Makara sankranti/ Thai pongal festival is well known to all of us. It’s a harvesting festival celebrated most by Tamils and Telugu. It is basically celebrated to thank Sun god (suryadev) for all the agricultural abundance and successful harvest. This is usually celebrated in the month of January between 14th-16th. Not just in Tamilnadu, India. Pongal is celebrated by almost all Tamils including Malaysia, puducherry, Singapore, Mauritius etc…Part of the celebration is to boil the first rice of the season consecrated to the sun – The Surya Maangalyam. Pongal dish is made. This consists of rice, split green gram,milk,jaggery, cardamom powder and dry fruits. Traditionally this is made in a clay pot in presence of sunlight. In a courtyard or a porch as it is dedicated to the Sun God. Pongal has two varieties. Sweet and a savoury. Generally in hindu temples these are cooked as a traditional practise to first serve the God and then distribute it amongst the disciples.
Here I have written about sweet pongal.
Rice – 3/4 cup
Split green gram – 1/2cup
Jaggery – grated 1 cup
Cardamom powder – 1/4tsp
Grated coconut – 1/4cup (optional)
Milk – 1/4cup
Cashew nuts – a fistful (broken)
Dry grapes/kishmish – a fistful
Ghee – 2tbsp
- In a pan dry roast split yellow dal and rice till aromatic
- Wash it thoroughly with water
- Pressure cook it for two whistles.
- Meantime, in a deep vessel take the grated jaggery and 1/4 cup water. Dissolve the jaggery.
- Switch on the gas and make jaggery syrup on low to medium flame
- Neither too thick nor thin
- Now add cardamom powder and grated coconut to this.
- Add cooked dal+rice and 1/4 cup boiled milk to this. Mix well
- In a non stick pan, add ghee and once hot fry the cashews till brown and dry grapes till they fluff.
- Add this to the pongal and mix well