Pongal is right around the corner and all of South India is ready to ring in the festival with energy and enthusiasm. Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated to mark Sun’s transition towards the north (Uttarayan). Celebrated in the auspicious month of Thai (10th month of Tamil calendar), Pongal is a four-day festival which is marked to begin on 14th January 2018 (Sunday) and ends on 17th January 2018 (Wednesday). These celebrations are marked with families adorning their houses with flower garlands and rangolis made with rice powder.
During Pongal, South Indian families start prepping for the celebrations days in advance and all the food is handmade from scratch even the delicious coconut chutney! While the North celebrates Makar Sankranti, states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu are decorated with flowers for the harvest festival as families pray to the sun god for prosperity. The menu for the four-day festival is extensive and ranges from sweet to savoury using every grain that is grown during the harvest period.
Here are five lip-smacking dishes that are made during the festival of Pongal:
- Ven or Khara Pongal: The light, savoury and peppery dish made by mixing rice with moong dal, ghee, cashew nuts, raisins and mild spices, the flavoursome Pongal delicacy is also is one of the most loved recipes during the festival.
- Sakkarai Pongal: The variety of Pongal dishes available is astonishing, each has a distinct flavour and is prepared using different techniques. Prepared using green gram, rice and jaggery, this rich and wholesome dessert is one of the Pongal staples you must try out this festive occasion.
- Murukku: The delicious and wholesome snack made using urad dal is a crackling treat served as a part of the Pongal feasting. Its prepared in a round-coiled shape and its crunchy goodness makes it an all-time favourite evening snack too.
- Paal Payasam: A South Indian version of “chawal ki kheer”, payasam is a traditional dessert made during Pongal and used as a prasad during the rituals. The dish is made using easily available ingredients like sugar, rice and milk and enjoyed even days after the festivities are over.
- Mochai Kottai Kuzhambu: This dish is traditionally made using field beans along with some flavorful freshly ground spices. It is paired with steamed basmati rice and eaten along with various chutneys during lunch or dinner. This dish can be made using many different techniques and is the South Indian version of “chole chawal”
Try to make these recipes at home and enjoy the essence of Pongal in the comfort of your kitchen!