Made specially during Pongal in all South Indian homes, this sweet rice variety will definitely be a favorite among those with a sweet tooth. Given as a prasad in a lot of temples, this brings back old memories of families getting together.
1. Add 1 tsp ghee to a bowl and add the moong dal. Fry until you can smell the aroma and it starts to change color.
2. Wash the rice and add to the bowl. Add water and let the rice cook completely. I added about 3 cups of water. Rice should be really soft and not too dry. Add a little milk at the end if it gets too dry. Once done, switch off the stove and smash the rice.
3. Grate the jaggery so it is easy to melt. I have added 1/2 cup. Depending about the sweetness of your jaggery you might need to increase or decrease this quantity. When in doubt start with less and increase the quantity. It is easier to add more than to have it too sweet. Add the jaggery to a bowl and enough to cover it and let it melt. Once melted, add the cooked rice and moong dal.
4. Taste now to see if it needs more sweetness. If needed, add more melted jaggery. Let it cook in low flame for five mins and keep steering. Add 1 tbsp ghee and let it simmer for a min. Switch off the stove.
5. In the meanwhile, heat a kadai and add the remaining ghee. Fry the cashews and raisins until the cashews turn golden brown. Mix it with the rice.
6. Add freshly ground cardamom powder or store bought one along with edible camphor powder. You can find this in Indian stores. I bought mine from India. You can skip it if you don't have. This gives that unique flavor that you can taste when they give pongal at the temple. Serve it hot!