Sihi pongal/sakkarai pongal is a sweet dish which is prepared during makara sankranti festival using rice, moong dal, jaggery and ghee as main ingredients. We prepare sweet pongal, savory pongal and ellu bella (sesame seeds, peanuts and jaggery trail mix) for makara sankranti.
Makara sankranti is round the corner and I thought this is the right time to try and share a healthy alternative to traditional sweet pongal which is prepared using rice. I have replaced rice with semolina and have used as minimum ghee as possible in this recipe.
Even though I am not a pongal lover, I loved this melt in mouth semolina sweet pongal so much that I have decided to prepare this instead of traditional sweet pongal this makara sankranti.
Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes Author: Anusha Acharya Recipe Type: Sweet Cuisine: South India Servings: 4 to 5 1 Cup = 250 ml
Bombay rave/ Bombay rava/ Semolina – ½ cup
Hesaru bele/ Moong dal/ Split green gram – ¼ cup
Thuppa/ Ghee/ Clarified butter – ¼ cup (more can be added if you are not diet conscious)
Bella/ Gud/ Jaggery – ¾ cup
Neeru/ Paani/ Water – 3 ¼ cups
Elakki/ Elaichi/ Cardamom – 4
Godambi/ Kaju/ Cashew – 3 tablespoons
Onadrakshi/ Kishmish/ Raisins – 2 tablespoons
Badami/ Badam/ Almond- 2 tablespoons chopped (optional)
Step 1: Chop the required amount of almonds and keep it aside.
Step 2: Powder the required amount of jaggery and keep it aside.
Step 3: If you are using whole cashews, divide it into two halves and keep it aside.
Step 4: Crush the required amount of elaichi and keep it aside.
Making Rave sihi pongal:
Step 1: Heat 2 teaspoons of ghee in a thick bottom pan, add cashews and chopped almonds and roast until color changes slightly. Now add raisins to it and fry till it fluff up. Transfer everything to a plate or bowl.
Step 2: Add ½ teaspoon of ghee to the same pan, roast moong dal until nice aroma starts coming. Transfer it to a vessel.
Step 3: Add 1 teaspoon of ghee to the same pan again, roast semolina until nice aroma starts coming. Transfer it to the same vessel as above.
Step 4: Mix roasted moong dal and roasted semolina well. Add 3 cups of water, mix well and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
Step 5: While the semolina and moong dal is getting cooked, take powdered jaggery in pan and add ¼ cup of water to it. Heat it until the jaggery dissolves completely and keep it aside.
Step 6: Once the semolina and moong dal are cooked, mash it just to mix the semolina and moong dal properly. Strain melted jaggery to a thick bottom pan, add cooked semolina and moong dal mixture and 2 tablespoons of ghee to the pan. Mix well and cook in medium flame for 5 minutes. Stir in between.
Step 7: After 5 minutes, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ghee again and mix well. Cook again for 5 minutes in medium flame by stirring in between.
Step 8: Now add crushed cardamom powder and roasted nuts and raisins to pongal. Mix well and switch off the flame.
*Pongal thickens after cooling down for some time, so switch off the flame when it is little runny in consistency.
*Do not over roast moong dal and semolina. Over roasting burns it and spoils the flavour of pongal.
*More ghee can be added, adding more ghee makes pongal more tasty. If you are health conscious, the quantity I have mentioned will do.
*Amount of jaggery can be altered according to your taste.
*It’s always better to use homemade ghee. Homemade ghee gives good taste and flavour to pongal.
*Crush the cardamoms freshly and add it to pongal for fresh flavour.
*Adding almonds is completely optional. Since almonds have many health benefits, I have used it in this recipe.
Happy and Healthy Cooking!!!!