Pulagam is a very very simple dish made in Andhra Pradesh for festivals. It is made with rice and split green gram (chilkewali moong). It is different from Katte Pongali or Ven Pongal in the sense that it has no tempering of any kind, just salt as seasoning. Also, while Katte Pongali is mashed and slightly liquidy, Pulagam has the same consistency as steamed rice.
Chakkara Pongal is a very popular naivedyam for many South Indian festivals. In fact, there is something about the Chakkara Pongal made in a temple that can soothe the soul. This time, I almost captured that taste and feel.
So here goes!
Rice – 1 Cup
Moong Dal – 2/3 Cup
Grated Jaggery – 2.5 Cups
Milk – 1 Cup
Water – 3.5 Cups
Cashews – 8 to 10
Green Cardamom – 4 or 5
Ghee – 3 tbsp
Roast the moong dal till it turns light brown.
Wash the rice and drain all the water.
Mix the rice, dal, 2 cups water, and 1 cup milk.
Cook the mix in a pressure cooker without the weight.
To a heavy-bottomed vessel, add the jaggery and 1/2 cup water.
Over low to medium heat, cook till the jaggery melts and forms a thick syrup.
Add crushed green cardamom to the jaggery mix.
Add the cooked rice-dal mix and mix well.
Over medium heat, cook the mix till all the syrup is absorbed.
Turn off the heat. In a ladle, heat the ghee.
Add split cashew nuts and fry till golden brown.
Add the ghee and cashew to the pongal.
Offer as naivedyam and serve as prasadam. (Serve warm).
If your jaggery is not refined or has some residue, then add 3/4 cup water in step 5.
Strain the jaggery syrup to remove the residue and move onto step 6.
You can also add raisins and some saffron soaked in warm milk to the pongal.