It also happens to be one of my husband's favorites... he often tells me that during Pongal festival, their neighbors would often send them both sweet and spicy pongal and as kids they would go raring over it and relish it unendingly. I rarely find him asking me to make something specific, but when these reminiscences of childhood bring back fond memories and he insisted I make some of this for him I couldn't refuse. This happens to be a common dish in most Tamilian homes during this festival.
3/4th cup moong dal
1 cup rice
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups jaggery
1 tsp freshly pound cardamom powder
Handful of raisins and cashewnuts
3 tbsp of clarified butter / ghee
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
Wash, clean and pressure cook the dal and rice with 4 cups of water for 3-5 whistles. Alternatively cook them in a vessel till they are well done and mushy. Once cooked, add a cup of milk and jaggery and bring it to a gentle boil. Gently mash them using a spatula.
In a separate pan, heat 3 tbsp of ghee. Fry the cashewnuts and raisins and add to the pongal. Add the powdered cardamoms finally in the end. Mix well and serve hot.
Be sure to serve this with a massive dollop of ghee. Every morsel of this sweet pongal is heavenly and that dollop of ghee only elevates this experience. Rice and dal have starch which make this sticky on tongue if no fat is added. Adding ghee will balance the starch and enhance the flavors. Our fussy daughter is too choosy about food and variety. While she shuns the regular dal-chaawal combo, she happily enjoyed this Pongal and that gave me immense satisfaction.