I wanted to make Sugarcane Juice Pongal just to share this recipe with my friend Jyothi, who is a connoisseur of Sweet Pongal. 🙂 Her taste buds are finely attuned to detect the minutest of differences in the taste of Chakkara Pongal, and we have had many an adventure because of this.
I truly understood the depth of Jyothi’s passion Chakkara Pongali when did a 8-day pilgrimage of temples in the Madurai-Trichy region. At each of the temples, we would have sweet pongal as the prasadam and then go on to discuss how the taste of each is different. We even quizzed a couple of people at one temple to figure out why their’s tasted different. 🙂
Coming back to Sugarcane Juice Pongal (Cheruku Rasam Pongali in Telugu and Karumbu Chaaru Pongal in Tamizh/Tamil), I have been fascinated with this recipe since I read about it a while ago. The idea of cooking with Sugarcane Juice fascinated me and I also wondered how this Pongal would taste because Sugarcane Juice is not very sweet.
So this Sankranti, I decided to make this unique Pongal and it turned out to be quite nice. What I liked about this version of this traditional dish was that the sugarcane juice lent the dish just the right amount of sweetness with no discernible after taste.
This dish is not too sweet; in fact, it would only be borderline sweet because that is the nature of the sugarcane juice. If you wish for it to be sweeter, add some sugar or jaggery powder while the cooked Pongal is still warm.
Recipe for Sugarcane Juice Pongal | Cheruku Rasam Pongali | Karumbu Chaaru Pongal
Sugarcane Juice Pongal | Cheruku Rasam Pongali | Karumbu Chaaru Pongal
- 1/4 Cup Moong Dal
- 1/2 Cup Rice
- 2 Cups Sugarcane Juice
- 2 tbsp Sugar (Optional, See Notes)
- 1 Pinch Paccha Karpooram (Edible Camphor)
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 12 Cashew Halves
- Roast the Moong Dal till it starts to change colour.
- Wash the rice well and drain all the water.
- Add the roasted moong dal and Sugarcane Juice to rice.
- Pressure cook the rice-dal-juice mix for 1 whistle and then on medium heat for 10 minutes. You can also pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
- Let the pressure cooker cool and bit and then remove the cooked mix from it.
- Using a heavy ladle, mix the cooked rice-dal well so that the dal gets mashed.
- Add the edible camphor and mix well.
- In a ladle, heat the ghee, and fry the cashews till they start to change colour.
- Add the ghee and cashews to the Sugarcane Juice Pongal.
- Serve warm.