Temple style Sweet Pongal Recipe | Sakkarai Pongal | Chakkara Pongal

Temple style Sweet Pongal Recipe with step-by-step pics. It is a sweet pudding wherein rice and lentils are cooked with a few secret ingredients making it smell and taste divine.

I always wanted to replicate the taste of temple-style sweet pongal. Each temple/priest has its recipe to make this dish. I got this secret recipe from YouTube and it tastes divine.

The recipe I am sharing today is an easy one-pot recipe made using the stovetop pressure cooker. This easy method is something that you can use even on a busy working day. But you can also make it in an Instant pot or a regular pan/kadai on the stovetop.

temple style sweet pongal recipe

About Temple style Sweet Pongal

Pongal, a traditional South Indian dish, has two main variants;

1. Ven Pongal: A savory version of pongal is made with rice, moong dal (split yellow lentils), black pepper, cumin seeds, ginger, and curry leaves. It is typically served as a breakfast dish and is often accompanied by coconut chutney and sambar.

2. Sweet Pongal: A sweet version of pongal is a classic dessert made with rice, moong dal, jaggery, ghee, cardamom, and nuts like cashews and raisins. It is often prepared during festivals, special occasions, and in temples as an offering to the gods.

In the Southern states, sweet pongal is known by various names – Sakkarai Pongal in Tamil, Chakkara Pongali in Telugu, Sakkare Pongal in Kannada. The word sakkari, chakkara simply translates to ‘sugar‘. Weirdly enough, we do not add sugar to this dish.

In South Indian temples, Sweet Pongal is one of the traditional dishes offered to God or Goddess in the form of naivedyam.

Naivedyam, refers to food that is offered to the presiding deity of the temple. It has been a Hindu ritual for thousands of years. During this ritual, prayers and mantras are recited and the offering is considered blessed by the diety’s grace. Afterward, it is distributed among devotees as prasadam.

Devotees often receive prasadam after attending religious ceremonies or performing prayers at the temple.

The sight of the golden-brown dish, studded with nuts and raisins, is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. And when it comes time to taste, the creamy texture and sweet flavor are simply irresistible.

About Temple style Sweet Pongal Recipe

Sweet Pongal is a sweet rice pudding kinda recipe that is prepared with raw rice, lentils (usually split yellow moong dal), sweetened with jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), and flavored with cardamom and ghee (clarified butter). A pinch of edible camphor is added at the end. Lastly, it is garnished with ghee-fried cashews and raisins.

What makes this recipe special? In this recipe, I use Mace along with green cardamom as a flavoring ingredient.

In this recipe, I did not use milk to cook the rice and lentils. At home, you can cook the pongal in a mix of milk and water in a 1:1 ratio (equal quantities).

To get the authentic temple prasadam taste, you will have to use the amount of ingredients mentioned in the recipe card.

Reasons to try

Authentic and traditional recipe.

Straightforward.

Easy recipe.

Minimum efforts.

Beginner and Bachelor-friendly recipe.

Vegetarian.

Loved by all age groups.

chakkara pongali

Pro Tips

Choose the Right Rice and Lentils: Use good quality short-grain rice (such as Sona Masuri, Kolam, Seeraga Samba, Indrayani, Ambemohar, or Ponni rice) and split yellow lentils (moong dal) for the best results. These varieties result in a creamy texture when cooked.

Rice: lentils ratio: The ratio of rice to lentils (moong dal) to make Sweet Pongal can vary depending on the priest. However, a common ratio used in many recipes is typically 1:1 or 1:0.5, where 1 part rice is combined with either 1 part or 0.5 part lentils.

Roast the rice and lentils: Roasting rice and lentils in ghee before pressure cooking intensifies their natural flavor and adds a subtle roasted flavor to the dish.

Ghee: Temple-style sweet pongal has a generous amount of ghee. While making at home, you can adjust the quantity of ghee based on your preference for a lighter or richer dish.

Quantity of water: It depends on the consistency preferred. I used 1:2 ratio to get the temple style consistency. However, the quantity of water also varies depending on the quality of the rice. For a thicker Pongal, use less water, and for a thinner consistency, add more water.

Ingredients

Rice: Usually raw rice or short-grain rice variety is preferred. In this recipe, I have used Sona Masuri.

Lentils: Split yellow lentils (moong dal) are commonly used to make pongal.

Fat: Ghee (clarified butter) is an essential ingredient. Use pure cow’s ghee as it holds a special significance in Hindu rituals and religious offerings.

Sweetener: Jaggery is especially used to sweeten the temple style pongal. Opt for organic jaggery that is dark in color. The color of pongal will depend on the color of the jaggery.

Aromatics: Mace, green cardamom, nutmeg, and camphor.

Nuts: cashews and raisins.

Water: To cook the rice and lentils.

How to make Temple style Sweet Pongal (step-by-step)

1. Take the measured quantity of raw rice and yellow lentils in a wide bowl. Thoroughly wash them 2-3 times and drain all the extra water.

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2. Heat 1/4 cup of clarified butter in a pressure cooker over a medium flame.

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3. Add the rice and lentils.

