This is one of most typical sweets prepared for any festival or function in a traditional Andhra household. A rice and milk dish, it also has the maximum amount of versatility that one can find is any indian dish. You can add or take away any of the flavours, and the sweet would still taste yumm, your style! 🙂 When I say take away or keep, I meant all but the rice, channa dal and milk. One can replace the sugar with jaggery, but then it would be called bellam pongali.
What I’m writing about here is how we make it in my family.
- 1/2 ltr milk
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1 tbsp chana dal (senaga pappu)
- 3 tbsp sugar (chakara)
- 3-4 cardamoms (elaichi), pound to a fine powder
- pinch of pacha karpuram (edible camphor), optional
- cashewnut, raisins etc to taste.
- Take a 1 ltr capacity vessel and boil the 1/2 ltr milk in it.
- Meanwhile wash the rice and chana dal and set aside.
- Once the milk has boiled, add the rice + chana dal, and mix well to prevent clumping.
- Keep stirring intermittently to avoid clumping as well as sticking to the bottom of the vessel.
- Once the milk has reduces, and the rice has been completely cooked (grain becomes completely mashed when press), add the sugar.
- Keep stirring intermittently till single-string consistency.
- Turn off the flame, and add the elaichi and pacha karpuram and mix well.
- In a small wok, heat some ghee and add the cashwenuts.
- Roast till uniformly brown and take out of the ghee.
- Add the raisins to the ghee. Stir till all are puffed up and browned.
- Add the ghee and raisins to the pongali. Once the cashewnuts have cooled down, add them whole or broken into the Pongali.
Serve hot along with a regular meal.