Vazhaipazham Sakkarai Pongal is a lovely twist to the regular sweet pongal that is commonly prepared in South India on auspicious occasions. Adding bananas elevates the taste of the sweet pongal up by several notches, and is a great way to get the goodness of the fruits in. This little touch makes the regular sakkarai pongal more exotic, makes it just perfect to serve guests on parties and other festive occasions.
This is a simple pressure-cooker recipe that can be put together in a matter of minutes. I’m sure it will be much loved by people of all age groups, including fussy kids. My daughter absolutely adores this!
Let’s now check out the recipe for this Vazhaipazham Sakkarai Pongal aka Banana Sweet Pongal, shall we?
Ingredients (serves 5-6):
- 1 cup rice
- 1/2 cup moong daal
- 3 cups jaggery powder
- 2 cups milk
- 2 pinches of cardamom (elaichi) powder
- 2 big Robusta bananas
- 10-12 cashewnuts
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons of ghee
1. Take the rice and moong daal together in a wide vessel. Wash a couple of times under running water. Discard the excess water.
2. Add 2 cups of milk and 2-1/2 cups water to the washed and drained rice. Mix well. Pressure cook for 4 whistles on high flame, or till the rice and moong daal are well cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the jaggery syrup for the pongal. Heat 2 cups of water in a pan, and add the jaggery powder to it. On high heat, allow the jaggery to get completely dissolved in the water. Cook till the syrup comes to a rolling boil.
4. When the jaggery syrup comes to a boil, add the cooked rice and moong daal to it. Cook on medium flame till everything is well integrated together, 3-4 minutes. Stir intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
5. Add the cardamom powder as well as 2 tablespoons of ghee to the pongal. Chop the bananas into slices and add to the pongal too. Mix well, and cook on medium flame for a minute. Switch off gas.
6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee in another pan. Turn the flame to low, and add in the cashewnuts and raisins. Keep them in till the cashewnuts turn brown and the raisins plump up – take care to ensure that they do not burn.
7. Add the fried cashewnuts and raisins to the pongal. Mix well. The Banana Sweet Pongal is ready – serve hot or at room temperature.
1. I have used Sona Masoori rice to make this pongal. You may use any other variety of rice you prefer, instead. You may even reduce the quantity of moong daal you use or skip it altogether, too.
2. Edible camphor (pacchai karpooram) can be added to the Banana Sweet Pongal. I haven’t.
3. I have used 4 tablespoons of ghee in the pongal, in total. You may use more, if you so prefer.
4. Use full-fat milk to make this pongal. I have used Nandini full-cream milk here.
5. Use boiled and cooled milk to make this Vazhaipazham Sakkarai Pongal.
6. You may skip the milk in the Banana Sweet Pongal too. In that case, cook the rice and moong daal in 4-1/2 cups water.
7. 4 whistles on high heat was just right to cook the rice and moong daal in my case. This might differ, depending on the make of the pressure cooker and the quality of ingredients used. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
8. If you feel there are impurities in the jaggery, you might want to filter the syrup before use. I did not find the need to do so.
9. The amount of jaggery you will really need depends on the type you use. Adjust quantity accordingly. In my case, 3 cups worked just fine. Typically, double the amount of jaggery to the amount of rice + moong daal works perfectly.
10. I have used Robusta bananas here. If you want to use any other variety of bananas, you might want to increase or decrease the quantity accordingly.
This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the week, as suggested by fellow food blogger Preethi of Preethi’s Cuisine, is #PotluckRecipes. The participants need to share recipes of their specialty dishes, which they would feel confident carrying to a potluck party. I chose to make this Vazhaipazham Sakkarai Pongal or Banana Sweet Pongal for the theme.