Banana Pongal, Sweet South Indian Banana Porridge
by Tarla Dalal
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Here is a traditional South Indian treat, which is prepared during most religious functions, especially during the harvest festival of Sankrant .
Of a consistency similar to khichdi, the Sweet Banana Pongal features a jaggery-flavoured mixture of cooked rice and lentils, served with a garnish of chopped bananas. An assortment of spices are used to impart an intense flavour to this rich dish.
As a variant, you can add a few crushed cloves too to the tempering to get a spicier taste. Make sure you lace the Sweet Pongal with melted ghee, as that boosts the aroma and flavour tremendously.
- Combine the dals in abroad non-stick pan and dry roast on a medium flame for 5 minutes.
- Combine the roasted dals, rice, milk and 2½ cups of water in a pressure cooker, mix well and pressure cook for 6 whistles.
- Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Keep aside.
- Combine the jaggery and ¾ cup of water in a deep non-stick pan, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 7 minutes, while stirring continuously.
- Add the cooked rice-dal mixture, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 4 minutes ,while stirring continuously. Keep aside.
- For the tempering, heat the ghee in a small non-stick pan, add the cashewnuts and raisins and sauté on a slow flame for 2 minutes.
- Add the tempering to the jaggery-rice mixture, along with cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and saffron, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 1 minute, while stirring occasionally.
- Add the bananas, mix well and serve immediately topped with melted ghee.
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