We have an advertising relationship with some of the stores we link to on this site. Your prices are not affected!

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Name of Event

Pongal - Indian harvest feast

Cuisine From



Tasty dessert made with rice/lentils, cashews and sweetened with palm sugar.


Yield 6 servings
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes
Main Ingredient Dhal/Rice


  • 1/2 cup moong dhal (yellow lentils),
  • 1 cup basmati rice or rice of choice
  • 1 1/2 full cream milk,
  • 1/2 cup white sugar 
  • 1/4 cup dessicated coconut,
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • Pinch edible camphor (kacha karpoor) Optional.
  • 1 cup jaggery (palm sugar)
  • 1/4 cup raisins or sultanas
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup ghee.(clarified butter)

I have provided links for  you to purchase harder to find ingredients highlighted in blue above. 

For all your Indian grocery needs we recommend . Great selections, fast service and best prices,


  1. Melt the ghee in a large skillet/frying pan over medium heat; fry the cashews and raisins in the melted ghee until the cashews are brown and the raisins begin to plump, about 5 minutes. Remove the cashews and raisins from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Fry the coconut separately in a little ghee until toasty and brown and set aside.
  3. Add the lentils to the skillet and fry in the ghee until fragrant; stir the rice, milk, jaggery, and sugar into the lentils.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender, adding water as needed to keep moist, about 30 minutes.
  5. Mix the cashews, raisins, cardamom powder into the mixture to serve.
  6. You can add the edible camphor to the pongal while adding cardamom powder to enhance the taste. Only a pinch of camphor should be added and not more than that otherwise the campor smell overpowers the pongal and spoils the taste.
  7. It you want your pongal to be mushy add more water while cooking the rice and mash it with ladle.
  8. Adding grated coconut enhances the taste of the Pongal.

For more Indian festive recipes visit festive celebrations page.