The pongal recipe here does not use pressure cooker to cook the rice. Instead, rice and moong dal are cooked in a vessel(directly kept under the stove) by adding water and milk. Once it is cooked thoroughly, jaggery is added. Finally it is garnished with cashew and raisins and flavoured with cardomom powder.
Here is the recipe..
Ingredients for pongal to serve 8 adults for dessert
Raw rice: 1 cup(not basmati or atleast I have not tried with Basmati) Yellow moong dal: 1/4 cup Water: 2 cups or more Almond milk: 2 cups(I used homemade, recipe below) Jaggery: 2 1/2 cups Vanaspathi/Vegetable Oil: 1 tsp(I used sunflower brand vanaspathi) Cashew and raisins: 1 or 2 tsps of each Cardomom powder: 1/ tsp
1. Dry roast moong dal for 1 or 2 minutes and keep aside. 2. Wash rice and drain water(it is OK if some water remains) 3. Add rice and dal in a thick bottomed vessel(it is preferred to use thick bottomed narrow mouthed vessel. I used "vengala paanai", which translates to bronze pot) 4. Add 2 cups of water to the rice and keep the vessel in the stove and set the flame to medium. 5. While rice is getting cooked, stir occasionally so that it does not get stuck at the bottom. 6. Once the water is evaporated and the rice comes to semi solid consistency, add 2 cups of almond milk and allow to boil. 7. Check if rice is cooked after around 15 to 20 minutes. If it is still not cooked and water content is less, add some more water, not more than 1/4 cup at a time. 8. Once rice is completely cooked(it would take around 30 minutes), add jaggery and stir well. 9. When jaggery is melted, it again comes to a watery consistency. 10. Set the flame to low and allow it to boil for sometime. 11. After around 5 to 10 minutes, pongal would come to a semi solid consistency. 12. Put off the stove at this point. 13. For garnishing, heat vanaspati/oil in a pan. Add raisins. Once it becomes fluffy, add it to pongal. In the remaining vanaspati, add cashew. Once it turns golden brown, transfer it and the left over vanaspati to pongal. 14. Add cardomom powder to pongal and mix well. 15. Serve it warm.
Note Jaggery should be added only after the rice is cooked completely. When a small quantity of rice is put in a bowl and pressed with the fingers, it should get mashed easily. When the rice is completely cooked, it should be of semi solid consistency and not watery. Adding jaggery would make the rice a bit watery again. So before adding the jaggery if the rice is watery, heating for more time might not bring it to the right consistency. So, care should be taken not to add excess water when the rice is getting cooked.
Recipe for almond milk
I first made almond milk at home for this Bread pudding recipe. 1. Soak half cup of almonds in 2 cups of water and keep in the fridge overnight. 2. The next day grind the almond in a mixer by adding 1/2 cup water(which was used for soaking) until it is smooth. 3. Add the rest of the water and grind just for few seconds. 4. Strain the blended almond and almond milk is ready. For pongal, I soaked almonds for just 3 hours. I also did not strain the blended milk.
Do have a look at Vaishali's blog for pressure cooker version of dairy free pongal which is much easier to make than this tradional method.