Sweet Pongal / Chakkarai Pongal is a delicious South Indian sweet made especially to celebrate Pongal – the Harvest Festival of Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, Sweet Pongal is made using rice, moong dal, jaggery, ghee, dry fruits and flavoured with cardamom powder. However, in this recipe, we will see how to make this delicacy using Little Millet in an Instant Pot Pressure & Stovetop Pressure Cooker.

What is Pongal Festival

India is a land of festivals. Pongal is a four-day-long harvest festival celebrated in South India, in the month of “Thai”(January-February). This is the season when crops like rice, sugarcane, turmeric etc. are harvested. In Tamil Language, Pongal means “to boil”, and this festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving to the Sun God for the year’s harvest. Pongal also happens to be the name of the dish consumed during this festive time. This three-day harvest festival is one of the most popular festivals in Tamil Nadu. It typically falls on the 14th or 15th of January.

Instant Pot Sweet Pongal

Hailing from Tamil Nadu, this is one festival that I always look forward to. Mainly for food. Pongal, Vada, Gothsu and Sweet Pongal are the specialties for this day. Of course, also the Sugarcane! Though I am not a fan of sugarcane anymore, I used to love it back then. Traditionally, Pongal is cooked in in an earthen pot or a brass pot. My mom to date prefers to make Pongal in the Brass Pot. Sometimes, it is not practical for many of us to make Pongal in this way. Why worry when we have a Pressure Cooker? Get ready with your Instant Pot or your Stovetop Pressure Cooker to prepare this rich and delicious sweet.

Sweet Pongal

I am a dessert lover and I always look forward to Festivals to eat a variety of sweets. As you all know, no Festival in India is complete without a sweet. Pongal Festival is not an exception to this. Sweet Pongal/Chakkarai Pongal is made on this day to make this festival special. Traditionally, freshly harvested rice is cooked in milk in a clay or brass pot. The pot is beautifully decorated with sandal, kumkum, turmeric. Once the milk boils over, the Pongal is sweetened by adding jaggery to it. The main flavouring comes from cardamom powder and ghee. As a finishing touch, Cashews & Raisins are fried in ghee and added to the Pongal. Can the celebration get any better?

Sweet Pongal is not only prepared during this festival, but we also make it for many other festivals as an offering to God. I often make this Pongal when I feel like eating something sweet. Because, it is very simple to prepare and the ingredients required are very minimal.

Ingredients needed

Ingredients

Millet -Use any variety of millet. I have used Little Millet (Saamai in Tamil) in this recipe

Yellow moong Dal

Jaggery – The hero of this dish. Make sure you use good quality jaggery with enough sweetness and of course a nice dark colour.

Ghee – Makes this dish more rich and special.

Milk & Water – Omit milk and use just water too!

Cardamom Powder – For a nice flavour and aroma.

Cashews & Raisins – I literally wait to eat this one!

Why should we make Sweet Pongal in Instant Pot

It is very easy and convenient to use the Instant Pot to make Pongal. We finish the entire process from roasting the nuts and dal to cooking the Pongal in the same Pot. Like always, Instant Pot reduces our time in the kitchen for this recipe too. Some of you might be doubtful if this recipe would turn out good in an Instant Pot. Trust me. Every time I tried this recipe in Instant Pot, the result has been delicious and consistent. It tastes just the same as the stovetop version but a lot easier. My mom still prefers making Pongal in her brass pot. For this Pongal festival, I have convinced her to try at least one Pongal Variety in Instant Pot. Because it’s worth the shot!

Sweet Pongal in Instant Pot

Can this Sweet Pongal be made Vegan

Traditional Pongal uses milk & a good amount of ghee. But, Yes! This recipe can be made Vegan.
I haven’t tried making it Vegan but you can omit the milk and use just water to make the Pongal. Or, use any plant-based milk in its place. Use any flavourless oil in place of ghee. If using oil, add just a tsp. Not more than that.

Step by Step Instructions

Wash the millet and soak it in enough water for 30 minutes.

In an Instant Pot, press the SAUTE button. Add a tablespoon of ghee into the pot. Once the pot gets hot, add cashew nuts and roast till they turn golden brown Then add raisins and fry them till plump. Remove and keep aside.

Now, add moong dal and roast for less than a minute till the dal turns light brown in colour. Also, a nice aroma would come. Make sure you don’t roast till dal turns brown.

Instructions

Next, drain the water from the millet and add it to the Pot. Add milk & water. Give a good mix.

Close the lid and turn pressure valve to SEALING position.Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and set timer to 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

Meanwhile, add a cup of boiling water to the jaggery. Make sure the jaggery is completely melted.

Now, open the lid and mash the millet dal mixture. It should be mushy in texture.

On Saute mode, Strain the melted jaggery into the millet dal mixture.

Instructions

Finally, add the roasted nuts ,ghee and cardamom powder. Give a good mix until everything is combined together.

Instructions

If you feel the texture is too loose, don’t worry. Sweet Pongal thickens as it cools. If the texture is already thick, add some hot water and make it a little loose. Traditionally, that is how it is supposed to be. Serve hot.

How to make this Sweet Pongal in Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Wash the millet and soak it in enough water for 30 minutes.

Melt ghee in a cooker and roast the moong dal over medium heat for a few minutes. Make sure the colour of the dal doesn’t change. Once you get the nice aroma of the dal add the millet.

Now, add water & milk. Cover and let it cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a medium heat.

In another pan,  add ghee. Once it melts, add cashews and roast till golden brown. Now, add the raisins and fry till it becomes plump. Remove and keep aside. Now, in the same pan, add powdered jaggery, enough water to cover it and melt the jaggery. Strain the jaggery syrup to collect any impurities.

