By the time I finished my work I had a sudden craving for something pongalish ;) ....With the festival being just 4 days ahead, I did not want to make sweet pongal or payasam and thus ended up making this vermicelli pongal.
Since I have made Semiya kesari before, I knew that it pairs up well sugar, but with jaggery its an experiment I did for the first time and it turned out delicious.
When the sweet aroma of melted jaggery and cardamom filled the house, my son came to me and asked "Amma sammi kumpidalama?" meaning 'Shall we go and pray?'. I was taken by surprise at the same time felt happy that he was able to relate the sweet aroma to something religious and festive :)
I would say that this is a super quick substitute for regular sweet pongal , takes maximum 20 mins.
1 cup Semiya/Vermicelli
1/4 cup moong dhal
3/4 cup shredded jaggery
2 pods of elaichi/cardamom
1/4 cup of sliced almonds/ handful of cashews
handful of raisins
3 tablespoon of shredded coconut (optional)
2 tablespoon ghee
Boil the jaggery in 1/2 cup of water and filter through a mesh, just to avoid any impurities.
Take 1/4 cup of moong dhal in a microwave safe dish , add 1/2 cup of water and cook for 5-6 mins.
The dhal should be in a 3/4 th cooked state, need not be mushy.
Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a pan and fry the raisins and almonds till golden. Keep aside.
In the same pan roast the vermicelli till slightly golden
Boil 2 cups of water in a pan and add the roasted vermicelli and cook till all te water is absorbed.
Now add the melted jaggery, crushed cardamom, cooked moong dhal and stir well,
Cook in medium heat until all the water is absorbed.
Stir in the roasted almonds/cashews, raisins, coconut and another tablespoon of ghee.
Mix well and serve warm