I always make chakkara pongali with moong dal (pesara pappu); I had to improvise and make it with channa dal because I was out of moong dal. To my surprise, the taste was equally good, so here is the recipe.
Brown sugar, rice, and chana dal (Bengal gram)
Take a pan add few spoons of ghee and fry raisins in it. Keep it aside and in the same pan add chana dal and fry, stirring occasionally so that it does not get burned.
Now add washed rice, 3 cups of water and let it cook. This should take about 30 minutes.
Add sugar of your choice, remaining ghee, raisins, and crushed or powdered elachi. Let this cook for another 5 minutes.
- I make this dish without coconut and cashews as my kids are severely allergic to them. But these can be added. Actually this is a good Indian sweet for kids suffering with allergies as coconut, cashews, and also milk are not used. I know some kids are allergic to chana dal, but this should work for many.
- I have tried this with organic cane sugar and brown sugar, both are really tasty. Once you get used to this, with regular white sugar it is not quite the same. As I have to omit coconut and cashews for my family, using brown sugar in place of white sugar enhances the taste of this dish.
- Chana dal was cooked well, but it was not as soft as moong dal would become. If you prefer very soft texture of the dal, then let the dal cook for 10 minutes before you add rice.
Rice – 1 cup
Chana dal (Bengal gram) – ½ cup
Brown sugar – 1 ½ cup
Ghee – ¼ cup
Raisins (yendu draksha) – few
Cardamom (Elachi) – 3 to 5
- In a pan add ghee and fry raisins. Keep them aside.
- In the same pan add chana dal and fry until light brown.
- Add washed rice, 3 to 4 cups of water and cook this until rice and dal are soft.(adjust water according to the method you are using to cook this; pressure cooker takes less water, whereas open pot takes more. Also it depends on whether this was cooked mostly on low heat or medium heat.)
- Add sugar, remaining ghee, raisins, and cardamom. Stir and cook another 5 minutes.