January 7, 2012

Chakkarai Pongal | For Beginners with Step by Step Pics ~ Pongal Special

Chakkarai Pongal
In the recent years I have stopped making chakkarai pongal in Pressure cooker. I prefer cooking it in an open vessel as I love the outcome, flavor and taste of it. It will be exactly like the pongal given in temples as prasadhams. I personally feel that Pongal when made in pressure cooker becomes dense and hard as it cools down to room temperature. Also the cleaning of the starch and residue released from the vent afterwards makes it cumbersome. I recently made it for “Vaikundha Ekadashi” so thought I would share it with you all.
If you thought that making pongal in an open vessel will take more time then you are mistaken. It took me just 35-40 min to complete the entire process. I chose to cook it in a kadai as it gets done quicker and also easy to click. Traditionally you can also use a pot to cook this on the “Pongal” day and follow the same steps. Hop over here to check out Pongal made in Pressure Cooker

Chakkarai Pongal

(Print this Recipe)
You’ll need:
  • Raw Rice – 1/2 cup
  • Yellow moong dal - 1+1/2 tbsp
  • Grated Jaggery – 2 cups
  • Water – 4 + 1/4 cups
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Cardamom – 1
  • Edible camphor – 1 pinch
  • Cashew nuts – 7 to 8
  • Ghee – 4 – 5 tbsp


Heat a pan and dry roast the Yellow moong Dal (paasi aruppu) over a low flame for 4-5 min till the aroma arises taking care not to change its color.

I chose the Rice they sell here specifically for making “Pongal”. You can also use regular rice. Wash well and soak for 10 min. Heat a wide bottomed pan with milk and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add both the rice and moong dal. Mix well and close with a lid leaving a small opening and let it cook over medium flame.

Meanwhile grate and measure jaggery. I chose “Paagu Vellam” for its dark color and the flavor it gives to the pongal. But traditionally they use “Achchu Vellam” during pongal day.

Measure 1/4 cup of water in a vessel and put the grated jaggery in it. Mix well and then keep it on the stove and heat it. Stir till the jaggery completely dissolves.

Pass the jaggery syrup through a fine sieve to remove any impurities. Return the syrup to the vessel and bring it to a bubbling boil. No need for any string consistency. Keep it aside.

Heat 2 tsp of ghee and roast the cashew nuts to a golden brown and keep it aside. Pound the cardamom seeds and keep it ready. Discard the skin.

Keep stirring the rice in between and by the time you finish the above steps the rice would have been cooked, mushy. All the water and milk would have been absorbed and it will be in a semi solid state. When pressed between your fingers it should be easily mashable and appear mushy.

Now add the jaggery syrup and mix well. You will see the pongal liquefying again but not to worry. Cook for another 7-10 min over medium-low flame till it further solidifies again.

Finally add the crushed cardamom seeds, edible camphor (pachcha karpooram), ghee roasted cashew nuts and the remaining ghee and mix well and cook for a minute. Transfer to the serving bowl and serve hot with some ghee drizzled on top.
  • The quantity of water will depend on the quality of rice used. If the rice is new it needs less water and cooks quickly, if it old then more water and more time.
  • If you feel that the rice is not done and there is no water left further to cook, add more water after heating it. Never add cold water.
  • The color and taste of the pongal will depend on the quality of the jaggery you use.
  • Adjust the quantity of jaggery according to your sweet tooth.
  • You can avoid milk and use water alone for cooking.
  • Along with Edible camphor you can also use Dry ginger powder (Sukku) for enhanced taste.

This is off to my event Let’s Cook ~ Rice


  1. yum..yum..Awesome recipe,looks so delicious and divine.

  2. My favorite recipe!!U made it awesome!!Nice pictures :)

  3. Wow...wow...super delicious pongal,perfect proportions,I too do it similar way, this looks so divine!!
    Pongal O' pongal :) very nice post Radhika !

  4. The rich color is alluring...

  5. This looks yummy..Delicious


  6. beautiful clicks and nice recipe

  7. Looks delicious ! I like the pics too.

  8. this is just awesome...yummy recipe dear..!
    Usually, I'll try the cooker version..now cant wait to try your tempting version..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  9. Drool-worthy! I cant wait for Pongal festival to make this!

  10. radhika, can I just hop over for the pongal- seriously drool worthy stuff and nicely explained !

  11. Very yummy looking pongal...Will be trying it soon...

  12. So well explained!!!!! Made perfectly ;)
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  13. Looks yumm.. Nice pics as always :)

  14. I've been looking for a recipe and moreover a detailed pictorial recipe like this for long and woooosh, here it is!
    This is my Christmas gift from you, though belated. :)

  15. Ohh so so yumm .. mouth watering sersly..

  16. superb and yummy !! well explained !!

    Ongoing Event - CC-Chocolate Fest

  17. Looks yumm n tasty..one of my favourite one.... Nice pics

  18. favourite pongal looks wonderful lovely on the banana leaf

  19. Chakkarai Pongal luks so delicious, great clicks as well :)

  20. wow thats looks so yummy, delicious...so appetizing!.

  21. looks delicious and tempting clicks ....

  22. Kovil chakkara pongal smells amazing! This one looks really good.. with all that ghee! :D

  23. Looks so delicious. And waiting for Pongal day to make it.

  24. wow looks fabulous.\my laptop is here \radhika!hope to restart blogging soon!

  25. you have a awesome blog. I tried this and it turned out really well.

    The pressure cooker method has half the amount of jaggery. Is that a typo?

  26. @ Sweeya Sidharth: Glad you tried and it came out well. Reg your query, it is not a typo. More jaggery is used while cooking by the traditional method than when compared to the pressure cooker method.

  27. Thanks for the clarification. My husband is a fan of this now. He now asks me to make this more often :)

    1. Thanks a lot Sweeya. Glad he likes it. My elder is a big fan of this too.

  28. wow wow its so adorable... can't take my eyes from it...

  29. i ate this in a restaurant once and loved it..never tried making it though..yours look super tempting

  30. Well described step by step to go for Chakkarai Pongal.

    The colorful Images would surely make any one mouthful watery... Good work.


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