I had heard about this Karumbu Chaaru/ Sugarcane Juice Pongal sometime back, never tasted it and I had wanted to try it, but getting fresh sugarcane juice is a problem. For this Pongal festival, I had bought some sugarcane and I knew, we were not going to finish all of it by eating it as such, so I decided to make this Pongal. Extracting sugarcane juice is easy, if someone peeled and diced it for you, but I had to do it myself and with a kitchen knife, it took sometime. The method of making this Pongal is the same as as that of regular Pongal, except that we cook the rice and dal in the sugarcane juice itself. The final product was good, but I felt that it was not sweet enough and since I didn't have energy to extract more juice, I left it as such. Also I used the dark purple variety sugarcane, the juice from the green variety will be more sweeter. If you can get good sugarcane juice, then making this Pongal is a breeze..
Need To Have
- Raw Rice - 1/2 cup
- Moong Dal/ Husked, Split Green Gram - 1/4 cup
- Sugarcane Juice - 2 3/4cups
- Cashews - 1 tablespoon
- Golden Raisins - 1 tablespoon
- Ghee - 5 teaspoons
- Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Take the peeled, diced sugarcane pieces in a blender and blend it for a minute or two, till it looks like grated coconut.
Take by handfuls and squeeze the juice out of it, add the squeezed pulp back, blend it one more time, squeeze it one more time. Strain the juice and keep.
Saute the cashews and raisins in 1/2 teaspoon ghee till they turn golden, remove and keep.
Dry roast the moong dal till you get a nice aroma. Wash the rice and dal, add 21/4 cups sugarcane juice and pressure cook it, after one whistle, reduce the heat and cook for 7 to 8 minutes and switch off.
Once the pressure is completely released, open the cooker, add the remaining 1/2 cup juice, cardamom powder, cashews, raisins and the remaining ghee, mix till it's like a thick porridge, remove and serve warm.
Depending upon the sweetness of the juice, you can add another cup of juice to the cooked pongal, mix till the juice is all absorbed into the pongal, then add the cashews, raisins and ghee.
This pongal is much healthier, since we are using the juice in place of processed sugar.