Thinai Sarkarai pongal, a sweet dish made with millets and lentils for Pongal, the harvest festival of Tamilnadu .Jump to Recipe
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WHAT ARE MILLETS?
A group of cereals which are mostly tiny in size, round in shape. There are about 6,000 varieties of millet throughout the world in different colors too. Millets are gluten-free and rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. The bran layers of millets are good sources of B-complex vitamins.
Thinai or Foxtail millet is a millet variety. Since millets are small grains, they are called as Sirudhaniyam, in tamil,literally meaning small grains.
Many people have to restrict their white rice intake due to many health factors. Millets are great alternate to rice. Millets helps to lower blood glucose levels and improves insulin response. They have a low Glycemic index,which increase the satiety by decreasing hunger and slows the rate of digestion. You can read more about its health benefits here .
How to make Thinai Sarkarai Pongal
To make Thinai Sarkarai pongal, we need to dry roast the millets and lentils until golden brown. Then pressure cook it with milk and water mix. If vegan, use any plant-based milk or simply use water to cook it entirely.
Once the pressure releases, take a cup of jaggery and heat it with ½ cup of water. Since i used organic jaggery, i didn’t strain the jaggery. If not using jaggery and not sure about the purity, do melt and strain. When the jaggery syrup bubbles, add the cooked thinai and lentil to it and mix well. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee to this.
Let this cook, until the all the liquid absorbs, and the pongal follows the ladle as you stir. Take it off the stove, add ghee roasted cashewnuts and raisins to it. The pongal thickens as it rests, so do not cook it until dry. Remove it when it is a bit saucy.
Serve the pongal warm. Any leftovers can be refrigerated. While serving from the fridge, warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds and serve warm.
Thinai Sarkarai Pongal | Foxtail millet sweet pongal
- Pressure cooker
- ½ cup foxtail millet/thinai
- ¼ cup moong dal
- 1 cup powdered jaggery i used organic jaggery powder
- 1 cup milk if vegan, use plant-based milk or just water
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- a pinch of edible camphor only a pinch not more than that
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 3 tablespoon broken cashewnuts
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- Dry roast thinai/foxtail millet and moong dal in a heavy bottom pan. Keep the flame low and roast. take care not to burn
- Let the roasted ingredients cool down for 5 minutes. Take them in another vessel/pan, add milk and water, keep it inside the pressure cooker and pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles. Once cooked, let the pressure drop on its own.
- I prefer to cook pot in pot method in pressure cooker as it saves much cleaning. While cooking milk based dishes directly in the cooker there is a chance of lot of splutter and splash through the nozzle, cooking in a pan inside the cooker, saves this a lot.
- Once the pressure drops in the cooker. Heat jaggery with ½ cup of water in a heavy bottom pan.
- Since i m using organic jaggery, i dont strain, if you have doubt on the purity of the jaggery, melt and strain it. When the jaggery bubbles up, add the cooked millet mixture to it and mix well.
- After adding the millet lentil mix, add ¼ cup of water to the vessel in which it was cooked, wash and add it back to the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee to this mixture, mix well. Let this cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the pongal becomes soft and mushy.
- Once the liquid is almost absorbed. and the pongal follows the ladle when stirred, take if off the stove. Before removing it from heat, add edible camphor, mix well and remove it from stove.
- In a small tadka pan, add ghee, roast cashewnuts until golden, towards the end add raisins to the ghee. once the raisins plumps, take it off the stove and add this to the thinai pongal. Serve the pongal warm.
- Pongal usually thickens as it rests, so do take it off when it is a bit saucy not watery, a bit saucy.
- The color of the pongal depends on the color of the jaggery used.
- Edible camphor must be used only a pinch and add it towards the end and take it off the heat. If you add more than the specified amount, it will overpower the original flavor of the dish and makes it unpalatable.
- Any leftovers can be refrigerated.If serving straight from fridge, reheat it for 30 seconds, and serve warm.
Serve this delicious thinai sarkarai pongal warm and enjoy the flavors. This thinai pongal, is an apt offering on pooja days. If you are looking for a savory millet pongal, check varagu pongal recipe here
Other Foxtail millet recipes
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An old recipe from July, 2014, updated with new content and images for better engagement.