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Ponggal rice

Made with fresh rice of the first harvest to signify the end of the winter solstice, Ponggal rice is offered to gods and goddesses before sharing with family and friends. There are many variations of Ponggal rice—including savoury ones—but this sweet version is commonly prepared by Malaysian-Tamils who observe the annual Ponggal festival.  

 

Tableware by Ilham Ceramic Studio.

Ponggal rice

by Mervyn Raj

Made with fresh rice of the first harvest to signify the end of the winter solstice, Ponggal rice is offered to gods and goddesses before sharing with family and friends. There are many variations of Ponggal rice—including savoury ones—but this sweet version is commonly prepared by Malaysian-Tamils who observe the annual Ponggal festival.  

 

Tableware by Ilham Ceramic Studio.

Servings: 6

Ponggal rice

Servings: 6

1 cup uncooked white rice

875ml water

240g jaggery

4 tbsp ghee

⅓ cup cashews

⅓ cup raisins 

Pinch cardamom powder

Salt to taste

  1. Rinse the rice and soak for about 1 hour. Strain the water and set aside. 
  2. Pour 875ml water into a claypot or heavy bottom pot. Set the pot on a stove and turn the heat to medium. Once the water begins to simmer, reduce the flame to low, add the rice and cook until it has the consistency of thick porridge, between 13 to 15 minutes. 
  3. In another smaller pot, add the jaggery and a splash of water. Put it over a stove on medium heat. Stir the jaggery as it heats so that it does not stick to the base. Add more water if needed—the ideal consistency is that of very thick paint.
  4. Once the jaggery begins to bubble, take it off the heat, and pour it over the rice. Stir well. The rice grains will separate at this point.
  5. Add salt, cardamom powder, and 2 tbsp of ghee. Mix well and continue cooking for about 8-10 minutes until the rice is very well cooked and soft.
  6. In the meantime, heat another skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Fry the cashews and raisins with the remaining 2 tbsp of ghee until fragrant and darkened in colour. 
  7. The rice is cooked when it has the consistency of moist cooked glutinous rice and holds its shape when formed into small balls.
  8. Stir the fried cashews and raisins along with the ghee into the rice and mix well. Eat while warm.

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked white rice

875ml water

240g jaggery

4 tbsp ghee

⅓ cup cashews

⅓ cup raisins 

Pinch cardamom powder

Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice and soak for about 1 hour. Strain the water and set aside. 
  2. Pour 875ml water into a claypot or heavy bottom pot. Set the pot on a stove and turn the heat to medium. Once the water begins to simmer, reduce the flame to low, add the rice and cook until it has the consistency of thick porridge, between 13 to 15 minutes. 
  3. In another smaller pot, add the jaggery and a splash of water. Put it over a stove on medium heat. Stir the jaggery as it heats so that it does not stick to the base. Add more water if needed—the ideal consistency is that of very thick paint.
  4. Once the jaggery begins to bubble, take it off the heat, and pour it over the rice. Stir well. The rice grains will separate at this point.
  5. Add salt, cardamom powder, and 2 tbsp of ghee. Mix well and continue cooking for about 8-10 minutes until the rice is very well cooked and soft.
  6. In the meantime, heat another skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Fry the cashews and raisins with the remaining 2 tbsp of ghee until fragrant and darkened in colour. 
  7. The rice is cooked when it has the consistency of moist cooked glutinous rice and holds its shape when formed into small balls.
  8. Stir the fried cashews and raisins along with the ghee into the rice and mix well. Eat while warm.

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© Copyright Periuk 2021

© Copyright Periuk 2021