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Chakkera Pongali / Sweetened Rice

Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

Prep Time:15 mins   Cooking Time:5 mins   Cuisine:Indian

Chakkera Pongali is the other name of Sweetened Rice in my Mother Tongue, Telugu (A South Indian Regional Language). Its mainly, by default , prepared / preferred during a festival called MakaraSankranthi during Janaury, especially in South Indian states. Its not said this dish cannot be made any other time of the year/occasion.

I prepare this sweet dish every year compulsorily for Sankranthi.Today, is exactly one month for me starting this food blog of mine. Marking this notable day , I am sharing this recipe now. 

It takes just exactly 5 to 10 mins to prepare this Pongali , if you have cooked rice and cooked dal /pappu ready with you. As there is no milk used in this recipe , there’s nothing to boil.

It can be a categorised as dairy free dish, if you can eliminate the ghee/butter part. But, I must say,whole of the flavour of this platter reveals only after adding the ghee/butter. Go for it then! 🙂

Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips which I mentioned at the end.

You might see my other desser/sweet recipes here⇒ Desserts / Mithayi

Related Posts: Kobbari Annam / Coconut Rice , Chinthapandu Pulihora / Tamarind Rice , Rava Kesari / Kesari Bath/ Semolina Pudding (without milk)

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  • Cooked Rice – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Split Yellow Chickpeas / ChanaDal / Senagapappu – 1 cup
  • Dry Fruits & Nuts – one fistful
  • Ghee / Butter – 6 tablespoons
  • Cardamom/Elaichi – 4
  • Saffron – 7-8 strands

Special Ingredients:

  • Split Yellow Chickpeas / ChanaDal / Senagapappu – 1 cup
  • Ghee / Butter – 6 tablespoons


  • Take the chana dal/senagapappu/split chickpeas and wash them twice.
  • Take into a pressure cooker, add water just to soak the dal and cook it upto 3 whistles. Put it aside.
  • Now, chop the nuts keep aside.
  • Take a pan , (big enough to fit in the entire Pongali) put it on stovetop under medium flame.
  • Now, add a tablespoon of ghee / butter into the pan.
  • Once it heats up add the dry fruits and nuts, fry them until they turn golden brown.
  • Now add the cooked rice, cooked dal/pappu,elaichi powder and saffron strands.

  • Mix up everything thoroughly from all sides, such that the rice,dal and sugar are coated over each other. 
  • Let the pan sit on the stove with flame for upto 3-4 mins, for the sugar to melt up completely.
  • Mix again once ot twice.
  • Add the remaining ghee / butter to the pan. See pics below for reference.
  • Mix up the the butter / ghee . Add more ghee if needed.
  • At a stage the rice releases from the sides of the pan, this takes 3-4 mins. See pic below.
  • Then, remove the the pan from stovetop and transfer to serving bowl. Done!!

    Final stage, before taking into a serving bowl


  • Vegans, can substitute the ghee/butter with coconut oil .
  • If you do not have cooked rice ready , get the rice cooked first of all.
  • After frying the dry fruits and nuts, you need not keep them aside, let them stay in the same pan.
  • You can add more ghee/butter if you wish to , but not less than mentioned.
  • Be generous while adding the ghee/butter, this itself enhances the taste of the pongali.
  • I generally use raw sugar rather than the refined white sugar. But don’t bother you can use any.
  • I do not want to use any milk in this recipe , so I added the saffron strands as it is.
  • You can even put them in hot water, for a while and then add to the pan along with the water.
  • You can add small pieces of dry coconut while frying the dry fruits. I did not have them while I was making the Pongali, hence I could not.
  • This stays fresh upto 1 day at room temperature and 2-3 days in the refrigerator.


  • Ofcourse, it would be sweet in taste and the flavour of ghee/butter dominates even before you start eating it.
  • The pulses we added, chana dal/split chickpeas, fill its part in every spoon, which adds the extra relish.
  • This sweet dish has rice and dal/pulses in it, and hence it nicely fills in the gap of carbs and makes it easily digestable by the body.

    Platter of delectable ‘Chakkera Pongali’ / ‘Sweetened Rice’

You can Pinit here for later use :

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