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The second dish I made for Sankranthi is this 'Sweet Pongal/ Bellam Pongali'. This recipe is from Chandra Padmanabhan's Dakshin cookbook. Pongal, both sweet or savory, are traditionally made for Sankranthi. My mom makes Chakkara pongali with a combination of jaggery and sugar, but this recipe uses all jaggery. The addition of cardamom, cloves and nutmeg makes this taste just like the ones served in the temples.


4 serving

Total time

55 minutes




  • ¼ cup Green gram dal Moong dal (/ Pesarapappu/ Moong)
  • ½ cup Rice
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ~ 1½ cups Jaggery (- powdered (adjust as per taste))
  • 1 tbsp Cashews
  • 1 tbsp Raisins
  • 1 tsp cardamom (Ground)
  • ¼ tsp cloves (Ground)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg (Ground)
  • a few strands Saffron


  1. Dry roast the green gram dal for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  2. Wash rice and dal together and place them in a pressure cooker along with 1¼cups of water and the milk. Cook without the whistle for 20~30 minutes on medium flame till rice and dal are tender. Pressure cooking with whistle might cause the milk to boil over, so pressure cook without the whistle.
  3. Melt jaggery in ¼cup of water and simmer for a few minutes till the syrup thickens a little bit. Pour the syrup to cooked rice and dal. Simmer for a few minutes on medium-low flame. Turn off the heat.
  4. Heat 2tbsp ghee in a small pan, add the cashews and raisins and fry till golden. Add this to the pongal.
  5. Finally add the ground cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and saffron. Mix well and serve!!
  6. View the recipe instructions at Cook's Hideout

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