Huggi (Khara Pongal)


Makara sankranti or the harvest festival is widely celebrated in India, which falls on 14th or 15th of January. In Karnataka, grains in the form of ‘yellu-bella’ is exchanged with family and friends. ‘Yellu’ is a sankranti offering where white sesame seeds are mixed with jaggery, roasted bengal gram, coconut and peanuts. As a child, we loved to go for “yellu beerodu” where yellu, sugarcane and sakkare achhu (sugar candy shapes) are exchanged with family and friends. The Sankranti special lunch would always be huggi, gojju and sihi huggi. Huggi is made with rice and mung dal, and flavoured with spices and peppercorns. It is served with a tamarind-jaggery chutney called gojju. Sihi huggi is the sweet version where rice and mung dal is combined with jaggery.
While I can’t do the “yellu beerodu” until my DD grows up, the lunch still is the same every sankranti- huggi, gojju and sihi huggi. Try this traditional wholesome dish and finish it with sihi huggi for a soul satisfying meal.

 

 

Ingredients:

For Huggi:

Rice – 1 cup
Split green gram or moong dal – 1 cup
Ghee – ¼ cup
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Peppercorns – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Cashew – 10-12
Dry coconut – ¼ cup, grated or ¼ cup desiccated coconut
Ginger – ½ inch, grated or 1 tsp ginger paste
Curry leaves – 6-7
Green chilli – 2-3 or as per taste, slit
Salt to taste

For gojju:

Tamarind pulp – ¼ cup, soaked in water
Jaggery – 1/3 cup, grated
Green chilli – 1-2, slit
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 4-5

Method:

  1. Dry roast the moong dal until aromatic (a few minutes)
  2. Wash it along with rice. Cook them with 4 cups of water in a rice cooker or pressure cooker
  3. Heat ghee in a kadhai or fry pan. Add cumin seeds and let it splutter
  4. Add peppercorns and cashew. Fry till the cashew are light golden
  5. Add curry leaves, ginger, dry coconut, green chilli and turmeric powder. Fry for a minute
  6. Add the dal-rice mixture and salt. Add 2 cups water
  7. Mix together and let it simmer for 5 minutes
  8. Turn off the flame and serve hot with gojju
  9. To make gojju, combine tamarind extract, jaggery, green chiili and salt in a sauce pan. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Turn off the flame. To prepare the tempering, heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add curry leaves and turn off the flame. Add the tempering to gojju and serve

Notes:

  • Don’t over roast the moong dal, else it will take a long time to cook. Also don’t skip the roasting, else it will become sticky

 

Boil roasted moong dal and rice together

Boil roasted moong dal and rice together

 

 Temper ghee with cumin seeds, peppercorn and cashew

Temper ghee with cumin seeds, peppercorn and cashew

 

Add rest of ingredients and fry

Add rest of ingredients and fry

 

Add cooked rice-dal and mix well

Add cooked rice-dal and mix well

 

 

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