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October 13, 2015

Akkaravadisal (Akkara Adisal) Recipe - Iyengar Recipes

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Akkaravadisal recipe
Navratri is starting from today. I hope most of you would be planning to make some sundal variety along with Sakkarai pongal for today’s neivedyam. Every year we make paasi paruppu sundal and sweet pongal for first day. This year for a change I tried Iyengar special sweet pongal recipe with milk popularly known as “Akkaravadisal/Akkara adisal”. Iyengars make this for Koodaravalli festival during tamil month MargazhiThe term Akkaram is a literary word for Sugar or jaggery and the word Vadisal is a descriptive term for cooking by steaming or boiling. 
Starting from this explanation till the recipe I have shared here are shared by my school friend Sumi Raghavan who is a Tamil (Iyengar) Brahmin.Whenever I look for Iyengar recipes, my first hand source is Sumi. She is so sweet to share her traditional recipes with me. Based on her recipe and method, I started to search for more ideas on net. You could find different recipes for this akkaravadisal. Some people use sugar candy ( Kalkandu) or sugar to make this sweet pongal. Some add equal amounts of jaggery and sugar. But I followed the recipe of my friend which is more of temple style. 
Actually I came to know about this akkara adisal from a priest in Thirukannapuram Perumal temple. He told us that every morning nearly 12 ladies prepare this akkaravadisal in a wide bronze pot ( Venkala paanai) adding lots of ghee and serve it as kovil prasadam to all the devotees during Margazhi month. Though I couldn’t taste the prasadam,I was able to feel its taste from the way he explained. So I badly wanted to try and share this recipe in my blog. As he told, the taste of this creamy pudding like Akkaravadisal was truly flavorful & very rich in taste. Don’t hesitate to add the amount of ghee mentioned here. Ghee and the edible camphor(Pachai karpooram) are the star ingredients of this recipe.
 So here you go authentic Iyengar style akkaravadisal preparation with stepwise pictures. Do make this for Koodaravalli and Navratri neivedyam and offer to God !! 

Akkaravadisal Recipe

Akkaravadisal Recipe Iyengar style akkara adisal recipe - Sweet Pongal with milk. 
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Sweet
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 50 Minutes


  • Raw rice(Good quality sona masoori) - 1/2 cup
  • Yellow moong dal - 2 tbsp
  • Milk – 4 to 5 cups
  • Water – 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup for melting jaggery
  • Grated jaggery - 1/2 cup ( use dark colored jaggery to get this color.)
  • Crushed Sugar candy or sugar - 1/4 cup
  • Cardamom - 3 nos (crushed)
  • Edible camphor/Pachai karpooram - 2 pinches
  • Ghee - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp ( Rice & ghee ratio is 1:1, but I used less)
  • Cashew nuts - a fistful
  • Saffron threads - Few ( soak in 2 tbsp milk)
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Wash and soak the rice, dal in milk for 30 minutes adding 4 cups of milk + 1/2 cup of water. Alternatively you can roast rice and moong dal in a tsp of ghee and soak in milk. But I din’t roast moong dal & rice. ( If you want to follow traditional temple method, cook the rice & dal in an open pot by stirring every now & then. Else it will burn in the bottom. If cooking in pot, quantity of milk would be more.)
  • Soak saffron thread in warm milk and set aside. 
Iyengar akkaravadisal recipe
  • Take a pressure cooker and add the soaked rice, dal, milk,,water, a pinch of salt to it. Put a small plate inside the cooker to avoid splashing while the cooker whistles. Pressure cook in very low flame for 2 to 3 whistles. It takes more time to cook as we are cooking rice in milk. So be patient.
Iyengar akkaravadisal recipe 
  • In the mean time, boil the jaggery adding 1/4 cup of water and let it melt. Strain the jaggery syrup using a filter , add sugar or crushed sugar candy ( kalkandu), mix well and keep aside.
Iyengar akkaravadisal recipe
  • After the steam is released from the cooker, remove the plate and mash the rice very well. Add 1/2 cup of milk and mix well to bring semi solid consistency. Add the jaggery syrup + sugar or crushed sugar candy to this. Let the mixture boil for a minute. Akkaravadisal should be in semi solid state unlike our usual sweet pongal. It will tend to thicken as time proceeds. So add more boiled milk ( Say 1/2 cup) and adjust its consistency at this stage or before you serve if needed. 
Iyengar akkaravadisal recipe
Iyengar akkaravadisal recipe
  • Roast the nuts in 1/4 cup of ghee and add to the pongal. Switch off the flame, add cardamom powder, saffron soaked milk, edible camphor / Pachai karpooram, mix well and offer to God.  Enjoy ! I drizzled 2 tbsp of ghee on the serving bowl to give a ghee dripping pongal look ;)
Iyengar akkaravadisal recipe
  • Traditionally akkaravadisal is made by cooking rice in milk in a wide bronze pot. But I used pressure cooker to make it easily.
  • You can grind the rice coarsely and pressure cook it for easy and quick cooking. 
  • You can also add equal amount of rice & moong dal if you like. 
  • Ratio of rice & jaggery + sugar is 1: 1.5.
  • Adding edible camphor gives the temple style flavor. So don’t skip it. But do not add more. Just a big pinch would do.
  • For variations, you can add equal amount of sugar or sugar candy ( Kalkandu) mixed with jaggery.

Iyengar style akkaravadisal is ready to serve !
Akkaravadisal recipe

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Unknown said...

Akaravadisal looks tempting with lots of ghee on top..beautiful presentation chitra. Love the idea of adding small plate inside the cooker..

Unknown said...

this is such a yummy recipe,but mom advised me to do in open pot.this looks so good.made this one last year.

Malathi Ganesh said...

Looks inviting Chitra...

Chitra said...

Yes sis,traditionally its made in open pot.But nowadays people follow cooker method at home to save time ;) But cooking in open pot gives the actual taste like temple :)

Chitra said...

Thank you :)

Journeymart said...

Navratri being a nine-day long festival, a range of dishes are prepared during this occasion.

Vidhya said...

So yummy chitu.. :) in open pot also same qty of milk n water level or it varies da

Vidhya said...

So tempting. Pot way also same water n milk level qty or it varies dear

Chitra said...

It may slightly vary.We can add it anytime based on the need :)

Ganapathy Subramanian said...

good one

Unknown said...

ordinary rice is used.basmathi rice not preferred.
rice vs milk ratio is 1;16.


Chitra said...

Thanks. I will try this way :)

Unknown said...

Hi will try this.. But when to add pachai karpuram and salt? I am not seeing this in your instructions.. Pl reply.. Thanks

Chitra said...

It should be added at the end after switching off the flame.Salt should be added in the cooker. I have updated this point now :)Thanks