Happy Pongal 2020: Here are a few traditional recipes to cook during the festival
A harvest festival celebrated in southern India, especially among the Tamil community, Pongal is observed at the start of the month Tai, according to the Tamil solar calendar. Much like Makar Sankranti, Pongal too is dedicated to the Hindu sun god, Surya.
This year, Pongal falls between January 15 and January 18, according to the Gregorian calendar.
Traditionally, the festival is named after Pongal, the traditional dish prepared from the new harvest of rice boiled in milk with jaggery.
The festival is marked by preparing the pongal sweet dish. It is first offered to the gods and then shared among family members. In some communities, it is also offered to a cow.
There are four types of pongal dishes - the Chakarai Pongal, Venn Pongal, Melagu Pongal and Puli Pongal. The Chakarai or Sakkarai Pongal is generally prepared in temples as prasadam, while Venn Pongal is a savoury dish served in breakfast. The other two varieties are Melagu Pongal, a spicy variant made with moong daal, and Puli Pongal, which is made with tamarind and boiled rice.
Here are a few popular Pongal recipes one must try:
Sakkarai Pongal: A sweet rice pudding that is made during the Pongal festival.
• 1 cup split moong dal
• 1 cup raw white rice
• 4 cups jaggery
• Cashew nuts
• 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
• Water according to need
• 3 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
• Place washed split moong daal and rice in a pan and add 2-3 cups of water on it. Cook in a pressure cooker for 10 whistles and then allow it to cool.
• In a wok, add grated jaggery and 1/4 cup water and melt it in a low flame. Allow it to boil and stir to ensure there are no lumps.
• In a small frying pan, pour one tablespoon ghee and allow it to melt. Fry cashew nuts and raisins till they turn golden brown.
• Open the lid of the pressure cooker and with a ladle, mash the rice and dal mix till it turns mushy.
• Heat the pressure cooker on low flame and pour the jaggery mix into the mash and mix till everything is combined. Keep on boiling, add two tablespoon of ghee and elaichi powder. Mix well.
• Keep on stirring so that the bottom does not stick. Finally add the cashew nuts and raisins to the mixture before allowing it to cool a bit. Serve.
Venn or Khara Pongal: A lightly spiced pulse and rice dish
• 1/2 cup raw white rice
• 1/2 cup split moong dal
• 4 cups water
• 3 tablespoon ghee
• 1 teaspoon ground pepper
• 3 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 8 curry leaves
• 2 tablespoon broken cashew nuts
• 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
• Wash and soak rice for half-an-hour and wash the dal.
• Heat pressure cooker and place the washed and drained pulses and rice in it. Heat and dry roast it on medium flame, till the rice turns a bit translucent. Add 2 tablespoons ghee to the rice and dal mixture and stir. Keep it aside for the time.
• Add a teaspoon of cumin and chopped green chili to the dal mix and stir. Add four cups of water and stir the mixture. Salt can be added now. Cook on the pressure cooker for 10 whistles on medium heat.
• Open the lid and stir the mash.
• Take a frying pan and add a tablespoon of ghee into it and heat it. Add the broken cashew nuts and roast until golden.
• Add a teaspoon of cumin, fresh pepper, a pinch of asafoetida and curry leaves and saute well. Pour the mixture into the mash and mix well.
• Serve with sambar.
Rava Pongal: Another savoury dish, it is made with rava or sooji and is a good breakfast option.
• 1 cup rava/sooju
• 1/2 cup split moong dal
• 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 tablespoon crushed pepper
• 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
• 3 chopped green chillies
• 8-10 curry leaves
• 3 garlic cloves chopped
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder
• 4 cups water
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 teaspoon ghee
• 2 teaspoon sunflower oil
• Dry roast rava and keep aside. Then dry roast dal and transfer the roasted dal in a bowl and soak in a cup of water.
• Boil water in a pressure cooker before adding the moong dal and add it to the boiling water.
• Mix in turmeric powder and salt. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes.
• Add roasted rava into the liquid mixture and keep on stirring so that the rava does not form lumps.
• Cover the pressure cooker and leave it for two whistles.
• Once the steam is released, stir well.
• Place back on heat and add the milk, allowing it to boil on low heat.
• In a separate pan, add oil and heat it. Add cumin seeds, crushed pepper, cashew nuts, ginger, green chili, curry leaves, asafoetida power and mix well.
• Pour the mixture on the pongal mix and cook for low heat for 2 minutes. Add ghee to it.
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