Kalkandu pongal, a rice based sweet made with rock candy. It is made especially during Pongal or Makar Sankaranti festival.Jump to Recipe
Pongal is the harvest festival celebrated in Tamilnadu. The 4-day festival, celebrated by South-Indians, all over the globe, usually falls on January 14, almost every year. Pongal also marks the solar equinox, beginning of summer days, when the sun travels northward, marking the beginning of summer months.
With every festival , there is certain kind of food involved. With Pongal being the harvest festival, the food is made with freshly harvested crop and vegetables. Cooking on Pongal day involves lot of locally grown, country vegetables. This also promotes local food and eating seasonal food, which nourishes our body for the season.
Other Pongal Dishes
How to make Kalkandu Pongal
Like all other pongal recipes, this kalkandu pongal is made with rice and moong dal. I have added some chana dal along with this. Wash and drain the ingredients twice or thrice with water.
Take the rice and dal in a pressure cooker, add milk and water mixed together and cook until soft, 4-5 whistles. Cooking in milk adds more flavor to pongal recipes. But if you are vegan, skip milk and cook in water or you can add 1/4 cup of coconut or almond milk for the richness.
While the rice and dal is cooking, take rock candy and cardamom in a mixer and pulse them together to powder. Once the rice-dal cooker pressure releases, add this rock candy mix to it, and let it cook until all the liquid gets absorbed. Finally add some ghee roasted cashewnuts and raisins to the pongal. Serve it warm.
Pongal is ususally made with rice and dal, as it celebrates harvest festival. But, if you want to make it with an alternate grain other than rice, you can use millets or barley even quinoa for that matter.
Kalkandu Pongal | Rock Candy Sweet pongal
- Pressure cooker
- ½ cup raw rice festive offerings are always done with raw rice
- 2 tbsp moong dal
- 2 tbsp chana dal
- 1 cup milk use plant-based milk, for vegan option
- 1.5 cups water
- ½ cup rock sugar
- 4 nos cardamom
- 1 no clove
- 2 tbsp ghee use vegan options, for vegan
- 3 tbsp broken cashewnuts
- 1 tbsp raisins
- Take rice and dal together and wash it well withrunning water. I know they normally dry roast the rice, but since these days,it goes through various stages of processing, i didn't want to take risk, so washed the rice, instead of dry roasting
- Take the washed rice and dal in a pressure pan, add 1 cup of milk and 1.5 cups of water and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. I didn't cook directly in the pressure cooker, this will cause the liquid to squirt out thru the whistle, so place the rice and dal in a separate vessel and place it in the pressure cooker.
- While the rice is cooking, take rock sugar along with cardamom pods and cloves in a mixie and powder it well.
- Let the pressure release on its own. Heat a pan,add the cooked rice and dal to it and add the powdered sugar candy and mixwell. The mixture will release water, add 2 tbsp of ghee to it and mix well.Let it cook until the sugar is absorbed well and the mixture thickens
- Be careful and be near the stove, stir frequently. After 10-12 minutes, take it off the stove.
- Roast the cashewnuts and raisin in ghee and add it to the pongal. Serve warm.
Serve this delicious kalkandu pongal warm. This rock candy pongal can also be made as a sweet for get togethers and parties.
If making as dessert for get-togethers and parties, you can make it ahead and warm it just before serving. This makes it a great make-ahead dessert.
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