A bowl of sakkerai pongal, topped with cashews and raisins, in a blue bowl on a white wooden background.

During the four-day harvest festival of Pongal, celebrated by Tamil Hindu community of south India, Sakkarai pongal or sweet pongal is made. Flavoured with cardamom, this creamy pudding is made with rice, coconut milk, and split yellow mung beans, as well as cashews and raisins.  Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. KM Mathew. 

Yield/Servings serves 6

Sakkarai Pongal

5 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

50 minTotal Time

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  • 200 g (approx. 1 cup) short grain rice
  • 100 g (½ cup) split yellow mung dhal
  • 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk
  • 90g (½ cup) coconut sugar (or same volume of white sugar), to taste
  • 125ml (½ cup) ghee or melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 25 g (¼ cup) fried cashews
  • 85 g (½ cup) raisins


  • Cook the rice and set aside. You should have 750 ml (3 cups) of cooked rice.
  • Boil coconut milk. Add the dhal and cook for about 20 minutes, or until it's thick and soft (but not mushy).
  • Add rice, sugar, and ghee. Stirring occasionally, let the rice absorb the liquid, until it’s almost dry. Add cardamom and stir. Fold in cashews and raisins. Remove from heat and serve.

What’s a spoon or a cup?

This recipe was mentioned as part of my appearance on CBC-KW’s Sounds of the Season, 2019.