Instant Pot OPOS Sakkarai Pongal

Bowl of Instant Pot OPOS Sakkarai Pongal

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Bowl of Sakkarai Pongal prepared in Instant Pot the OPOS way

Instant pot OPOS sakkarai pongal is a one pot one shot way of preparing sakkarai pongal in instant pot. Sakkarai Pongal or chakkara pongal is a sweet rice moong dal porridge like preparation offered as prasadam to god in many South Indian temples.

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Bowl of Sakkarai Pongal prepared in Instant Pot the OPOS way

Pongal is a must preparation during harvest festival of Pongal / Sankranti in South India, which is just around the corner, in fact this weekend. Sakkarai is sugar and also means sweet. Sakkarai pongal is made with jaggery but is called sakkarai pongal to differentiate between sweet and savory pongal. The savory version is called ven pongal.

A bowl of Sakkarai Pongal

Few weeks ago, one of my friends suggested we try OPOS (one pot one shot) cooking as it is quick and a healthy way of cooking. I am not a big fan of OPOS cooking but wanted to try few recipes before pushing aside this so popular cooking style. However, a sweet dish using OPOS was not on my list. Nonetheless, for this pongal, OPOS seemed a good way and it also fits this week’s theme, ‘New Year Challenge’. This recipe is almost OPOS except for the last step where I roasted cashews & raisins separately on stovetop before adding to Pongal. If one wishes, they could add directly without roasting.

A bowl of Sakkarai Pongal

Instant Pot OPOS Sakkarai Pongal Recipe

Adapted from: here
Total Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 13 minutes


  • ½ cup Rice (I used basmati rice)
  • ¼ Moong Dal
  • 3 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter) or Unsalted Butter
  • 1 ¼ cup Water
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup grated or chopped Jaggery ( 5 cubes and adjust sweetness to taste)
  • 10 Whole Cashews, broken into pieces
  • 8-10 Raisins
  • ¼ tsp Cardamom Seeds, powdered


  • Wash rice and moong dal several times and keep aside.
  • In Instant Pot (IP), add 1 tbsp of ghee, pour milk, 1 cup water and washed rice moong dal.
  • Place the trivet in the pot on rice dal mixture.
  • Take jaggery in a 2 cup glass, steel or oven safe bowl. I used a pyrex bowl. Pour ¼ cup water in the bowl, cover with a steel plate or aluminum foil and place it on trivet.
  • Close IP lid, set the vent to sealing, cook on manual/pressure cook, high pressure for 6 minutes. It will take about 10-12 minutes for the pressure to build up and then going to cook for additional 6 minutes.
  • Once done, let pressure release naturally. This will take about 12 – 15 minutes.
  • While pongal is cooking, on stovetop heat a small pan with 2 tbsp of ghee, roast cashews and raisins until golden brown. Though this step is against OPOS way of cooking, I wanted to roasted cashews and raisins before adding to pongal.
  • Open IP lid, remove the bowl of jaggery syrup and the trivet from IP container. Stir jaggery syrup, strain the syrup for impurities and pour it over pongal (cooked rice moong dal).
  • Pour ghee cashews raisins over pongal. Throw in cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Consistency of pongal at this stage is going to be a bit liquidy. That is fine and it will thicken as it cools.
  • Pongal is ready to serve.


  • Pressure Cooker – When cooking in pressure cooker, cook for 6 – 8 whistles. Keep an eye on the cooker as there might be some spillage.
  • Non OPOS Recipe – Dry roast moong dal on stove top. Turn off the flame and add rice to same pan. Let the rice roast in hot pan. Let rice and dal cool. Wash rice dal and add to IP. Add milk water and ghee, cook in IP as mentioned in the recipe. In a separate pan / pot mix jaggery with ¼ cup water and cook on low flame until jaggery melts. Follow rest of the recipe as as mentioned above.


  • Color of sakkarai pongal depends on the color of jaggery. Darker the jaggery, darker the color of Pongal would be. The jaggery used here is light amber and hence the color seen in the photos.
  • Sakkarai pongal solidifies once cooled becomes a lump. Re-heat it for few seconds to minutes, before serving. For a small bowl, re-heat for 30 seconds and longer for large quantity.
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Instant Pot OPOS Sakkarai Pongal

15 thoughts on “Instant Pot OPOS Sakkarai Pongal

  1. That’s an interesting OPOS dish to make Usha…though there has been enough controversies on this method being invented in recent times, I remember my mom following this method unconsciously..also I find adding the nuts without roasting adds no flavour!…Still I enjoyed reading how you cooked this in IP

  2. Hi, Very interesting method. Planning to try this out in the IP for a potluck this weekend. Can you let me know how many servings this recipe is for? If I double/triple the quantity of rice/dal, do I double/triple the cooking time in the IP as well?

    1. Priya, this will yield at least 3 cups of Pongal. If I remember, I stored this in a 3 cup pyrex bowl. Serving size is subjective and depends on how much you want to serve per serving. I would say it would yield at least 3-4 serving. You need not double/triple the cooking time even if you double/triple the recipe. Just make sure you use a big IP, a 6 qt IP if you triple the recipe. Hope this helps. Happy cooking and happy Pongal. On a second thought, the recipe should easily serve 4-6.

  3. You are doing an awesome job using the IP. I still have not used any glass container inside the IP. I am scared of it breaking. I need to get over the fear as then I will be able to put many of my pyrex to good use.

    1. Sandhya, steel is it best and unfortunately, I don’t have many steel utensils. Yes, anything that is oven safe is safe to use in IP.

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