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Thinai Sarkarai Pongal | Foxtail millet sweet pongal

Thinai Sarkarai pongal, a sweet dish made with millets and lentils for Pongal, the harvest festival of Tamilnadu .
Course Dessert, Festival, Traditional
Cuisine Asian, Indian, South-Indian
Keyword Foxtail millet recipe, How to make sweet pongal, Millet dessert recipe, Millet recipe, Sarakarai pongal, Sweet rice recipe, Thinai recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6


  • 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.