Jihva for Dal (part two) ~ The Tradition

Ingredients for Indira's Sweet Pongal

Ingredients for Indira’s Traditional Sweet Pongal

Jihva for ingredients

This recipe needs no introduction.

Indira’s Sweet Pongal, The Sankranthi Sweet

Told in brief ~ please see Indira’s Recipe for details.

I have wanted to make this for some time, and Jihva for Dal seemed the perfect opportunity. I followed Indira’s excellent, detailed instructions with two minor exceptions ~ I used four whole crushed cardamom pods and added them at the beginning, while cooking the rice and dal. Also, I used a pot on the stove rather than rice cooker or pressure cooker.

The rich aroma of moong dal toasting in ghee brought even my skeptical teenagers wafting into the kitchen to see what crazy mom was up to this evening 🙂

Fresh Milk, Jaggery, Cashews and Golden Raisins

Fresh milk and jaggery in Michigan pattern glass, cashews and golden raisins


Although I followed the directions *to the letter* …

Indira's Traditional Sweet Pongal

…mine doesn’t look near as good as Indira’s! Imagine that 🙂

My attempt at Sweet Pongal is my small tribute to the delights of traditional Indian cooking, and my second entry to Jihva for Dal. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things everyone else is cooking up!



  1. vineela said

    Hi Linda,
    Nice Sweet Pongal.This is our traditional sweet delicacy which we offer for god as “Nivedhyam/Prasadam” in every house and temples.Try this hot version also by adding rice,moongdal,salt, pepper,butter,cashewnuts without jaggery,cardamom,raisins ,milk.
    Which is called “Ven Pongal”.I hope you like that too.

    Vineela, you’re always so generous with your comments — thanks! I was a little hesitant to blog about this one since I know it holds a special place in Indian culture, and I’m not Indian. I do appreciate your suggestion and will certainly try it. Have never met a rice dish I don’t like 🙂

  2. That was a nice post linda, as vineela said this is a sure nivediyam for the god during all occasions.They look so yummy..This is called as sakara pongal in tamil..

    Thank you Sudah — and thanks for the tamil name too!

  3. ArSu said

    Hi Linda,
    Your sweet pongal looks so yummy.

    Thank you ArSu and welcome to my little corner — I was happy it tasted good on the first try 🙂

  4. Indira said

    Hey, what are you talking about? Your sweet pongal looks FABULOUS!

    I am delighted to see that you tried this recipe, Linda. Jaggery is little bit acquired taste when compared to sugar. I hope you and kids liked the end result. Also please do try it with sugar as Vineela mentioned. That is also one another way to prepare this sweet.

    Thanks and have a great July 4th weekend.

    Thank you Indira — it was a little ‘mushy’ I thought. Probably cooked too long and did not use whole milk, but lowfat. I have to cut corners on fat here and there. On jaggery vs (brown) sugar — I find jaggery tastes better. It’s a deeper, darker flavor and not overly sweet.

    Happy long weekend to you as well — perhaps Kittaya will have an extra treat? My kitties will be spoiled with salmon 😉

  5. Puspha said

    Looks divine.

    Thank you Pushpa!

  6. Arjuna said

    Great presentation Linda!

    Thank you, Arjuna 🙂 I thought of you today when I went to the asian grocery. No banana flowers this time; however they did have fresh drumsticks. Fresh as opposed to frozen, because they were looking pretty tired, but I was happy to see what they look like. That shop must get their veggies on Friday or Saturday — everything is very fresh on a Saturday morning.

  7. L.G said

    Acutally jaggery is good for you unlike sugar,esp since jaggery is full of iron.

    I didn’t know jaggery was a good source of iron, LG, thanks 🙂

  8. Archana said

    Hat’s off to you Linda, don’t even dare to think that your Pongal is not looking good. It looks fabulous, and i am even more impressed that you decided to give this traditional recipe a try !!!

    Thank you so much, Archana! I really enjoyed making it.

  9. Krithika said

    Your pongal looks great. I am really impressed that you decided to try a traditional south indian recipe.

    Thanks Krithika — your dumplings with rasam are on my list to try soon, too.

  10. Nav said

    Wow Linda! Great pictures and even greater enthusiasm 🙂

    Thanks, Nav 🙂

  11. sailaja said

    Wow, Linda. I am amazed at your enthusiasm. Way to go,Linda.
    Great looking sweet pongal.

    Thanks again, Sailaja! 🙂

  12. Vaishali said

    That was a great post, Linda. The containers you have used for milk and jaggery are quite unusual, I must say. Do they belong to a tea-set? It looks like that.

    Thank you again, Vaishali. The glass is Early American Pattern Glass — produced in the early 1900s. This pattern is called “Michigan”. I collect old glass, among other things, and it’s fun to use them sometimes. Thanks for asking!

  13. […] of the Garden – Linda’s Channa Dal Poha 8. Out of the Garden – Linda’s Sweet Pongal 9. Smorgasboard – Biblo’s Parathas stuffed with Sattu 10. One Hot Stove – […]

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