This month, I am very late in posting my dish for the ' Shhhhh Cooking Secretly ' challenge, I was paired with Nalini Suresh, she had given me Kothiraivali/ Barnyard Millet and Vellam/ Jaggery as the secret ingredients. I was kind of very busy this month and hardly cooked anything, but I didn't want to miss the post, so finally, yesterday, I made this sakkarai pongal with barnyard millet. I thought I'll make a kesari ( sweet dish, usually made with semolina and sugar ), using kothiraivali and replacing the sugar with jaggery, but after finishing the dish, I understood that, when sugar is replaced with jaggery, the dish gets the taste of pongal. This is such a simple dish, can be done in under 30 minutes, but the taste was awesome, I felt that it tasted even better than the regular sakkarai pongal that we do with rice. And since we are using millets and jaggery, I can definitely say, it's a very healthy sweet or dessert when compared to other sweets made with white rice, flour and sugar..
Need To Have
- Kothiraivali/ Barnyard Millet - 1 cup
- Jaggery - 2 cups
- Cashews - 8 to 10, broken into small pieces
- Golden Raisins - 2 tablespoons
- Ghee - 6 teaspoons
- Elaichi/ Green Cardamom - 5
Heat the jaggery with 1/4 cup water, strain and keep. Heat 1 teaspoon ghee, add the cashews and raisins, saute till the raisins puff up and the cashews turn golden, remove and keep. To the same pot, add another teaspoon of ghee, add washed and drained millet and toast it for 2 minutes.
Now add about 31/2 to 4 cups water, bring it to a boil, cover and cook on reduced heat till soft and done.
Add the jaggery syrup now and mix well, without any lumps. Mix in the cardamom powder, cashews and raisins, finally add the 4 teaspoons of ghee, mix and serve it warm.
After the millet is cooked, when you mix in the jaggery, cardamom, cashews and raisins and ghee, keep the heat very low.
I have removed the outer skin of the cardamom, removed the seeds from inside, pounded and used it, when done like this, the flavor is awesome.