The wafting aroma of heated ghee from the kitchen was hard to ignore, that nutty heavenly scent put patience to test.The kids would run helter skelter like hungry cats in and out of the kitchen but nothing was portioned and distributed until pooja was over..all the while granny would keep watch on the food. She looked at the little people like a territory guard and her amplifier swallowed voice was enough to scare the heck out of them. :) There's an unexplainable relief on everyone's face to finally get a scoop from the still hot brass pot oozing with goodness. . .
The burning of perfumed incenses and camphor mixed with food aromas just gives a divine feeling. It definitely elevates ones spirits and thats the true meaning of pongal too..to rise.
Rice -1/2 cup
Moong dal (split without skin) - 2 tbsp
Jaggery - 1/2 cup or more darkest variety
Cardamom powder- of 3 pods freshly powdered
Ghee - 2-3 tbsp
Milk full fat or heavy cream - 2 tbsp (Heavy cream adds extra taste)
Cashew nut - 6-8 split
Almond- broken into pieces
Raisins -2 tbsp
Soak rice for 20 minutes.
Melt jaggery in a pan add adding 1/ cup water. Strain off all impurities. Keep aside.
Heat a heavy bottom pan and dry roast the moong dal till a nice nutty aroma comes then wash and soak along with rice.
Cook rice and dal adding enough water in a rice cooker or pressure cooker to get a soggy consistency.
Once cooked mash rice and dal slightly adding milk or H.cream.
Bring the jaggery syrup to boil and slightly thicken it then add the mashed rice and cook on slow flame for 5 mts adding 1 tbsp ghee if the liquid dries quickly add lil more milk.Remove from flame.
Heat rest of the ghee in a pan and fry the nuts first to light brown then add raisins when they flare up switch off flame and pour whole thing on to the sarkarai pongal mix well.
After the pooja, pongal can be served warm as prasadam or cold winter days serve in ice cream cups with warm steel spoons. Ur family will love it after dinner.