A South Indian sweet food for divine offerings

This is the period of ‘pongal’ or  ‘sankranti’  in our Hindu religious customs. A full month of worships and prayers remembering the great saintess “Andal” or Goda devi’s devotion and attachment towards God and her contribution towards the spiritual attainment knowledge.

We worship Lord Sri Krishna reciting the hymns created by her for 30 days during this period (16th December to 14th Jan.) and offer a divine food known as Pongal to the god all these days. On some specific days, we have to prepare sweet pongal as the offering along with normal plain pongal.

So, on 31st December, we prepared the sweet pongal recipe as the offering. I wanted to share this dish with you which is sweet, delicate and often topped with a lot of ghee by frying cashew nuts and raisins in that ghee. It will taste so sweet and delicious and full of proteins and energy that you may like to have it often.

chakkara pongali

chakkara pongal or sweet pongal

chakkara pongal recipe preparation

Anybody can prepare this recipe very easily.

The ingredients required are – rice, jaggery (brown sugar), some milk, ghee, broken cashew nuts, raisins, cardamom powder.

Cook the rice in a cooker and add jaggery, milk and some water to it and cook again for some time without lid so as to mix the jaggery entirely into it making it soft. Then, heat the ghee in a small pan and fry the broken cashewnuts and raisins in it and mix it into that cooked preparation along with the cardamom powder. Your chakkara pongal or sweet pongal recipe is now ready for serve.

Some people add a little bit of split green gram (moong dal) while cooking rice for taste. But the green gram is normally added only for preparing plain pongal adding salt which is not sweet and it is to be topped with black pepper powder and cumin seeds only.

This post is posted as a sequence in the tasty thursdays blog event for this week. You can visit the blog event of tasty thursdays at this link.

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Tasty Thursdays – A Sweet preparation known as “Appam”

Appam recipe is a sweet recipe good for eating at any time, provided you are not diabetic.

It is more delicious and of value for growing children and young people as it provides instant energy to your body. Keep a piece or two in the lunch box and eat at any time whenever you feel tired and exhausted and you will experience immediate relief and fresh energy to immediately indulge afresh in your activities.

I am posting this recipe in the tasty thursdays blogging event for this week. You can view all posts for this week’s tasty thursdays recipes at this link.

Appam Recipe

Appam Recipe

I placed the small plate containing 4 ‘appams’ on a larger plate for enabling taking a clear photo.

Step by step preparation tips for Appam recipe.

  • For preparing 50 medium size appams, you need half kg of rice flour and 250 grams of wheat flour and 250 to 300 grams of Gur (jaggery).
  • Take 200 ml water in a bowl and put the shaved jaggery into it so as it make it dissolve completely in the water.
  • Take a cooking pan or container and add this  sweet jaggery water and place it on flame. Allow it to cook on very low flame with continuous stirring, so as it cook it into a soft paste.
  • It may take some 10 minutes to perfectly cook on low flame. You may need to add more fresh water, while cooking, according to requirements.
  • The quantum of water can depend on quality of flour, heat and time taken for cooking.
  • But, be careful while adding water so that it will not be too hard or too soft when cooked.
  • The paste so cooked should enable you to make soft balls and then spread it flat by using your palms or a rod rolled on a leaf or on an even flat surface on the rear side of a steel, wooden or plastic plate. While rolling into round flat shapes, you need to apply a little bit of oil on the palms or the surface used for that purpose.
  • You can heat oil in a deep frying pan after the paste has been cooked and the balls are being prepared.
  • When the oil heats and tiny bubbles appear in the heating oil, you can drop the flattened balls into the oil and fry them both sides to a golden colour.
  • You can flatten the balls as and when you are frying if you can do it fast. Or first keep all the balls flattened into round shapes and then start deep frying.
  • Turn the pieces both sides carefully and quickly so that they do not get split. Otherwise, the oil will become useless as the jaggery may get mixed into it if not fried properly. You will learn it by experience very quickly and can become an expert. So, do not worry if your first attempt is not fruitful.
  • You can serve them hot or cold and keep them in your fridge for some days and enjoy the recipe as and when you like to consume them.