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4. Saute stirring frequently on a medium flame until you get a nice aroma and the color of the lentils changes to light golden. Initially, the rice and dal can stick to the bottom but as you saute they will turn non-sticky. This process can take 5 to 6 minutes.

Note: Do not brown the rice and lentils.

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5. Add 2 cups of water and mix well.

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6. Close the pressure cooker with a lid and cook until the rice and lentils are cooked soft. I cook for 3 whistles on a medium flame and 1 whistle on a low flame. Turn off the flame and wait for the pressure to release naturally.

While the rice cooks, prepare the aromatic mix.

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7. In a blender jar, add mace, green cardamoms, and nutmeg. Blend to a coarse powder.

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8. Add sugar and blend again into a fine powder. Keep it aside.

Note: As we are preparing the mix in a small quantity, sugar will help to blend into a fine powder. You can skip sugar if you have a powerful machine.

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10. Once the pressure is released, open the lid and check if the rice and lentils are cooked soft.

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11. Add jaggery to the cooked rice mixture. Cook over medium flame and stir frequently till the jaggery melts completely.

Note: If the mixture looks thick, you can add 1/2 to 1 cup of hot water.

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12. Add 1/4 cup and mix well.

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13. Add the spice mix and a pinch of edible camphor. Gently mix well and continue to simmer on low flame for 2-3 minutes..

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14. Heat 2 tbsps ghee in a small pan over medium flame. Once the ghee is warm, add the cashews (whole or split). Saute stirring continuously until they start to change color.

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15. Next, add raisins and saute until they plump up. Turn off the flame and pour over the pongal.

Temple style Sweet Pongal is ready to serve.

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Serving Suggestions

Temple style sweet pongal is often served as prasadam. At home, you can serve it as a dessert or a part of thali (meal platter). You can garnish it with toasted nuts and raisins for added texture and visual appeal.

sweet pongal recipe

Storage Suggestions

Sweet Pongal is best enjoyed fresh. But, if there are any leftovers, you can refrigerate them. Allow the pongal to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store the container in the refrigerator and consume within 2 to 3 days.

Before consuming, reheat in the microwave or a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Sweet Pongal may dry out slightly during refrigeration. To restore its creamy texture, you can add a splash of milk or water while reheating it.

Variations

1. Add dry coconut (sliced, grated, or pieces). Fry them until they turn golden and aromatic.

2. For a darker color, saute rice and lentils (without rinsing) in the ghee until they change color.

3. For a creamy pongal, add milk while pressure-cooking rice and dal. Add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of water.

4. Some prefer to add Jaggery syrup. For the syrup, heat 1/4 cup water in a pan and melt jaggery in it.

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Recipe Card

pressure cooker Sweet Pongal recipe

Temple style Sweet Pongal Recipe | Sakkarai Pongal | Chakkara Pongal

Author: d6e3f09ae55fe2878b2b1a4c03ff9647?s=30&d=mm&r=gSantosh Allada
A traditional South Indian Temple style Rice and Lentil dessert sweetened with jaggery. This easy sweet pongal can be made either in the Instant pot or in a regular pressure cooker.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup Rice (short-grain)
  • 1/2 cup Split Yellow lentils (moong dal)
  • 1/2 cup Clarified butter (ghee (cow))
  • 1 cup Jaggery (gud)
  • 1 small Mace (javitri)
  • 3-4 numbers Green Cardamom (elaichi)
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 cups Water

To Garnish

  • 2 tbsp Clarified Butter (ghee)
  • 5-6 numbers Cashews
  • 5-6 numbers Raisins

Instructions
 

  • Take the measured quantity of raw rice and yellow lentils in a wide bowl. Thoroughly wash them 2-3 times and drain all the extra water.
  • Heat clarified butter in a pressure cooker over a medium flame.
  • Add the washed and drained rice and lentils.
  • Saute stirring frequently on a medium flame until you get a nice aroma and the color of the lentils changes to light golden.
  • Add 2 cups of water and mix well.
  • Close the pressure cooker with a lid and cook until the rice and lentils are cooked soft. I cook for 3 whistles on a medium flame and 1 whistle on a low flame. Turn off the flame and wait for the pressure to release naturally.
  • While the rice cooks, prepare the aromatic mix.
  • In a blender jar, add mace, green cardamoms, and nutmeg. Blend to a coarse powder. Add sugar and blend again into a fine powder. Keep it aside.
  • Once the pressure is released, open the lid and check if the rice and lentils are cooked soft.
  • Add jaggery to the cooked rice mixture. Cook over medium flame and stir frequently till the jaggery melts completely.
  • Add 1/4 cup clarified and mix well.
  • Add the spice mix and a pinch of edible camphor. Gently mix well.

Garnishing

  • Heat ghee in a small pan over medium flame. Once the ghee is warm, add the cashews (whole or split). Saute stirring continuously until they start to change color.
  • Next, add raisins and saute until they plump up. Turn off the flame and pour over the pongal.
  • Temple style Sweet Pongal is ready to serve.

Notes

Do not use any other variety of rice than short-grain.
Cook the rice and lentils until cooked soft.
For jaggery to melt faster, you can finely chop or grate the jaggery.
Camphor has a strong essence and can be overpowering, so add just a pinch.
Pongal gets dry and thick as it cools, so adjust the consistency accordingly.


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