Sweet Pongal Recipe – How to Make Sakkarai Pongal

post modified on January 16

Written by Puja

Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal is a traditional South Indian dessert made with rice and lentils sweetened with Jaggery.

sweet pongal

So, If you are a regular reader of The Tastes of India then I am sure you must be eagerly waiting for the second story related to Jagannath Temple.

If you didn’t listen to the 1st story and are not sure about what this is…

sweet pongal

…then no worries you can still have a glance at it by reading my last post where we talk about the reason of an unfinished idol of Lord Jagannath and also learn to make a traditional recipe from Orissa, packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

sweet pongal

This recipe is also a part of the Maha-prasad offered to Lord Jagannath in Jagannath Temple.
Ok, so onto the second story…

Just like a few of my readers, My dear Hubby asked me a very similar question as to why the face of this Idol is so different from any other Idol.

So the story is from Mahabharata and tells the secret behind the face of Lord Jagannath.
Mother Yashoda, Subhadra and Devakiji came from Vrindavan to Dwarka. The queens from Dwarka requested to tell them the story of Krishna bal leela.

Subhadra Ji was guarding the gate, that if Krishna and Balarama come she will warn everyone. But she too became so engrossed in listening to Krishna Bal Leela that she had no idea of Krishna and Balrama’s arrival.

When Krishna and Balrama both brothers, heard this story, they were enthralled. They were so charmed that their hair became straight and their eyes grew big. Their lips had a broad smile and their bodies started melting in the loving atmosphere of devotion.

Subhadra became very emotional too and hence her body melted the most and that’s why her height is the smallest of the 3 idols in the Jagannath temple.

That’s when Narada Muni came and everyone came back in a huff. Seeing this form of Shri Krishna, Narada said, “Lord, how beautiful you look. When will you take an avatar in this form?”

And Krishna replied that he would take such an avatar in Kali Yuga.

That’s how he took the incarnation of Jagannath in Kali Yuga with the help of King Indradyumna as the medium. And that’s the story behind the idols in the Puri Jagannath Temple.

I hope, you would now have understood the reason behind this mysterious face of Lord Krishna in Jagannath Temple.

Sweet Pongal Recipe – How to Make Sakkarai Pongal

Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal is often made for the festival of Pongal, celebrated to mark the beginning of the harvest season in India. Pongal in Tamil means something that is “overflowing” and the festival is celebrated in honor of abundance and prosperity.

The ritual of boiling over of milk in a new clay pot is usually done to ensure prosperity for the family.

In Tamilnadu, sweet Pongal is usually offered in temples as Prasad. You can add a little pinch of edible camphor to make this Sakkara Pongal, to get a flavor of temples prasad.

Traditionally, it is served along with Ven Pongal, which is a savory version of this Pongal called Ven Pongal along with other preparations on a banana leaf.

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Traditional Steamed Coconut and Jaggery Modak Recipe

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sweet pongal

Sweet Pongal Recipe

Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal is a traditional South Indian dessert made with rice and lentils sweetened with Jaggery.
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Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: sweet pongal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories: 3746kcal
Author: Puja


  • 1 Cup Raw Rice cleaned and washed
  • 1/2 Cup Moong Dal cleaned and washed
  • 2 tbsp Chana Dal cleaned and soaked
  • 2 cup Jaggery grated or powdered (or to taste)
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh coconut chopped
  • 20 nos Cashew Nuts
  • 20 nos Raisins
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 5 tbsp Ghee
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 6-7 Glass of Water or as required to cook


  • Take a pressure cooker to add milk and 6-7 glass of water. Let it boil.
  • Now add rice, moong dal and soaked chana dal to it and cook until done or say 3 whistles.(let the pressure release on its own)
  • Once it’s cooked mash it well.
  • Now add grated jaggery and cardamom powder to it.
  • Keep the cooker on low flame for 15 mins mixing frequently.
  • Heat ghee in a pan fry cashew nuts, chopped coconut and raisins in ghee and when it turns golden brown add it to the Sakkarai Pongal.
  • Now pour ghee with dry fruits to sweet Pongal and mix well.
  • Sweet Pongal is ready to be served now.


Do not compromise on the quantity of ghee.
You can serve hot or cold.


Nutrition Facts
Sweet Pongal Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3746 Calories from Fat 873
% Daily Value*
Fat 97g149%
Saturated Fat 57g356%
Cholesterol 204mg68%
Sodium 99mg4%
Potassium 2101mg60%
Carbohydrates 658g219%
Fiber 26g108%
Sugar 422g469%
Protein 50g100%
Vitamin A 316IU6%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 476mg48%
Iron 15mg83%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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A self-proclaimed Champion Cook, who gets the confidence from the love and praises showered upon me by my family consisting of a Cute little Daughter and a husband who loves the Internet more than me (LoL..) and who incidentally happens to be the man behind the technical aspects of this blog.
I love working from home and the benefits that come from it and that is why I started this blog where I document all my adventures with cooking.
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