Pongal (பொங்கல்) is rice dish, either sweet or spicy, prepared especially for the ‘Harvest Festival’ (உழவர் திருநாள்) on the 1st day of ‘Thai’ (தை மாதம்), 10th month of Tamil calendar. Pongal generally refers to ‘ven pongal’ (வெண் பொங்கல்) and it is commonly made for breakfast. While sweet pongal (சர்க்கரைப் பொங்கல்) is prepared for festivals and other special occasions. Pongal varieties are best made with freshly harvested raw rice (புது பச்சரிசி). Ven pongal goes well with brinjal kothsu, sambar or coconut chutney. Today let us see how to make ven pongal.
Raw rice (பச்சரிசி) – 1 tumbler or 200ml measure
Green gram dhal (பாசிப் பருப்பு) – ½ tumbler or 100ml measure
Peppercorns – 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Ginger – ½” piece, grated
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon (optional)*
Cumin seed powder – ½ teaspoon
Pepper powder – ⅛ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Cashew nuts – broken, 1 tablespoon
Ghee – 3 tablespoons
* Some folks like pongal to have the natural whitish color. However, I prefer to add turmeric powder, which imparts a yellowish color to the dish.
|Pongal (பொங்கல்) served with Brinjal Kothsu (கத்தரிக்காய் கொத்சு)|
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