Paal Pongal ( Milk Pongal)
The first time I tasted this Pongal, I still remember – was just incredible. The taste was so so perfect. I had an opportunity to live in Trichy for some years after my wedding. Both me and my husband were very active in the Rotary Club. It was there I got to see Maheshwari Gunasekar. We became very close. She had called us home for a get together. She made this Pongal. Simply Classy. I learnt this recipe from her. Since then this Pongal has become our family favourite, especially my daughter loves it. I am very happy to share this recipe. It takes almost an hour and half to make this dish. Towards the end be very careful as it will start to splatter. Cover and cook on sim flame so that your kitchen back splash will not get soiled. Also use a big ladle to stir.
Raw rice – 1 cup ( washed and soaked in water for 20 minutes )
Boiled milk – 9 cups ( I have used full cream milk )
Light goldencolour jaggery moulded to small squares ( Achu Vellam)
Choose a light coloured jaggery – 1/2 kilo ( a 1/2 kilo packet will have about 26 to 28 pieces of these jaggery pieces )
You can see the image of Achu Vellam in the picture on top
Water – 1 cup + 1 cup
Ghee – 3 tablespoons
Halved cashew nuts – little
Raisins – 2 tablespoons
Heat a big thick bottomed pan. Add 1 cup water. When the water starts to boil, add the drained rice. Cook on medium flame for 5 minutes. Once the rice mix starts to boil add 1 cup of milk.Keep adding milk little by little. Cook on sim flame. Now, the rice would be soft and mushy. Once all the milk is used up, and the rice would have cooked nicely, the whole mix will become soft and creamy, leave it on sim flame.
Heat another pan. Add 1 cup water. Once the water boils, add the jaggery pieces. Cook till the jaggery dissolves . Boil for 10 minutes on sim flame. Switch off the stove.
Now, strain this jaggery syrup into the simmering Pongal. Cook on sim flame till nice and thick. Season. Switch off the stove. Serve hot.
1) Using this Achu Vellam gives a very nice rendering flavour to the Pongal.
2) Choose a light golden coloured Achu Vellam to give a beautiful golden colour to the Pongal.
3) Cook only on sim flame so that it will not discolour.