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Pongal, also known as Thai Pongal, is a multi-day harvest festival celebrated in South India, mainly among Tamils. Pongal heralds the beginning of Uttarayan, the sun's six-month trek northward. Bhogi Pongal is observed on the first day of Pongal, Thai Pongal on the second, Mattu Pongal on the third, and Kannum Pongal on the fourth.

Food plays an essential role in Pongal, as it does in all other Indian festivities. It is a catalyst for people to come together. People embark on a sweets-making spree, preparing large quantities of sweets and distributing them to their family and friends. When you think of the Pongal celebration, you probably imagine all of the great dishes you'll get to cook and consume. It's all about going into the kitchen first thing in the morning and starting to prepare an extensive menu of Pongal dishes. However, we want to make things convenient for you. We want you to enjoy delicious traditional Pongal meals without breaking a sweat. Here's a list of food items that are delicious and simple to prepare. Check out!

1. Sakkarai Pongal:

Sakkarai Pongal is a popular dish served during the Pongal Festival. Rice and Moong Dal are cooked in jaggery syrup, milk, and water, then seasoned with ghee and cashews. Sakkarai Pongal is traditionally made with freshly harvested rice and dedicated to the Sun God as Naivedyam during the Pongal Harvest Festival, which lasts four days. Sakkarai Pongal is a hit for individuals who prefer desserts because it has an overdose of sweet flavour.

How to prepare?

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 3 tablespoon mung dal
  • 1/2 cup powdered jaggery
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cardamom
  • 2 tablespoon raisins
  • 2 tablespoon cashew nuts

Method:

  • Roast the moong dal in 1 teaspoon ghee until fragrant at a low to medium temperature.
  • Thoroughly wash and drain the rice. Combine the rice and roasted dal in a pressure cooker. Pressure cooks the rice and dal with 2 1/2 cups water, clove, and cardamom until the rice and dal are done.
  • Meanwhile, combine the powdered jaggery and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Allow the mixture to hit boiling point. The jaggery is going to melt. Turn off the heat after 1 minute of boiling. Remove the contaminants from the jaggery syrup by straining them.
  • Once the pressure in the cooker has been released, open the lid and mash the cooked dal and rice well while still hot. Toss in the milk and stir thoroughly.
  • Reheat the jaggery syrup that has been drained in the wok. Add the rice dal mixture, stir well, and cook the Pongal on low heat.
  • Melt the remaining ghee in a small spice pan. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins till golden in colour. Over the cooked Pongal, pour the ghee with the nuts and raisins. Finally, offer the Sakkarai Pongal to the deity as naivedhyam and then distribute it as prasadam.

2. Ven Pongal:

Ven Pongal is a delicious South Indian porridge made with rice and yellow moong lentils. It is the savoury counterpart of Sakkarai Pongal. While the core ingredients (rice, moong dal, and ghee) are the same, sweeteners are replaced with spices. Ven Pongal is an integral part of the harvest festival since it is thought that cooking rice until it overflows the pot is a ritual that should be performed every year. People wish for an abundance of resources in their houses by doing this symbolic deed.

How to prepare?

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1/2 cup of moong dal
  • 3 teaspoons of ghee
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 green chilli
  • Salt as required
  • 8 cashews
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of refined oil
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger

Method:

  • Under cold running water, wash the rice and moong dal. Soak both of them for 10 minutes in warm water. After that, place them in a pressure cooker with water, salt, and ghee.
  • Using a large spoon, thoroughly combine the ingredients and cover the cooker with its lid. Place it over low heat and cook until 5 whistles sound.
  • Turn off the heat and let the steam escape. Then, open the cover and thoroughly mash the ingredients.
  • To temper, melt the ghee with the oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add green chillies, grated ginger, cumin seeds, black pepper, curry leaves, and cashews when they're hot enough.
  • Roast until golden brown on all sides, then pour over the rice-dal mixture and toss to combine. Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar and garnished with coriander leaves.

Sakkarai Pongal Ven Pongal

3. Coconut Rice:

Coconut rice, also known as Thengai Sadam in Tamil, is another popular dish served during Pongal. Rice is flavoured with fresh coconut and spices, curry leaves, and ginger. The sweetness of the coconut combined with the herbs creates a delicious flavour combination.

