Sunday, 24 July 2016

Mulayari Sarkara Pongal | Bamboo rice with jaggery

For this week's blogging marathon I have chosen "Diabetic friendly sweets". I am starting with an ingredient that is appearing in my blog for the first time - Mulayari.

Bamboo rice or Mulayari (in malayalam) or Moongil arisi (in Tamil) is well known with the forest tribals for its medicinal and nutritional values. I was introduced to bamboo rice some 3 years ago when one of my relatives got it for onam and said we can make payasam out of this. That is when I got to know that the bamboo tree flowers and this flowering happens once in 50-60 years after which the bamboo dies. These flowers have seeds which are collected and now-a-days sold as bamboo rice.

In kerala people are not new to mulayari or bamboo rice. They make payasam out of this. I shall post this yummy payasam sometime later. But this mulayari is very costly. A kg costs between 200-300 INR and it is also a rare commodity. We don't see it in all stores. I bought it from a government run farm from Wayanad.

Now that I have 1 kg of this rice in stock I have to come up with various recipes. In Internet the only recipe I found is for payasam made with coconut milk and jaggery. Since I have already tasted it I wanted to try something new. So thought of why not sarkara pongal. That is also a sweet. And it turned out yummy. Diabetics can relish this.

Diabetic patients can use Bamboo rice instead of normal rice because the Glycemic Index (GI) of Bamboo rice is lesser than normal rice. Bamboo rice needs to be soaked in water for 5-6 hours before cooking. It will not easily get cooked like normal rice. 


Bamboo rice - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 1 tbsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/2 tsp
Dry ginger powder - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp


  • Clean the bamboo rice carefully, they often have stones. Soak the bamboo rice or mulayari in water for about 5 hours.
  • Pressure cook the bamboo rice with 3 cups of water. I cooked for one whistle and lowered the flame and cooked for another 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat the jaggery in 1/4 cup of water until the jaggery melts. Strain the jaggery for impurities and keep aside.
  • Once the pressure is released check if the bamboo rice is cooked. Then add the jaggery syrup and grated coconut. Mix well.
  • Heat the mixture in medium heat and keep stirring. 
  • Keep aside 1 tsp of ghee for frying cashews and add the rest of the ghee in batches to the bamboo rice mixture. Keep stirring.
  • When all the water is consumed by bamboo rice and it becomes a solid mass, add all the flavoured powders. Mix well and switch off stove.
  • Fry the cashew nuts in ghee and garnish this sarkara pongal

Mulayari sarkara pongal is ready!! Enjoy this different dish!!


  • We can also garnish with fried badams / dried grapes.
  • I have used the dark brown variety of jaggery which is very sweet. Hence 1/2 cup was enough for me. Adjust sweetness if using other varieties of jaggery.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#66


  1. Great info and never tried moongil arisi.. wonderful share..

  2. New to me , I have no clue to these rice . There is a huge variety of rice available all over the world , dont even know half of them . Anyway thedish looks fantastic.

  3. Something never heard of before, but seems to be delicious. Alas!! Won't be able to taste it as it is not commonly available :(

  4. Bamboo rice is totally new to me. Thank you for sharing about it.
    Pongal looks delicious.

  5. Heard of bamboo rice,but never tried..pongal looks so delicious and got a perfect color..

  6. Such a healthy sakkara pongal, even am trying to cook with bamboo rice, well done.

  7. Good info on the rice. It is new to me and Pongal looks good.