
Jaggery - 2 cups
Green cardamom (Elaichi) powder - 1/4 tsp
Clarified butter (Ghee) - 1/4 cup
Nutmeg (Jaiphal) powder - 1/4 tsp
Clove (Laung) powder - a pinch (optional)
Cashews - a few
Raisins - a few

1. Lightly toast Moong dal in a pan, only until it lets out aroma. Add to the rice and wash both together. Pressure cook with 3 cups water and milk till well done and very soft. It should be easily mashable.
2. Add jaggery and 1/4 cup water to a wok. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, till all water content evaporates and you get a really sticky syrup. 
3. Remove the cooked rice+dal from the cooker and mash well while still hot. Once the jaggery syrup is ready, add the mashed rice to it a little at a time. Stir really well so that the jaggery and rice+dal are well mixed. Add the ghee and mix.
4. In another pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee and roast Cashews and raising till golden brown. Add to the rice mix in the wok.
5. Sprinkle elaichi powder, nutmeg powder and clove powder. Mix well. 
Serve warm, and to make it even better, pour a generous ladle of ghee over it !!!