How to prepare?

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp split urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp jeera
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 red chilli
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp cashews broken

Method:

  • Heat the oil and put the mustard seeds and urad dal.
  • Allow sputtering before frying till golden.
  • Quickly sauté the vegetables.
  • In a low flame, sauté curry leaves, green chillies, and red chillies for 2 minutes.
  • Fry the cashews until golden.
  • Toss in the coconut.
  • Cook for 2 minutes on low heat, without changing the colour.
  • Finally, add the cooked rice and salt to taste.
  • Toss well until everything is well integrated.

4. Bellam Paramannam:

Pongal is a harvest festival, and Payasams are an essential aspect. During Pongal, most South Indian houses prepare Bellam Paramannam or Annam Payasam, which is made with rice and dal and is dedicated to God as a Neivedyam (offering). Bellam Paramannam’s cardamom-flavoured mixture of milk and rice, sweetened with jaggery and sprinkled with cashews, is just what you're looking for if you have a sweet craving. You can also use jaggery instead of sugar to give it a more traditional flavour.

How to prepare?

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 250 gm powdered jaggery
  • 10 cashews
  • 4 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 4 cups milk
  • 10 raisins
  • 1 teaspoon powdered green cardamom
  • 10 almonds

Method:

  • To begin, soak the rice and dal for 20 minutes in water.
  • Put 1/2 cup water in a skillet with powdered jaggery and let it melt. Turn off the gas once it has melted and formed a smooth paste.
  • In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Drain the rice and dal and combine them with the milk. Cook for 10-15 minutes after adding 1/2 cup water.
  • In a saucepan, start melting the ghee and add the raisins, almonds, and cashews. Fry them until they are golden brown.
  • Toss the milk mixture with the fried nuts, jaggery paste, and cardamom powder. Cook for another 10 minutes after thoroughly mixing everything.

Coconut Rice Bellam Paramannam

5. Lemon rice:

Lemon rice, also known as Chitranna in Southern India, is a scrumptious meal that must be served at your Pongal celebration. Fresh lemon juice, spices, and curry leaves give the rice a slightly sour and tangy flavour.

How to prepare?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups boiled basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 10 curry leaves
  • Salt as required
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon raw peanuts
  • 2 pinches mustard seeds
  • 2 red chilli

Method:

  • In a pan, melt butter add mustard seeds and cook for a few minutes. At this time, you can add turmeric.
  • After that, toss in the peanuts, curry leaves, and red chilli. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Combine the cooked rice, lemon juice, and the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine all of the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Remove to a bowl and serve immediately.

6. Vada:

Vada is one of the most essential foods prepared for the Pongal Festival as an offering to God, along with Sweet Pongal. Vada tastes best when served hot and makes for a mouth-watering dish.

How to prepare?

Ingredients:

  • Urad Dal / Ulundhu - 1 Cup
  • Green chilly - 2
  • Ginger - ½ Inch
  • Onion chopped - ½ Cup
  • Curry & coriander leaves chopped - ¼ Cup
  • Oil
  • Salt

Method:

  • Wash and soak Urad in water for 1 hour.
  • Drain the water and start grinding the urad dal, green chillies, and ginger together with a bit of water at a time.
  • Make a paste out of them; the consistency should be thick.
  • Fill a mixing basin halfway with batter.
  • Mix in the chopped onion, curry leaves, and coriander leaves thoroughly.
  • In a kadai / wok, heat the oil.
  • Grease a broad plastic sheet with cooking oil.
  • Place a small ball of batter on the baking sheet, flatten it slightly, and gently drop it into the heated oil.
  • Deep fry all the vada on medium-high heat, rotating once or twice.
  • Remove from the pan until golden and crisp, and drain any excess oil on kitchen tissue.

Lemon rice Vada

Try out these delicious and wholesome snacks on Pongal and experience.

Wishing a very Happy Pongal to you and your family.

Related Article: 10 Foods to Make Tamil Nadu Tourism a Delicious Affair

 

About Mahindra Holidays

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews and Club Mahindra Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As of Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at https://www.clubmahindra.com/

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