Chakarai Pongal is a sweet and buttery porridge-like dish that is traditionally prepared in South India for the Makar Sankranti festival that heralds the arrival of summer. The khara pongal variety differs only in the spices added, and the two are often cooked together from the same batch of rice and dhal.
For 8 servings:
- Cook the rice and dhal together with cups of water in a pot or pressure cooker until mushy.
- Meanwhile, melt the jaggery with 1 cup of water in a pan.
- Add the cardamom to the jaggery as it melts.
- Mush the rice and paruppu (dal) mixture well and add to the pan of jaggery.
- Stir well and cook on low heat till the mixture comes together well.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of the ghee in a separate pan and fry cashews to golden brown.
- Add raisins and fry for a few more seconds or until they swell up.
- Add the nuts and raisins to into the pongal.
- Serve hot with an additional dollop of neyyi or ghee.