Festival Recipes, Pongal

Iyengar Chakkara Pongal with Brown Rice | Festival Recipes

This was an impetus that gave me a fillip to plunge into the Mega Grains BM currently on the blog. Having several versions of Chakkara Pongal here and here, I adapted Sandhya’s recipe fully  (Except to sub the white rice with Brown Rice) and my family loved the healthy twist to the Pongal. I made this in January for the Pongal festival and also shared it on my Instagram. This is one of the few that appears first on IG and then on my blog 🙂

Whatever the reason may be, if you have a sweet tooth and don’t want to wait for the next pongal festival, then try this soon and let me know how you liked it !


Other off-beat Pongal varieties you may like:

Prep time – 15 mins, Cook time – 20~25 mins, Serves:  2~4 generously

Cuisine : South Indian, Course : Dessert / Festival / Naivedyam for God


Brown Rice – 1 cup

Moong Dal / split green gram – 2 TBSP

Grated Jaggery – 2 1/2 cups ( I used Paagu Vellam)

Ghee – 3 TBSP (split use)

Milk – 1.5 cups

Pachaikarpooram (edible camphor) – tiny pinch

Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp

Saffron threads – few

Nutmeg powder – 1/8 tsp (opt. but recommended)

Almonds – sliced thin or halved – 4 to 5 (can sub with cashews)

Golden Raisins – 1 tsp


Wash brown rice well and soak for at least 30 mins. In the meanwhile, roast the moong dal till fragrant. Also, powder cardamom, slice the almonds and fry raisins and almonds in tsp ghee for 30-45 seconds till golden and crunchy and keep aside. 

How to:

In a deep bottomed vessel, add the soaked and drained rice, roasted moong dal, half of the saffron strands, Milk, and 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Once the pressure comes down, mash up the mixture and keep aside.

In a thick bottomed pan / non stick, melt the jaggery with little water. If the jaggery is of high quality, no need to strain. Else strain and return to the non stick pan. Now add the cooked rice-dal-milk mixture and slowly mix on low flame for 10-15 mins till it mixes well and comes together as a mass. Add the remaining ghee now along with the edible camphor and cardamom powder. If using nutmeg, add at the very end.

Serve warm topped with the fried nuts.

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  1. vaishali sabnani

    I am watching a telly show Dakshin Dairies and this is the Pongal he first taught . He was so lavish with ghee , I kept drooling over them .And now I am drooling over your version !

  2. Yummy pongal with brown rice and jaggery. Looks delicious.

  3. Suma Gandlur

    Brown rice version makes the pongal a tad bit healthier and sweet pongals in all versions taste divine.
    Are saffron and nutmeg the Iyengar touch here? I always wonder about the name. Does chakkara mean sugar here? Andhra version is called chakra pongali which makes no sense to me.

  4. Nutmeg and edible camphor adds the kovil pongal touch naa. I am yet to try the brown rice version. Love this version. It has come soft. Perfect pick for I

  5. This is a lovely twist to the regular one, I make it every week, so maybe I can try this once!..very nice one.

  6. Gayathri Kumar

    I have never added pachaikarpooram in pongal. Guess that is what gives its unique flavour. With brown rice, the pongal looks fantastic.

  7. Wow! the addition of edible camphor adds the extra oopmh to the traditional chakkara pongal.

  8. Sharmila Kingsly

    I got to try this iyengar version and the spices gives a nice punch to the pongal…

  9. cookwithrenu

    wow edible camphor, I had heard of it but never thought of using it. This looks a very flavourful and a healthy rice.

  10. I tried this from your blog earlier.. and now like this twist with Edible sugar.. looks delcious and sounds so flavourful.

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