Sweet Brown Rice Pongal / Sarkarai Pongal with Dates

It's time to celebrate prosperity, the festival of abundance. Happy Pongal to you and your family!  Our Pongal special is "Sweet/Sarkarai Pongal" with a slight variation using "Sweet Brown Rice" and Dates.

Pongal is a Hindu festival celebrated on the 1st day of the 10th month (Thai) according to the Lunar calendar. Traditionally on this auspicious day, freshly harvested rice is boiled with fresh milk and jaggery in clay pots. While boiling the concoction, people allow the milk to spill over the pot as an auspicious sign of abundance and prosperity. This Pongal is then seasoned with ghee, cashew nuts, and raisins usually. I have added dates to this recipe taken from my mom. Also, my ratio of dal is slightly on the higher side for more protein, you may reduce it to your taste. This being brown rice, I used the pressure cooker for an effortless cooking.

Sweet brown rice has a shiny and smooth exterior. Once it is cooked with lentils it tends to get mushy like our regular rice. Although this mushiness keeps the pongal from getting too dry /hard; cooked sweet brown rice retains a slight and perfect crunchiness with each bit that you will love. Without any delay let's get started with this "Sweet Brown Rice Pongal"...


Category: Dessert 
Cuisine: South Indian
Level: Easy
Serves: 5

Nutrition Facts
Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 649
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14 g21 %
Saturated Fat 5 g27 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg2 %
Sodium 28 mg1 %
Potassium 296mg8 %
Total Carbohydrate 119g40 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g21 %
Sugars 64 g
Protein 13 g25 %
Vitamin A7 %
Vitamin C1 %
Calcium8 %
Iron14 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
  1. Sweet Brown Rice (organic)- 1 cup
  2. Yellow Moong Dal (Paasi paruppu)- 1/2 cup
  3. Milk (Organic or A2) - 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup 
  4. Water - 3 cups
  5. Jaggery (powder) - 1 cup (check notes)
  6. Cardamom powder - 1/4 teaspoon
  7. Ghee - 2 tablespoons
  8. Raisins - 3 tablespoons
  9. Broken cashew nuts - 3 tablespoons
  10. Dates - 6-7 nos (pitted)

1. Rinse and soak the sweet brown rice for about an hour. Drain and set aside.

2. Lightly roast the dry moong dal for approximately 3 minutes until aromatic, making sure you do not brown it.

3. In a pressure cooker, take the drained rice, roasted moong dal along with half a cup of milk and 3 cups of water. Pressure cook for 2 whistles. 

4. Once the cooker is cooled, add the remaining milk(1/4 cup), jaggery powder, and cardamom powder (check notes). Bring this to a boil.

5. Heat the ghee in a tadka ladle or a small pan, and add the cashew nuts until it turns golden brown. You may add the raisins to puff up. But I prefer the raisins raw. 

6. Add the above along with raisins and dates (cut into fours lengthwise) and give it a good stir. Now it's ready to serve:)

1. Jaggery powder is readily available, which doesn't require grating/ crushing or straining the syrup. When heated it automatically dissolves.

2. Cardamom powder can be replaced with 2 pods of cardamom in ghee along with cashew nuts. Since we don't like it whole, I always have them stocked powdered.

3. Adding milk to cooked rice and dal adds flavor to the Pongal.

4. Sweet Brown Rice is available in whole foods.

Once again, Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous "Pongal O Pongal"! 


  1. Yum! Beautiful clicks and awesome set up.

  2. It was absolutely fantastic, tasted really good. I consider myself to be very lucky to taste Sweet Pongal on this auspicious Pongal day!!! Great job my friend!!! Keep up your good work!

  3. Thank You my friend for your feedback.. its pleasure sharing :) Glad you liked it!

  4. Love this set up. Straightaway bookmarking this dates version

  5. Thanks much Sowmya! You must try with dates on ur next as it accentuates the sarkarai pongal flavor.I never forget to add them ;)

  6. Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. diced dates supplier in Netherlands


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