Delicious Kalkandu Sadam Recipe

Kalkandu Sadam, also known as Kalkandu Pongal or Sweet Pongal, is a delectable South Indian dessert made with rice, moong dal, dry fruits, milk, and Kalkandu sugar. Traditionally enjoyed during Puthandu (Tamil New Year), this sweet treat can also be made with rock sugar candy, powdered sugar, or jaggery. Adjust the thickness of the dessert to your liking by varying the amount of milk used. Garnish with your favorite nuts for an extra touch of flavor and enjoy this festive delight.


Ingredients for Kalkandu Sadam

Essentials (Serves 4)

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup jaggery
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cashews
  • 3 tablespoons moong dal
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 tablespoons raisins

Step-by-Step Preparation

  • Step 1: Cook the Rice and Dal:

First, give the rice and moong dal an abundant wash. Put them and a cup of water into a pressure cooker. Cook until they are fully done, which should take about 2-3 whistles. Once cooked, transfer the rice and dal mixture to a bowl and mash it lightly to combine the textures.

  • Step 2: Heat the Milk:

In a separate pan, heat 1 cup of milk. Bring it to a boil, ensuring it doesn’t spill over. Once boiling, add the jaggery and stir until it dissolves completely. The jaggery will impart a rich, caramel-like sweetness to the dish.

  • Step 3: Combine Ingredients:

Add the mashed rice and dal mixture to the boiling milk and jaggery. Stir well to ensure everything is combined. Let the mixture cook for 10-12 minutes on a low flame, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, creating a harmonious and sweet base.

  • Step 4: Add Nuts and Raisins:

In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee. Add the cashews and raisins and roast them for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown. The roasted nuts and raisins add a delightful crunch and burst of sweetness to the Kalkandu Sadam. Once roasted, add them to the rice-milk mixture.

  • Step 5: Final Touches and Serving:

Continue cooking the Kalkandu Sadam for another 2 minutes to let all the flavors blend well. As it cooks, you’ll notice the mixture thickening to a pudding-like consistency. Once done, serve the Kalkandu Sadam hot, garnished with additional nuts if desired.

Tips for the Perfect Kalkandu Sadam

  • Choosing the Sweetener:

While jaggery is traditionally used for its rich, earthy sweetness, you can experiment with other sweeteners like rock sugar candy, powdered sugar, or even shakkar. Each sweetener will bring a unique flavor profile to the dish.

  • Adjusting the Consistency:

The thickness of Kalkandu Sadam can be adjusted based on your preference. For a thicker consistency, cook it longer to allow more liquid to evaporate. For a thinner, more porridge-like texture, you can add extra milk or reduce the cooking time.

  • Enhancing Flavor:

To elevate the flavor of Kalkandu Sadam, consider adding a pinch of cardamom powder or a few strands of saffron. These spices add an aromatic touch that complements the sweetness of the dish.

Serving Suggestions

Kalkandu Sadam is versatile and can be served in various ways to enhance your dining experience. Here are a few serving suggestions:

  • Festive Presentation:

Serve Kalkandu Sadam in traditional Indian bowls, garnished with extra roasted nuts and raisins. This not only adds a visual appeal but also makes it perfect for festive occasions.

  • Cooling Delight:

Although traditionally served hot, you can also enjoy Kalkandu Sadam chilled. Let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for a few hours. The chilled version offers a refreshing twist, especially during warm weather.

  • Accompaniments:

Pair Kalkandu Sadam with a side of fresh fruits like sliced mangoes or berries. The natural tartness of the fruits contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the dish, creating a balanced dessert experience.

Nutritional Information

  • Caloric Content:

A serving of Kalkandu Sadam provides approximately 350-400 calories, depending on the amount of sweetener and nuts used. This makes it a hearty and satisfying dessert option.

  • Health Benefits:

While Kalkandu Sadam is a sweet treat, it also offers some nutritional benefits:

Rice and Dal: Provide carbohydrates, proteins, and essential amino acids.

Milk: Adds calcium, protein, and vitamins.

Nuts and Raisins: Contribute healthy fats, fiber, and micronutrients.


Kalkandu Sadam is a traditional South Indian dessert that brings together the goodness of rice, moong dal, milk, and jaggery. This sweet, creamy treat is perfect for festive celebrations and family gatherings, offering a taste of South Indian culinary heritage. By following these steps and tips, you can create a delicious bowl of Kalkandu Sadam that will be loved by all. Enjoy this delightful dessert warm or chilled, and savor the rich flavors and textures that make it a timeless favorite.


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