This Sweet dish with Rice is exclusively done on Pongal.
Pongal – The harvest festival of South Indian state, Tamilnadu aka thanksgiving festival celebrated in the mid of January 🙂
A harvest festival celebrated in Tamilnadu for four days.
“Pongal” is the harvest festival of Tamilnadu, the southern state of India. Paddy is the main crop and cultivated in major areas of Tamilnadu where the perennial rivers flow within the state. The harvest festival is celebrated for centuries, where the celebrate is recorded 2000 years ago in Tamil literature. Pongal is also known as “Uzhavar Thirunaal” (Festival of Farmers), “Thamizhar Thirunaal” (Festival of Tamil people) and Thai Pongal.
The first day of Thai of Tamil calendar is celebrated as Pongal..
The thanksgiving ritual starts right from preparing home for a new start, by clearing off the unwanted old things, burnt on the previous day and celebrated as “Bhogi”.
The second day is Pongal, day for Sun, the energy provider to the universe. “Pongal”, a dish is prepared using the first yield rice of the harvest, jaggery and milk. The third day for the cattle which helped in cultivation and the last day is celebrated by visiting relatives.
In around of Trichy district people offer the first cut of their paddy harvest to “Samayapuram MariAmman” A Goddess residing 15 kms away from the famous Uchi Pillaiyar Temple, Malaikottai. Peopl believe that Goddess will take care of their crop and bless with an abundance harvest. So the first crop is cut by the women of the house and kept aside as offering to Goddess. After the first cut of crop, later the fields are harvested for domestic and commercial use. Later the first produce is brought to home and kept in Kudam – a container, and prayers are offered to God. Later after the total harvest is completed, the family fulfill their vows by offering their first produce to the Goddess. This is usual ritual followed by the people of Trichy district.
Time : 35 Minutes
Raw Rice – 1 cup
Moong Dal – ¼ cup
Panai vellam – Palm jaggery 2.5 cups, adjust to your sweet tooth
Milk – ¼ cup
Cardamom – 3
Cashews and Raisins – 5 each.
Cloves -2 (Optional)
Ghee – 2tbsp in liquid form.
Roast the moong dal in a tava till it gets toasted. Add the dal with rice, wash and soak in water.
Bring the water to boil in a pot, now add rice and dal straining the water and when it starts to froth, add milk and allow it to cook on a low fire so that the bottom of the pot doesn’t get scorched. .
Dissolve jaggery in boiling water , strain for residues and add to the cooked rice. Add a pinch of salt to increase the sweetness of the dish.. Mix it well and add powdered cardamom. Lastly, add ghee roasted cashews, raisins and cloves.
Milk curdles when added to hot Palm jaggery, make sure the temperature is low so that the milk doesn’t curdle. Either add jaggery at the first and add Boiled, cooled milk after the rice reaches the room temperature.
I prepared Pongal in Rice pot. I have used 1:5 rice water ratio, the ratio may change depending upon the rice quality, add boiling water if needed.