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Chakrapongali/Sweet Sticky Indian Rice

With Dasara around the corner I thought of sharing a sweet which very often is made as offering to God. For every festival I remember my mom making 2 out of the following four items for prasadam - Palatalikalu, Chakrapongali, Garelu and Pulihora. Today I just wanted to share one of those which is also one of the famous offering in most of the temples - Chakra Pongali.
 Happy Navaratri and Happy Dasara Folks!!
1 cup Rice
1/2 cup Moong dal
2 cups Water + 1 cup Water
3 cups Milk
1 3/4 cups Brown sugar or 1 1/2 Jaggery grated fine
4 tbsp clarified Butter or ghee
Couple of pinches of Cardamom powder
pinch of edible Camphor (pacha karpuram)(Optional)
Cashews and Raisins
Small piece of dry coconut chopped into bite size pieces
Rinse the rice and moong dal and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp butter in a pan.Add cashews to the pan and fry till golden brown. Take the cashews out of the pan and set aside. Add the raisins to the pan and fry till they bulge. Take the raisins out of the pan and turn off the heat.
To a pressure cooker add the rice, moong dal, edible camphor, chopped coconut pieces, milk and 2 cups of water. Close the lid and place on medium high heat. Let it cook for 5 to 8 minutes or till the pressure comes out from top of the lid heavily. At this point place the whistle and cook it till 4 whistles. Take off the stove and let it rest till all the pressure is gone.
While the rice is cooking, heat another thick bottom pan on medium high. Add brown sugar and a cup of water. Let the sugar melt and let it come to a slight boil. Add the cardamon powder and turn off the heat. Let the sugar syrup mixture cool.
Once the rice is done and sugar mixture is Luke warm, take the lid off the cooker and place it on medium heat. Add the sugar mixture to the rice mixture stirring simultaneously. Let everything incorporate and let it cook for 5 minutes for it to thicken. Add in the ghee, cashews and raisins. Mix well and turn off the heat.
I use brown sugar as I do not like the quality of Jaggery in states. If you have fresh and good Jaggery on hand, use it for this dish with no second thought. The close substitution for Jaggery is Brown sugar. If using Jaggery strain the syrup first before adding to the rice to get rid of impurities.
Do not add hot sugar or jaggery syrup to the rice mixture.


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