Raw Rice – 2 cups
Green Gram Dal – 1 cup, lightly dry roasted
Jaggery – 4 cups, grated
Ghee – 5 tblsp
Cashewnuts – 20 to 25, broken
Raisins – 20 to 25
Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp
Water – 10 to 12 cups
Kesari Powder – 1/2 to 1 tsp (optional)
1. Combine the dal and rice.
2. Wash well and pressure cook with water till 4 whistles.
3. Meanwhile, add little water to jaggery and cook till it dissolves fully.
4. Strain the jaggery syrup and keep aside.
5. Heat a pan over moderate flame.
6. Add the jaggery syrup and cook till it reaches a soft ball consistency.
7. Add the rice-dal mixture and stir gently.
8. In a small frying pan, heat ghee and fry the raisins and cashewnuts.
9. Pour this over the pongal.
10. Add cardamom powder and stir well. If you want the pongal to have the dark red/brown colour, add kesari powder and mix well.
11. Cook till the pongal is thick.
12. Remove and serve hot.
Note: Soft ball consistency means when a drop of jaggery is dropped into a bowl of water, it forms a soft ball.