Chakkari Pongal |Sweet Pongal

Chakkarai Pongal is a sweet dish made of rice and lentil sweetened with jaggery and flavored with cardamom and edible camphor. Chakkari Pongal is the specialty of Thai pongal.
Pongal is an important festival of Tamil Nadu that is now celebrated across India in may different forms. Pongal is a three day celebration starting with Bhogi, Thai pongal and kannu or maatu pongal and is celebrated in flair.

Pongal was one of my favorite festivals growing up. The smell of freshly harvested turmeric tied around the cooking pot, shouting “Pongalo Pongal” next to the bubbling pot of had such a rustic vibe to it… I remember enjoying, almost looking forward to, the hours of mindless sugar cane chewing with or without company. I don’t know if I have the teeth for it now but those were some fun times.  The whole month of margazhi was so fresh and alive….

As kids we ushered to make early morning temple visits just to get some hot pongal for prasadam….. Ha.. it was indeed divine!!

Pongal/Sankaranthi festival is celebrated to give thanks to the Sun God for the first harvest in Thai Masam. So this is an important festivals for farmers. The traditionally Pongal is made in a clay pot on wood fire under the Sun the community gathers around to thank the gods for the harvest and pray for a prosperous year.

My Pongal celebrations are Traditionally Modern….

Now I use instant pot insted of the traditional pot, frozen turmeric instead of fresh ones, and just the memory of karumbu … Is this what my kids will remember while making there own traditions? Maybe….

There are variety of ways to make Chakkarai pongal some versions made with milk, some where the no milk is added. I make mine with little milk and it tastes very close to the temple style pongal. Sakkari Pongal is a one of those sweet dished that can be made on special occasions or just quick fix.Its very easy to make and also satisfies your sweet tooth. Being a non sweet lover I am very picky about my sweets. But this version of the sakkarai pongal is one of my favorites. Now lets head to the recipe

Chakkari Pongal

Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Prep Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 small
Author ramyaanagu


  • 1/4 cups regular Rice
  • 1/4 cup Moong dal
  • 2 cups jaggery
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups water
  • pich of salt

For Tempering

  • Clarified butter/Ghee – 1/4 cup
  • 1 tbs cashews
  • 1 tbs raisins
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • pinch of edible camphor


  • In a pan add couple of drops of ghee and roast rice and moong dal until it starts releasing aroma. Ensure not to roast too much .
  • Now add 1/4th cup milk and 2 cups of water and pressure cook the rice and dal in InstaPot for 10 to 12 mins
  • Mean while in a pan add 2 cups water, a spoon of ghee, add in the jaggery powder and pinch of salt.
  • Let the jaggery dissolve completely. At this point strain for impurities if any.
  • Now open the cooked rice /dal mix once the pressure is released and give it a nice stir to mash it all up .
  • Once the jaggary water comes to a nice boil add in the rice mix and mix well
  • Let the pongal cook together for 5-10 mins in low to med flame
  • The liquid in the pongal should reduce to a semi-flowey consistency
  • Now add in the cardamom powder and pinch of edible camphor and cook for couple of minutes
  • Now in a kadai heat the ghee and add the broken cashews and once its golden brown add the raisins. Add this to the pongal mix
  • Sweet and hot Pongal is ready to eat

If you love temple style Pongal this recipes is for you and don’t forget to drop a word to let me know how you liked it. You can follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for more such recipes and food photography. Don’t forget to comment and rate the recipe here.

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