Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal

Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal

Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal or sweet pongal is a very fulfilling and a hearty dessert. This is made on the most important day of the Tamilians, which is the Thai Pongal / Makara Sankranthi festival. Having spent most of my vacations in my grandparent’s village, this festival is very close to my heart and so is this dessert. Nothing can compensate the freshly harvested rice, the fresh milk and tons and tons of Grandmother’s love. Every time I make this, it takes me to the childhood that I cherish every day.

My mother’s Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal is very famous among our family and friends. When she comes to US, my friends always request her to make Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal. I follow her recipe exactly and mine turns out almost as good as hers. Many of my friends look forward to eating my Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal and it really excites me to recreate my mother’s famous recipe.


The rice and the green gram dhal are traditionally cooked in water and a little bit of milk, but I make it a little more creamy and rich by using more milk and very little water. Again it calls for a good quantity of ghee, but if you are watching your calories, don’t hesitate to cut down on it. It works very well as a healthy evening snack for kids, if they have a sweet tooth like my son has.

Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal

The color of the jaggery plays a very important role in the color of the Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal. It is very hard to get dark colored jaggery in US, but lately I have been very lucky to consistently find them. This again is one of my earliest recipe in the blog and really needed updated pictures. I am not replacing any of my step by step pictures as they look good. I am just replacing the final product pictures. Thanks to Srivalli and BM, that I am able to bring the much needed love to all my old posts and make them as SEO friendly as possible.

If you are looking to make Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal with a whole grain, then definitely try my Quinoa Chakkara Pongal recipe.

If you are looking to make the Savory version of the pongal, then check out the Ven Pongal recipe. Also check out my complete list of Makara Sankranthi festival recipes list here.

Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal


Preparation time – 10 mins
Cooking time – 45 mins
Difficulty level – easy

Ingredients to make Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal – (Serves 8)

  • Rice – 1 cup (I use regular short grain cooking rice like Sona masoori)
  • Green gram dhal (Payatham paruppu) – 3 tblsp
  • Channa dal (Kadalai paruppu) – 1 tsp
  • Jaggery – 2 ½ cups (crushed)
  • Sugar – 2 tblsp
  • Ghee – 1/2 cup
  • Milk – 1 1/2 cups
  • Cashews and raisins – fried in ghee
  • Nutmeg powder – 1 tsp
  • Pachai Karpooram / Edible camphor – a pinch

Procedure to make Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal –

  • Fry the dhal in a heavy bottom pan, until it slightly changes color. Then add the rice and fry it for few more seconds, until the heat spreads evenly and then take it off the flame. Wash the rice and dhal mixture and then pressure cook it adding enough milk and water. Make sure that the rice is cooked to a mushy consistency.
  • Make syrup out of the Jaggery and sugar adding very little water (About ½ a cup). Let the syrup boil well and then add couple of teaspoons of ghee.
Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal
  • Once the rice is cooked, mash it well with a masher or back of a wooden ladle. Add this mashed rice, dhal mixture to the boiling syrup and add the rest of the ghee. Let it combine well and come to a semi solid stage.
Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal
  • Fry some cashew, raisins, nutmeg and pachai karpooram in ghee and add this to the Chakkara pongal. Enjoy it warm or at room temperature!!
Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal
Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal
Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal
5 from 1 vote
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Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal

Course Dessert, Festival Recipes, Snack
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Rice – 1 cup I use regular short grain cooking rice like Sona masoori
  • Green gram dhal Payatham paruppu – 3 tblsp
  • Channa dal Kadalai paruppu - 1 tsp
  • Jaggery – 2 ½ cups crushed
  • Sugar – 2 tblsp
  • Ghee – 1/2 cup
  • Milk – 1 1/2 cups
  • Cashews and raisins – fried in ghee
  • Nutmeg powder – 1 tsp
  • Pachai Karpooram / Edible camphor - a pinch

Instructions

  1. Fry the dhal in a heavy bottom pan, until it slightly changes color. Then add the rice and fry it for few more seconds, until the heat spreads evenly and then take it off the flame. Wash the rice and dhal mixture and then pressure cook it adding enough milk and water. Make sure that the rice is cooked to a mushy consistency.

  2. Make syrup out of the Jaggery and sugar adding very little water (About ½ a cup). Let the syrup boil well and then add couple of teaspoons of ghee.

  3. Once the rice is cooked, mash it well with a masher or back of a wooden ladle. Add this mashed rice, dhal mixture to the boiling syrup and add the rest of the ghee. Let it combine well and come to a semi solid stage.

  4. Fry some cashew, raisins, nutmeg and pachai karpooram in ghee and add this to the Chakkara pongal. Enjoy it warm or at room temperature!!

Recipe Notes

  • You can reduce the amount of ghee as per your taste, but 1/2 cup yields perfectly tasting chakkara pongal.
  • Nutmeg and Edible camphor is something that can be considered optional, but for me those are the 2 ingredients that incorporate the maximum flavor to the chakkara pongal. 

11 thoughts on “Chakkara Pongal | Sakkarai Pongal

  1. Love the props specially the leaf shaped platter. The pongal looks beautiful and love the deep caramel color. Any recipe which has some memories attached to it is the best!

  2. Your props rocks Sandhya, thats brings the festive mood to the click. Always love this sort of sakkarai pongal, this is how my grandma’s sakkarai pongal looks. Makes me nostalgic.

  3. I Love the chakkara pongal my mom makes. I don’t think I can ever make it as tasty as her — it might be me being too stingy with jaggery and ghee 🙂 Lovely clicks.

  4. I have never had Sakkarai pongal but it sounds like a version of our kichari we make, just that we add sugar instead of jaggery and cook our rice and moong dal in coconut milk or a mix of this with milk… the pictures looks so good, that I wish I could take it from the screen and enjoy a couple of spoonfuls…

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