Sweet Pongal (Sakkarai Pongal)

Course: Breakafst, Dessert
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Maria Jose Martin
A healthy and tasty South Indian sweet dish made with rice, dal, and jaggery. Made during festive occasions.
Print Recipe


  • 1/2 cup Raw Rice (Pachari) soaked for 15 mins
  • 1/2 cup Moong dal (cherupayar parippu)
  • 225 - 250 gms Jaggery
  • 1 + 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 2-3 Cardamon, crushed to fine powder
  • 2 tbsp Cashew nut pieces
  • 1/3 cup Coconut bits (thengakothu)
  • 1/4 cup Hot milk optional (refer notes)


  • Soak the rice for 15 mins. Dry roast moong dal for 4-5 minutes, till the raw smell goes. Wash together with the rice and roasted dal.
  • Pressure cook rice and dal with 2.5 cups water for 4-5 whistles on full flame. Let the pressure drop naturally. Open the cooker and mash the cooked rice and dal with a wooden spoon.
  • Melt jaggery with 1/2 cup water and strain it.
  • Transfer the mashed rice and dal to a wider pan. Add melted jaggery to this. Mix well until both are combined.
  • Add a tablespoon of ghee to this mixture and cook.
  • Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a small frying pan. Fry the cashew pieces and coconut bits, separately, till it becomes golden brown.
  • Add hot milk (if using, refer notes) and mix well. Add the fried cashews, coconut bits and cardamom powder to the rice and dal mixture.


Make sure you dont roast the moong dal too long, if it get's burnt, pongal will have a smoky taste.
You can add 1/4 cut hot milk or coconut milk, just to loosen the pongal or make it a little creamier. 
You can add more ghee if you like.