Open the cooker once the pressure is released. Mash the millet dal mixture till it’s mushy. Now, add the jaggery syrup to the cooked millet and dal and mix well. Finally add cardamom powder, roasted nuts and enough ghee and mix well. Cook for just a few minutes and turn off the heat.

Serve hot.

Instant Pot Sweet Pongal

Notes

Use any millet of your choice or use Rice to make the traditional Sweet Pongal.

I always use 1:4 Moong Dal to Rice/Millet. But, you can adjust according to your preference.

The amount of jaggery used varies on the type of jaggery. Each jaggery has its own level of sweetness. So, taste your jaggery and add accordingly.

Also, the Colour of the Pongal depends on the colour of the jaggery.

Use good quality ghee and be generous while adding ghee in this recipe.

Though roasting the moong dal is optional, it is highly recommended. It gives a nice flavour to the Pongal. Make sure you don’t roast till it turns brown.

Make sure the rice and dal are cooked well. The consistency should be mushy.

Temple style Pongal uses a bit of edible camphor while tempering in ghee. If available, do use it. Gives a lovely flavour.

Pongal thickens as it cools. So, add some hot water to it and adjust consistency.

Sweet Pongal In Instant Pot

Check my other Instant Pot Sweet Recipes

Semiya Kesari / Vermicelli Kheer

Paal Payasam / Rice Kheer

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Stovetop Pressure Cooker

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Instant Pot Sweet Pongal
Sweet Pongal Instant Pot
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Sweet Pongal In Instant Pot & Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Sweet Pongal / Chakkarai Pongal is a delicious South Indian sweet made especially to celebrate Pongal – the Harvest Festival of Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, Sweet Pongal is made using rice, moong dal, jaggery, ghee, dry fruits and flavoured with cardamom powder. However, in this recipe, we will see how to make this delicacy using Little Millet in an Instant Pot Pressure & Stovetop Pressure Cooker.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chakkarai Pongal, Chakkarai Pongal Recipe, Cooker Chakkarai Pongal, Easy Pongal, Instant Pot Sweet Pongal, Pongal, Pongal recipe, Sakkarai Pongal, Sweet Pongal, Sweet Pongal Recipe
Author: Gayathri Vijayakumar

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Little Millet Use any other millet variety or rice
  • 1/4 cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • 2 cups Jaggery
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 4 tbsp Ghee
  • 15 Cashewnuts
  • 2 tbsp Raisins Optional

Instructions

To make Sweet Pongal in Instant Pot

  • Wash the millet and soak it in enough water for 30 minutes.
  • In an Instant Pot, press the SAUTE button. Add 2 tablespoons of ghee into the pot.Once the pot gets hot, add cashew nuts and roast till they turn golden brown. Then ,add raisins and fry them till plump. Remove and keep aside.
  • Now, add moong dal and roast for less than a minute till thedal turns light brown in colour. Also, a nice aroma would come. Make sure youdon't roast till dal turns brown.
  • Next, drain the water from the millet and add it to the Pot.Add milk & water. Give a good mix.
  • Close the lid and turn pressure valve to SEALING position.Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK(High Pressure) and set timer to 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Meanwhile, add a cup of boiling water to the jaggery. Mix well until the jaggery is completely melted.
  • Now, open the lid and mash the millet dal mixture. It shouldbe mushy in texture.
  • Strain the melted jaggery into the millet dal mixture.
  • Finally, add the roasted nuts ,ghee and cardamom powder. Give a good mix until everything is combined together.

To make Sweet Pongal In Stovetop Pressure Cooker

  • Wash the millet and soak it in enough water for 30 minutes.
  • Melt ghee in a cooker and roast the moong dal over mediumheat for a few minutes. Make sure the colour of the dal doesn't change. Onceyou get the nice aroma of the dal add the millet.
  • Now, add water & milk. Let it cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a medium heat.
  • In another pan,  add 2 tbsp ghee. Once it melts, add cashews and roast till golden brown. Now, add the raisins and fry till it becomesplump. Remove and keep aside. Now, in the same pan, add powdered jaggery,enough water to cover it and melt the jaggery. Strain the jaggery syrup tocollect any impurities.
  • Open the cooker once pressure is released. Mash the millet dal mixture till its mushy. Now, add the jaggery syrup to the cooked millet and dal and mix well. Finally, add cardamom powder, roasted nuts and of the ghee and mix well. Turn off the heat.Serve hot.

Notes

I have used standard measuring cups for this recipe.
If you feel the texture is too loose, don’t worry. Sweet Pongal thickens as it cools. If the texture is already thick, add some hot water and make it a little loose. Traditionally, that is how it is supposed to be. Serve hot.
Use any millet of your choice or use Rice to make the traditional Sweet Pongal.
I always use 1:4 Moong Dal to Rice/Millet. But, you can adjust according to your preference.
The amount of jaggery used varies on the type of jaggery. Each jaggery has its own level of sweetness. So, taste your jaggery and add accordingly. Also, the Colour of the Pongal depends on the colour of the jaggery.
Use good quality ghee and be generous while adding ghee in this recipe.
Though roasting the moong dal is optional, it is highly recommended. It gives a nice flavour to the Pongal. Make sure you don’t roast till it turns brown.
You can also dry roast moong dal and soak moong dal along with millet/rice. 
Make sure the rice and dal are cooked well. The consistency should be mushy.
Temple style Pongal uses a bit of edible camphor while tempering in ghee. If available, do use it. Gives a lovely flavour.