Akkaravadisal or paal pongal is a delicious sweet dish that is made on the auspicious day of Makara Sankranti or Pongal and also on the day of a few other festivals, as a naivedhyam to the God.

The main ingredients of this cuisine are milk, rice, moong dal, jaggery and ghee.

The other items like cashews, dry coconut gratings, dry grapes and almonds further enhance the richness and health value of akkaravadisal.

The akkaravadisal recipe has two key traits: It is easy to make and it can be made fast.

Do you have to use moong dal to make paal pongal? No, but if you do the dal gives the pongal a unique taste and you also get to benefit from the nutrients the dal provides.

Use jaggery, another main item of akkaravadisal, as a sweetener. Jaggery also enhances the taste of this food and is said to be good for the health.

Use sugar as a substitute for jaggery. Do note, however, sugar lacks the health qualities of jaggery.

The akkaravadisal gradually becomes thick as it cools down. So, you have to cook this sweet dish in a way it is initially more liquid. On the other hand, if you like this cuisine to be thick soon after you cook it, add more ghee and decrease the quantity of milk.

Here is the sweet pongal recipe, which does not use milk.

Here is the khara pongal recipe.

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Servings: 3-4


1. Rice 1/2 cup
2. Moong dal / hesaru bele / paasi paruppu / pesara pappu 1/4 cup
3. Milk 4 cups
4. Ghee 2-3 tablespoons or to taste
5. Jaggery pieces 3/4 cup or to taste

Jaggery, when compared to sugar, is said to be good for the health. Find out more about the jaggery benefits in the blog.
6. Cashew nuts 10-12
7. Badam / almonds 5-6
8. Dry grapes / raisins 8-10
9. Elaichi / cardamom / elakki powder 1/4 teaspoon
10. Dry coconut gratings 1 tablespoon

Akkaravadisal Recipe?

1. Dry fry rice and moong dal till these become hot.

akkaravadisal s1

akkaravadisal s1b
2. Wash rice-and-dal mixture together. Drain the water.

akkaravadisal s2

Cook moong dal and rice together in a pressure cooker, using 2-and-1/4-cups of milk, 1-cup of water and 1 teaspoon ghee.

akkaravadisal s2b

akkaravadisal s2c
3. Heat jaggery in a 1/4-cup of water.

akkaravadisal s3

Bring to boil. Cook till the jaggery dissolves.

akkaravadisal s3b

Strain the jaggery mixture slowly to remove any impurities present in the jaggery.

Jaggery syrup is ready

Keep aside.
4. Heat the remaining milk in a thick-bottom utensil.

akkaravadisal s4

Bring to boil.
5. Add the cooked rice-moong dal mixture.

Mix thoroughly.

akkaravadisal s6
6. Add the jaggery syrup. Mix.

akkaravadisal s6

Cook till the rice becomes soft.

akkaravadisal s6b
7. Heat 1 teaspoon of ghee in a utensil till the ghee becomes hot.

akkaravadisal s7
8. Add cashew nuts, badam and dry grapes. Mix.

Fry till the grapes swell.

akkaravadisal s9
9. Add the remaining ghee, fried nuts, cardamom powder and dry coconut gratings.

akkaravadisal s10


akkaravadisal s10b
10. Akkaravadisal, paal pongal or sweet pongal is ready.

akkaravadisal final

TIPS Akkaravadisal
1. If the pongal becomes too thick, add 1/4-1/2 cup of boiled milk and mix.
2. If you want the akkaravadisal to be richer and tastier, add more ghee.