Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pudding with Date Palm Jaggery (Khajur Gud Pongal)

Indian Vegetarian Festive Season Special
Traditional Indian Sweets!
Tamil Nadu/Andhra Cuisine
Sankranti/Pongal Special
East Meets South- Orissa Meets Andhra!
Pudding with Date Palm Jaggery (Khajur Gud Pongal)
Serves 4

Rice- 1 Cup
Split Yellow Lentil (Dhuli Moong Dal)- ½ Cup
Date Palm Jaggery (Khajur Gud)- 1- ½ Cup
Ghee- 1 Cup
Milk- 1 Cup
Cardamon (Elaichi) Powder- ½ Tsp.
Fresh Coconut- 1 Tbsp., Finely Siced & Fried in Ghee

Dry Fruits (Equal Quantity of Almonds, Cashews, Raisins)- ¼ Cup


Soak Almonds Overnight in Water
Drain, Peel, Finely Slice the Almonds
Fry Almonds, Cashews, Raisins & Fresh Coconut in 2 Tbsp. Ghee till Golden, Drain & Keep Aside
In a Pan, Roast the Moong Dal on a Low Flame till it turns Pinkish and Keep Aside
In a Deep Bottom Pot, Mix 4 Cups of Water in Rice & Dal, Cover & Let them Simmer on Low Flame
Check if the Rice & Dal are Partially Cooked by Pressing each grain between fingers
Add Milk and Cook on Low Flame until Rice and Dal are Completely Cooked
Mash the Rice-Dal Mixture till the Dal becomes Invisible & Mixes Well within the Rice
Next Add Khajur Gud & Keep on Stirring continuously on Low Flame
As the Jaggery Melts, a Syrupy Consistency should form in the Mixture
Slowly Add the Remaining Ghee & Stir Continuously for about 5 minutes till the Mixture turns into a Sticky Porridge
Finally Add Elaichi, Fried Coconut & Dry Fruits
Serve Hot!

Rice used should be Small to Medium Grain Size like Sona Masuri, Ponni & Jeera Samba

Slow Roasting the Moong Dal Releases the Sweet Flavour of the Dal, so can Roast & Add the Dal if have time on hands
Pressure Cooker may be used for the Rice & Dal but Slow Simmer definitely gives the Best Tasting Pongal!
Ghee should definitely be used in this Recipe as it enhances the Taste
Jaggery is the Traditional Unrefined Sugar which has been & still is used in Rural India for its Umpteen Health Benefits over Refined Sugar!
The Date Palm Jaggery (Khajur Gud) is obtained from Sap of the Date Palm Tree & is one of the Rarest to find; it adds that Yummy Flavour in the Secret Recipes from the Eastern India most of us want to incorporate in our Cooking also!
There is a Specialty which also is a Trick to keep this Sweet Dish Perfect. Cook the Rice in Equal Quantity of Jaggery Syrup & Ghee on Low Flame till the Rice Completely Softens & becomes Pongal-like Sticky Consistency
Alternatively, Jaggery can be Boiled with Water separately to get a One String Consistency & Added to the Rice-Dal Mixture
To achieve the Perfect Consistency, can keep Sweet Pongal to Cool as it always Thickens

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

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