Today is Vaikunda Ekadasi festival and happy to share this nivedhanam!! Sakkarai Pongal is the sweet made for the Pongal festival.. It is simple and easy to do.. Love these food that are so simple, yet so traditional and so authentic.. I have added 6 table spoons of ghee, but feel free to add more.. Sakkarai Pongal can take all the ghee and will not complain. You could also make this like a evening tiffin..
Rice – 1 ¼ cups
Paasi Parupu – 1 cup
Salt – A pinch
Ghee – 6 table spoons (can add up to 10 table spoons)
Water – 4 cups + 1/4 cup
Cashew – 1 table spoon
Milk – 1 cup
Raisins - 1 table spoon
Edible Camphor - A pinch (optional)
Nutmeg Powder - 1/8 tea spoon
Cardamom Powder - 1/8 tea spoon
Jaggery - 1 1/2 cups - 2 cups (adjust to taste)
Dry roast the rice and parupu for 2 minutes.
Wash and clean the rice and the parupu and put it in the pressure cooker with 4 cups water and milk
Add 3 table spoons cashew to the ghee
Once the cashew is golden brown, add the raisins and allow it to lightly become plumpy. Remove from heat and set aside
Heat jaggery and water in a pan and when the jaggery is dissolved, filter the jaggery water to remove impurities
Bring the jaggery water to a rolling boil and add the mashed rice and parupu mixture
Add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and edible camphor, salt and mix well
Add little more hot milk if desired to reach the consistency
Mix the above well
Once the mixture is well mixed, add 2 more table spoons of ghee and the cashews and raisins.
Now the Sakkarai Pongal is ready to be served hot!
About Vaikunda Ekadasi – from wiki – “According the to Vishnu Purana, fasting on Vaikuntha Ekadashi is equivalent to fasting on the remaining 23 Ekadashis of the (Hindu) year. However according to Vaishnava tradition fasting is mandatory on all Ekadashi of both Shukla paksha and Krishna paksha. Fasting on Ekadashi is considered holier than any other religious observation.
Vishnu opened the gate of Vaikuntham (his abode) for two demons in spite of their being against him. They also asked for the boon that whoever listens to their story and sees the image of Vishnu coming out of the door (called Dwar), called Vaikunth Dwar, will reach Vaikunth as well. Temples all over India make a door kind of structure on this day for devotees to walk through.
According to Padma Purana, the female energy of Vishnu slayed the demon Muran and protects the 'Devas'. This happened on the eleventh day of lunar month during the sun's journey in the Dhanurrashi or Dhanu Rashi. Impressed by the act, Vishnu names her as 'Ekadashi' and gives her the boon that those who worship 'Ekadashi' on the day of her victory over Muran would reach 'Vaikunth' (His abode).
Vaikuntha Ekadashi is one of the important and auspicious days for Hindus. It is dedicated to Vishnu. It occurs in the Hindu calendar, in the month of Margashirsha (between December and January). When observed, it bestows liberation from the cycle of birth and death.”