If there is one dish that has probably survived without much change for centuries, it must be Pongal – Tamil food can’t get any more authentic than that. The cooking method might have changed over time, but the dish itself has undergone only little change.
The finished product depends on the quality of the main ingredients used, rice and Jaggery. Par boiled rice is generally consumed in TamilNadu, it always intrigues me as to why par boiled rice isn’t used for making Pongal. I am sure there must be some significance. I make Sarkkarai Pongal for most festivals including Saraswathi Poojai as it is simple to make and delicious to eat. Hence decided to enter it for the RCI Tamilnadu festival food event. This recipe of mine is influenced by reading various tips from this place, a wonderful site for discussing food. So here goes my recipe
- Rice – 1 cup
- Jaggery – 1 cup (Oh yes I have a sweet tooth)
- Cardamom – 2 (roughly smashed)
- Ghee/butter – 1 spoon
- Milk – 1 cup
- Cashew nut/raisins/thinly sliced coconut strips – as per taste
P.S - a handful of moong dal is generally added to the rice in the cooker. I have found that moong flares my younger troops eczema and so I haven't included it in the recipe. I feel it doesn't make a big difference to the taste.