16 Mar 2017

Sivappu Arisi Sarkarai Pongal

Hi everyone,

"When life is sweet, say thankyou and Celebrate. When life is Bitter, say thankyou and Grow"

Not trying to be philosophical but for some reason this particular line stayed in my memory. I saw this in one of the bookshop windows a few years back. This best part about this statement is that we forget to celebrate when we feel blessed but make sure to crib/whine/get angry and frustrated when things don't go our way.

Probably this fast moving world has made us forget the small things that have a positive impact in our everyday life but we hang on to the negative things, burden ourselves mentally and emotionally and turn the whole situation bitter. Sweet pongal/payasam especially rice based are my ultimate comfort food. The process of making these sweet dishes, the flavours, textures and aroma of the finished dish in itself is so therapeutic.

This recipe calls for red raw rice and coconut milk with a mild ginger and cardamom flavour. It is a simple way to include other rice varieties [other than the usual raw rice] in our diet.

For the recipe
Red raw rice: 1 cup [washed]
Moong dal: 1/4 cup
Jaggery: 1 cup
Water: 1/4 cup
Coconut milk [strained first]: 1 cup
Coconut milk [strained second]: 2 cups
Coconut milk [strained third]: 2 cups
Cardamom powder : 1/2 tsp
Ginger : 1 inch piece
Edible camphor: 1 pinch
Saara paruppu [chironji or charoli in hindi]: 1 tbsp
Ghee: 2 tbsp

1.Bring the water to a boil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the jaggery and stir until everything is dissolved. Remove from flame and set aside.
2.Heat a pressure cooker on medium flame. Roast the moong dal for a couple of minutes until a nice aroma emanates, Add the washed rice, ginger, cardamom powder and coconut milk [second and third strained]. Close the lid and cook for 3-4 whistles. Put off the flame.
3.Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a small pan and roast the saara paruppu. Set aside. Filter the jaggery syrup and mix the edible camphor in the syrup.
4.Once the pressure in the cooker subsides, open the lid and mash the rice dal mix slightly. Place the cooker on medium flame. Add the jaggery syrup little by little and mix well.
5. Once the jaggery syrup has been absorbed into the rice dal mix, add the roasted saara paruppu and the remaining ghee and mix well. Switch off the flame.
6.Let the pongal cool for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk [first strained] and mix gently.

Serve warm or cold.

1.The amount of liquid required [wether using water, milk or coconut milk] is determined by the age of the rice. I had used new rice which requires less water. If you are using old rice, then increase the liquid amount by 1 cup to the already given ratio.

2. Instead of coconut milk you can use regular milk or just water. If using milk or water, add all the liquid into the pressure cooker to cook the rice dal mixture.

3.Feel free to use cashew and raisin instead of saara paruppu.

4.You can also add 2-3 tbsp of fresh scraped coconut to the rice dal mix and continue to make the pongal. 

Scribbled by Reva

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